By JENNIFER MORRISSEY
With summer over and school back in session, many of us adults seek new educational opportunities, accustomed to the learning a new academic year affords. Here at Mission Trails Regional Park, there are many ways to continue learning, and ongoing educational events can be found on our website, in our newsletter, and through our monthly e-newsletter.
Two special public programs offered this fall highlight the birds and plants of Mission Trails, and can both fill one’s desire for continued learning and bring some of the beauty of the park to your home environment.
Creating a backyard habitat
A well-planned garden can be a representation of nature and continually provide valuable habitat for birds, beneficial pollinators, and other wildlife species.
On Thursday, Oct. 24, Mike Evans, a foremost authority on California native plants, will be at Mission Trails to discuss the important role that native plants can play in home landscapes, and share ideas on how to bring the beauty of the park to your own backyard. Emphasis will be on how to design a home garden that incorporates native plants found in the park.
Mike Evans is founder and president of Tree of Life Nursery (TOLN) in San Juan Capistrano, and has produced and sold California native plants for over 40 years. TOLN is the largest native plant supplier in California and promotes a style of authentic horticulture, specifically the concept of appropriate landscaping with native California plants.
In addition to Evans’ presentation, attendees will have the opportunity to attend a special propagation workshop at Mission Trails with longtime volunteer Terry Gaughen on Saturday, November 2. For more information and to register, visit mtrp.org.
Birds along the trail
Regionally, the name Wendy Esterly is synonymous with birds and birding. A longtime volunteer at both Mission Trails Regional Park (MTRP) and the San Diego Natural History Museum, Wendy is an avid photographer whose stunning images of birds and other wildlife have been used in publications and exhibits. At both organizations, she is a volunteer trail guide and a member of the training team for future trail guides. At Mission Trails, she is the MTRP Nest Box Project’s co-coordinator and also monitors nest boxes during nesting season. She has served on the “Wonderful Wildlife of Mission Trails” exhibit committee and on the Nest Box Project exhibit at the MTRP Visitor Center, set to open this fall. Wendy is also the author of the recently published “Coloring Southern California Birds” by Sunbelt Publications.
On Nov. 14, Wendy will share photos of 20 birds commonly seen at Mission Trails Regional Park. Attendees will learn where to find the birds, the time of year they can be seen, hear their call or song, and find out interesting facts about the birds at the park. This presentation is suitable for all ages. Seating is limited; register at mtrp.org.
— Jennifer Morrissey is executive director of the Mission Trails Regional Park Foundation.