Mary Golden is the Executive Director of the Central Coast Natural History Association, a private nonprofit working in partnership with our local State Parks to support and fund science and nature education from Pismo State Beach to Harmony Headlands State Park. She welcomes stories and comments at MaryGolden@slocoastjournal.com.
Time to Play
by Mary Golden
Is there anything better than getting dirty? Mud between your toes, watching fireflies at night, letting your shirt dry on your back in the sun, learning something about the natural world from somebody older and wiser, perhaps even as old as 25?
Luckily, here on the Central Coast, our play time is all year, but this month, I want to highlight summer activities for families and kids in our local State Parks.
July 10: Pecho Ranch Day, 10 am-2pm.
Come and celebrate our coastal ranching history at Spooner Ranch House at Montana de Oro State Park. There will be "chores" and games from the coastal ranching era, 1880-1220 including, "milking the cow." Enjoy era delicacies like strawberry jam and bread, local plant identification, living history presentations like quilting, and petting the ranger’s horse! This event is free and open to the public.
Junior Rangers Morro Bay and Pismo State Beach
Every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday (with the exception of July 10 weekend).
Nature activities for children ages 7-12. These include topics such as Making Animal Tracks, Safety and Survival skills, Making Paper, Tide Pool Critters, Learning from the Chumash, and Making Pictographs. Activities and locations vary. Collect stamps in your Junior Ranger Logbook and collect various prizes. Free.
For the Morro Bay area, check with State Park Campground Entrance Stations or the Museum of Natural History (805 772-2694) for the upcoming week. For Pismo State Beach, contact Jenna at 805 773-7170. Also, check the Pismo State Beach Junior Ranger schedule.
Summer Discovery Day, Pismo State Beach
On the fourth Saturdays of June, July, and August, learn about nature from interpreters through walks, talks, touching furs, looking at skulls, and indentifying scat. Ewww! Contact Jenna at 805 772-7170. Free and open to the public.
Insect Exhibit at the Museum of Natural History at Morro Bay State Park. Are you fascinated by bugs and thrilled by creepy crawlies? This exhibit is for you! Entrance to the museum is free for children under 12, $3 admission for adults.
California Outdoor Bill of Rights
Every child should have the opportunity to:
- Discover California’s Past
- Splash in the water
- Play in a safe place
- Camp under the stars
- Explore nature
- Learn to swim
- Play on a team
- Follow a trail
- Catch a fish
- Celebrate their heritage
Get out there and make some memories!