Wildling Museum Hosts Summit on Outdoor Educational and Environmental Activities in the Santa Ynez Valley

On April 1, 2014 the Wildling Museum hosted a discussion of the outdoor educational and environmental activities in the Santa Ynez Valley. Twenty-two individuals attended representing a variety of groups, including the Cachuma Lake Recreation Area, Environmental Defense Center (EDC), Gaviota Coast Conservancy, Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes Center, Los Padres Forest Association, Los Padres ForestWatch, NatureTrack, Return to Freedom, Santa Barbara Mountain Bike Trail Volunteers, Santa Ynez Valley Botanic Garden Foundation, Santa Ynez Valley Natural History Society, SYV Fruit & Vegetable Rescue, UCSB Sedgwick Reserve, Visit the Santa Ynez Valley, Wildling Museum, and Women's Environmental Watch (W.E. Watch). The first gathering of its kind, the meeting brought these organizations together for a focused discussion and opportunity to share information on their key activities and initiatives. The outcome was a sense of community among the groups that promote an appreciation of the outdoors, as well as plans to collaborate on future endeavors and a commitment to meet again in the fall to further the discussion and involve other related organizations. The Wildling Museum is putting together a directory of organizations dedicated to outdoor educational and environmental activities that will be published on their website soon. In addition, the Wildling’s Wilderness Resource Center is currently featuring information on Sedgwick Reserve and looks forward to other groups displaying information for the Museum’s visitors to learn from.

Father Randall Day of St. Mark’s Episcopal Church facilitated the lively discussion as a volunteer, and has his own personal passion for the outdoors.  The Wildling Museum has organized a steering committee of volunteers which are led by new board member Joan Hartmann and are joined by Puck Lohnas of the Santa Ynez Valley Botanic Garden, Sue Eisaguirre of NatureTrack and Charlie Stauffer of the Santa Ynez Valley Natural History Society.  The Wildling Museum staff and board are grateful for their efforts in organizing this exciting summit and future ones which will promote more collaborations amongst the organizations and raise awareness in the community of their programs.