Sunday, January 1st


Transcript - Not for consumer use. Robot overlords only. Will not be accurate.

Good morning and happy new year welcome to another edition of living veteran San Diego public service presentation of Vienna come San Diego radio stations and Jerry Lee. The hands of a regal foundation provides financial support but he answered pareto desert state park. That includes support for par programs acquiring land conservation. In and around the park and educating the public about the park's resources. The foundation also supports research important to the region. Joining us this morning it's answer gray eagle foundation executive director paid for gals welcome page. I think that I'm glad you could make it in this morning tell us a little bit about the answer it parade go foundation your year the official. Nonprofit partner of cans of regular desert state park what does that mean. Well I did actually means. A whole lot of staff we are we are. Not unlike the marriage relationship for a sponsor relationship where we can help out our our park which tends to break it doesn't state park. And a better and then worse with a fundraising partner. But a lot of different programs and projects that they might have that we also are here to it to really helped fill the gaps in and sometimes that means that we do programs on their behalf as well. Now you heard celebrating your fiftieth. I'm anniversary next next year right. This yeah yeah yeah that is right and baseman Tony seventeen SA if pro first 2017 is our fiftieth anniversary. It's courting and an actual celebration events on April 1 no joke. And a. Ai and it's cool because it's it's actually fifty years to the day part their first meeting. Now as it is it fiftieth anniversary for the foundation. Award Villa Park hours ago. It's actually for the foundation itself the park was founded in 1933. So a lot earlier and but the wait we got started. Was because we'd have parks and rec commission in Sacramento. Saw this need for a group to form to acquire some the privately held parcels within the park. So in 1933. They drew the outer boundary around the park and basically create in a nice wish list. But there are still private citizens that held land inside the park and so we've been. Working ever since then to help acquire those acres and make them part of cancer break now what is the mission and the of the foundation. I this is a mouthful itself actually in Michigan and separate foundations to protect and preserve the natural landscapes wildlife heritage and cultural heritage. A van Breda desert state park for the benefit and enjoyment of present and future generations. Again that's a mouthful but it's it's kind of a symbolic gesture or well we do because what we do is really complicated. For the park but simply put it. We're just there to help them protect the park better. And there are several program areas that the foundation focuses on so can we talk about some of those so let's let's start without land conservation. What does that mean what are you doing in that area you know hire our roots are in. Land acquisition as I mentioned so for the first couple of decades of our existence week. We really plugged away to let that the land owners know that this was now a park. And if they'd be interested in selling their land we always worked with willing landowners if nothing persuasive about it. On to try to sell us their land so we did after about twenty years exclusively all volunteers. We originally formed under the desert protective council as the end to break a committee. In fact we were gathered and informed by some of the greatest minds in San Diego and conservation so natural history museum for instance and it's. We really had business interests in mind as well liberate a springs chamber of commerce was also part of that. And at the time I believe the Copley is of course owned the cost of sales our own so you know they were part of got a president that David but you know they were part of this vision of how can we really protect the park that surround the town of rate of strings swell. So where are a couple of years week for tablet Beckett that should say we acquired lands and we were able to add about 101000 acres in those first two decades. Yeah I'm pretty pretty spectacular and they were here originally 68000. Acres to be added to the park. We've now added some things on the kind of on the borders so I am today we've acquired over 54000. Acres and total. To be part of an advanced brain a desert state park but clearly we handle a little bit more attuned to go religious. There's more there is she gathered their feeling is that it you know with with land conservation and again working only with willing sellers sometimes it takes. A generational change our act. As life circumstance it said. Have those landowners can I have a change of heart and want to silence their land so. It slowed down significantly. But what has ramped up and over the last couple of decades in some of the programs that we've been able to work on in partnership with the park. So for example we've been working with our with a volunteer program that was cents created. And we have about 200 volunteers that work and and help run the park I mean it's spectacular amount of Lieber who have given through volunteers. The majority of those folks are there to help visitors they were in the visitor center. So they provide answers to questions like where should I go hi Erica and I find wild flowers are bighorn sheep for. I'm how about camping but they're also there to provide safety information as well because. That'd ranger staff that we have while they're wonderful wonderful people they are stretched very thin. So the more that are volunteers can emphasize hey here's how you can enjoy the desert safely. The easier the Rangers travelman become because you don't have to rescue them cry easily. How how big is the park now. The pocket and right now is let's see I believe it's about 600 and 35000. Acres including some of acreage that may be F currently holds has yet to be transferred up to the park. And then the remainder would be. The land that that's with in the outer boundary of the park that makes it about 650. The automakers and if I'm not mistaken park contains a hundred miles of hiking trails 500 miles of dirt roads. And several developed campgrounds yes yes credible it's huge it's huge you know a lot of people are surprised and you know they hear the term state park. Name might think of it as this kind of a small think person. On the coastal San Diego area we are state parks are often our beach is right a Torrey Pines and and Cardiff in Carlsbad. But it's you know and they're they're smaller acreage wise but when you hear or see park and San Diego it's you don't really think of it being something like national parks it's. In fact I it's true that this common misunderstanding that I come across a lot people often think it. It's a quote national park and they don't realize that the term national is just referring to the fact that the federal government manages that lay hands. And of course state park bandages. And the radio and some of our beaches and and and then there's county parks in the city parks Tanzanian it was well. And none people tend to use it as a term of of Koreans here Malick status symbol that it's a national park and sometimes we even say that ourselves. Well it's like national park. His fifth and let us run by the state but it's run by the state exactly. Just because it's so large in fact it's just a little bit under the size of Rhode Island for instance devious and size wise. And just under Joshua Tree national parks are definitely a pretty spectacular area also fun fact it's 20% of all of San Diego County. Land land mass why it's 20% yeah the majority of the park is actually in. San Diego County including the town of parade of springs that sits in the middle of that of the park. And then there's some of the part that goes into Riverside County in Imperial County goes. It goes from. Santa Rosa mountains so the south side of Palm Springs runs almost down to Mexican border. And act straddles highway eight for instance and then runs over to the 86 to highly six and near the something I'll. That's incredible under the program. Area is is outreach. Do you do this through several in part programs right that there's there's one program that I wanted to ask you then that's your. Bikes and bruise heal itself like a lot of Bob tells about that. We deal a couple of years ago Lee and you know I'm I'm personally a craft through lover and I figured gosh week. Continue to Kelly where the best place her craft beer ever right. So we got a ticket and is that a little bit so we. We started talking to sound very ballas points and senate that the guys have now become the very big guy is a country in our area. An and I said hey we we wanna encourage more people to come and exploit a part in would you be willing to kick in some beer that they can enjoy at the end of the weekend. And they civil gosh yeah why not yeah. So we did well this over the last few years we've added quite a few -- as well litter on the practice just as belching beat her up and this and hopefully they'll. They'll be able to help us out soon to use them lots of lots of folks things that we with hikes and hot suite take a hike in the park. Typically not a very strenuous hike by the fund hike social Ike and then finish off with a cold beard when we get back our cards. And now and think with the bike rides on the bike rides Camille Little harder consists sometimes they you know there's some soft sand and if you don't have those big fat tire exciting which by the air fantastic in the park fifth. Then you know I can be quite a workout at the same idea we go on and on a guided by cry aid and then conclude with a nice cold beer and we get back to. Ers that because that's the bikes a little more difficult than than the and walking yet more than one B Obama when you meet when you turn over. We of course we want that we wanna say that's it makes or they were all compliant with back and I'll come beverage control estimate and I've. I make. But yes we we do you wanna make senator and is safe of course that we guys have ample water around to make sure people hydrated to begin laying off so that the alcohol doesn't have that much of of an effect on folks that are also rush our staff that speed the hikes are at least attend the hikes. Are all trained in NC serving techniques just like bartenders are now now what other ways you reaching out of public. Welcome to let him know about yeah that you do there. What's what's there for them you know the folks that are enjoying the parks and like craft beer and that's definitely one audience that we have figured we'd reach out to make. Probably of the thing that's looming and we can have on on our horizon for our vision the next couple of years is just reaching more and different audiences. To enjoy the park so for example are now on minority majority state here in California right. And typically outdoor recreation is unfortunately still. Kind of a middle class whites experience and we and we know that that is I have to change. In our parks are gonna need to be protected by voting. Not a response needs vote aunts and protect our parks and so. If our voters. Over the next several decades and not the ones that are enjoying and protecting our parks then we need to be sure. There are reaching out to them so that's send a new audience for us as well. He's trying to reach out to them different demographic that's very different demographics exactly. And India have youth programs as well yes we do we have a couple of different things for her for kids. The visitor center is is really well equipped to handle children and families so it and school groups as well so by all means if if people are coming and visiting with children. Stop by the visitors center and get more information there. As a junior ranger program I think we're all kind of for mayor but that is. And it's it's on Saturdays in the afternoons and it's just a drop in program any kid can join. It's something that is funded good to see parks program but it but we contribute in fund a fair amount of that as well to the production program. And then we have more in depth education program as well and that's what we caught tampering ago. It's sin and after education program at three days two nights in Merced program that we ran in partnership with Cheney a canny outdoor Ed. I think everyone into and you probably remembers sixth grade camp up clean contest so the folks that brought to you can't claim I got. They've come in and they have it does a program as well most people don't know about that so. It stands thankful to be able to aid reached the next generation's need to encourage them again and fall in love with the park in value of the park a lot of times the desert. Is really scary you know it's serious. It can hurt you and you know if you if you don't plan. Well enough run they can literally hurt you with taxes that are rattlesnake bites or things like he had excellent heats and all that so but we try to do with our education programs is to just. Demystify that through education. It's not as scary place and it's actually a really wonderful and exciting place to explore. So the kids what what are they learning and learning about. Of the environments in an how to protect it yet they are there and they're learning some basic general skills like that they can they can apply to whatever and you wherever neighborhood they came from. But they're also learning specifically about the desert environments and how makes it different so. Some of the adaptation methods that plants and animals have learned in order to stand some that did that extreme temperatures that we experience for instance or. To be able to it said survive without food and water for very long time. And once they learn about that and they learn about habitat they also learn about earth science and weather patterns. But many just you know explore and wander. The longest data middle day for the kids this is a hike separate bill palm canyon. Where they go with the naturalist and just learn to experience what's around them you know it's not big bad that old saying let's not about that. And destinations about the journey you know and didn't stop an experience that. Along the way Islam as their cost any of these programs is definitely a cost of that's I can't program. And first shared a hearing just let this costs everything of course and sometimes they're under written in and made available for free it's actually one event. That I have reasons why we raise money to lead foundation raise money so that the park programs can remain free but then with something like that I can't program we've. It's in its twelfth here at CES since wealthier now and it's. The original vision was to completely. Underwrite that program for some schools and Sany OK honey. And unfortunately me and that's a model that's just not sustainable. We found that some funding trends have. Have changed in when I'm able to get some grants and things that we had hoped. I'm to be able to pride that's where we're an in a year long. Planning process they Kampman and trying to make that either. Hopefully continue to be Freeman may be in a different format but and we may end up having to charge for. The program as well and how can people sign up for these programs like he can't take it programme is is and something made that we eat is you have to contact us directly. We we've only over to the small handful of students because again that's that's stated the funding that we had available the time. But we're hoping to make that it failed to more schools so they can come and experiencing it and hand we're also looking at its. Some creative approaches to how to fund that as well also entrepreneurial. On methods that we can use the profits on businesses basically she didn't hunted to be able to send thank. The campers to camp for free. Now speaking of kids you also have school outings and field trips come into the come to the park in we Ngo yes yes it's fair journey for some schools so it's. It's difficult sometimes for them to spend it on it and a teacher that's what makes camp really special is they can come. Decompress. Spend a night inexperience are amazing night skies. And then experience meant the desert and in a full today. But absolutely Adam both of the park is equipped to handle school groups and visits and and we are as well we can we have a match host program. The foundation that is where we can provide a naturalistic oh around with eight a school group or really any group who'd be interested in learning more about the desert. And you mentioned Europe visitor center. Yeah this is kind of like from what I understand is kind of like and a separate entity all its own. It's a you know it's a pretty spectacular visitor center at eight wine and interpreted reward. Ten years ago is welfare it's displayed so it's. It's it isn't it's it's more like a museum then Bennett visitor center and it has wonderful displays about then the flora and Obama that exists in the park. But also the paleontology. In our our park is really. Rich with paleontology. And it shows you a little bit about that. Now. The in focus education seriously is this something that is at the parkers is through the foundation. Actually it's a partnership between answer break at desert state park. And to bring a foundation. And UC Irvine so I a couple of years ago we were able to form a this partnership. And build there a research center here in the desert in it's actually on and managed by UC Irvine. So it is a facility and it has dormitories and and small efficiency rooms. So that researchers can stay in and and go from there out into the park in and do their field of study. There's a working laboratory there's a classroom in an assembly facility and then yeah yeah that's really spectacular so our role as the foundation is to. Take what's happening with research in the park. As facilitated by the park and the research center in UC Irvine. And take that information to the public so we have a permanent we calling in to break out in focus. And it involves one researcher summon his sense of research in the park. And it's say it's a lecture an evening and a folks want a more in depth study they can go out with a researcher at the very next day and spend in the field. Doing what he or she does in the series yes. And it's been an annual for a research scholarships too don't you we do we do it and I'm very fortunate to attach some donors who've who again are investing in. In the next generation and making sure that this is an area that continues. So we have we have research scholarships in natural science just generally. Aren't apology. And cultural resources as well and how does how does somebody do I get one of those dollars. Yeah exactly well you do need to be doing work in the parking or at least an NF fielder it's related to the park. One of them is regarding all of the Senora desert night. We have an application cycle every year and then it's on our website typically in the fall so we just wrapped it up and I think in the next couple of weeks will be. Awarding the checks and I yeah. Now you mentioned earlier we've we've talked about just little bit about how you're celebrating your fiftieth. Anniversary this year yeah April 1 is is the ever happen again that's no joke. That is no doubt and definitely if Albert and because of that the stakes celebration you have a couple things going on. Now one is here around five hikes for fifty years campaign tells them that. Yes we wanted to challenge our audience and say hey this is an opportunity for you. To go and experience something new about the part you may have never seen before. So legally comment by thanks for fifteen years. And don't beat you go on all five of these tickets sell the honey to them we era and all social media have faced can instead Graham and Twitter. And you sent it yes will send you a little certificate signed might have been the park's superintendent and one of our officials and I think our board president as well. Another five tight that we think are kind of pinnacle iconic hikes finance a break go would be Prado palm canyon nature trail. The slot which is our feet past relative to the picture graft trail. Plus like mine and mountain Palm Springs so they're all fairly. User friendly shall we say hikes. By all means identity you know practice you're leave no Trace skills and plan hadn't prepared. But there there ran meant to be done and I suppose you could if you are very ambitious he could do all of them in one day that they meant to be done. Kind of periodically throughout the year. So it doesn't start at beginning your celebration at April 1 -- all do whenever all this as a season and who Galveston this season we've been promoting that the five hikes at any time. Anytime there rest of this season of course on all the way through calendar year Tony seventy. And and and the way you verify it is they have to have self fees yes we wanna see those self fees and an hash tag of five makes for fifty years. OK and there's no there's no signing up for this or anything is there. Don't know it's all done on your own hands so it's of folks can go there's there's information on red say. If you wanna get the names and as hikes again it's that they ABS dot org I believe it's currently on our home page senate should be pretty easy to find. And and that's real find information about where to go for the high aches and and how you can report back to us seeking day here. Your reward so I don't fun. And and and pretty interesting to I would think those areas that they're going to be traveling you. And really nice yeah they're beautiful beautiful parts of the park and in fact it's a neat opportunity to see the diversity within the park as well. For example I'm Catholic mine is gonna show you a lot of the geological features in the park. And then you've got a break the palm canyon which is is where we typically see our our wonderful beret goes are bighorn sheep. The iconic animal the park they hang out in those the rocky slopes of the canyon. So that yes there oh yeah yeah I can't see wildlife when you're hanging out on hand Prado. You know and although it's it's funny I've met people who have come every year for having their decades and I've never say. But and then there's people she ran out of the gates and you never know. They are wild of course am anyway you can you can hike up the canyon and seem to bighorn sheep and then you get to that event. Miller that and the middle of that event loop hike feel cius is then palm canyon oasis so it's a really spectacular area seat. Such a lush area in the middle of the desert it's. There's typically flowing water especially in the spring. And it's very green and and and that's wonderful place that to stop take a break take a lunch actually an end to violence happening in the oasis of green in the desert I know it happens it does happen. And if you mentioned Vietnam palm canyon very eagle eye. And now another thing you do for your fiftieth anniversary is your offering free weekends there. Is this for certain weekends. As it is sweetness that we hire an underwriting thanks in enlarged hearts you and the park foundation here in San Diego and also the California State parks foundation. We were able to under rates and a hundred. Admissions to preyed upon canyon so we have with calling them PPC for free separate upon canyon for free. Upon Kenny in this one of the of the I'm one of only to see areas in the park the rest of the park is completely free most people don't realize that as well. So they that they admission is ten dollars per car per vehicle and on those particular weekends. You can go and attend those for free the winds are coming at this lunch hour we've got on January 21 and twenty seconds. I'm and then February 11 and twelfth and march 25 and 26. Seeking ged and he can sign up in advance you do need to senate in advance on our website and you can get at pat hospital and get you in for free. Cool and and we mentioned at the beginning of the program we have just a few more minutes left but you are nonprofit we are organization. The fund raising arm for the State Department. Aside from year gift shop visitor center aside from that and the fees that we've mentioned here and there where else do you get your funding team to. To be able to do things you do. Absolutely from private citizens and philanthropy is so critical to it to the success of our of our state parks are parks in general. You know our budgets our government budgets don't cover everything a lot of people think and of course. In taxes pay for this job but it really doesn't we've. Over the years we've been able to help not only with education programs and outreach that we've been able to. Raise money for capital buildings literally. Acquiring land that the sea is unable to have to pay for itself. So I mean it's it's really critical to. Have people engaged and and donating to organizations that support parks like ours and if somebody wants to make a donation and I'll tell you with here with permission they can do that if your website I love that yes you can you can find information on on how to donate and there's lots of ways to donate to. It's that EDS dot all work. And there's that make the lots of ways to donate whether that's you know through shopping on and designer if you have an old vehicle we can also accepts donations and I gifts in in one's a states as well maybe not able to make a cash gift right now but this might be an area that you can. That you can help and and and cash the next fifty years for org you know this it's constantly changing in the needs of changing so we wanna make sure that this plan stays the same. Today announced forever. And volunteers you talked about how much volunteers you have that that help you. If somebody wants to help you in and become a volunteer how they do that absolutely we we the foundation have a smaller volunteer opportunities. But to volunteer fund and the volunteer programs I mentioned before that's very highly skilled so it's it's said several week training program I think it's eight weeks of training. That folks can go through there there will be a class this almost Karzai announced every other years when it's typically offered. So it's a new opportunities to come we asked I of at least four hours a month. They contribute so you don't have to live and bring us bring this contrived down and still volunteer and then going to the park for the rest of the afternoon. And if somebody wants to do that again all the information they need movie it at your website. Yes we have the volunteering is on our web sites. You could call our office semi. Okay and and you said that there's very few volunteer opportunities other than those training wants. What other opportunities are there. We always have any further for hype leaders her own heights we are free weekly hikes for members for ABF members and that I those on Tuesday morning so we always have any traffic leaders or. And then we always have we have you know office tasks in various things like that we we you have volunteer needs in the stores while. Okay great and and again your web site. It's does ABF dot org okay and you said your all of the social media yet you can finest integrate a foundation on Facebook. And so. What is our Twitter handle. I think Alex and to underscore operate out and then instead ran his hat into very now. All right great you know I've been in San Diego for just about 35 years now and have yet. To make it out there to check out state park them in half but that much to do list please daily walk me come and take bands on the free weekends you hope we will see a great pace thanks to be announced Saturday probably do the as a burrito. Foundation and answer the rate of desert state park. Thanks so much. That includes another addition of living better in San Diego the opinions expressed some living better San Diego do not necessarily reflect the opinions and views of the staff and management. Of the and it comes San Diego radio stations. Episodes of living veteran San Diego are available on the station's web site. Join me next week when my guess will be from the united way of San Diego County. Until then I'm Gary late.