Archive | Environment

China Flat to Simi Peak with My Dad

Massive sandstone formation with rock shelters

Massive sandstone formation with rock shelters

My Dad and I went on another great hike! This time we went to China Flat and Simi Peak, which is the highest peak (2,043 ft) in the Simi Hills. April 9, 2014 was a beautiful day, and the wildflowers were blooming!

On April 11, I spoke with two representatives of the National Park Service for clarification on the Simi Hills, Simi Peak, and China Flat regarding their inclusion in the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area (SMMNRA). Kate Kuykendall, the Public Affairs Officer for the National Park Service’s SMMNRA, said that it was a complicated answer. Kuykendall explained that the Simi Hills are not considered part of the Santa Monica Mountains, but are part of the “Santa Monica Mountains Ecological Zone”, and portions of the Simi Hills are within the SMMNRA.

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Santa Cruz Bike Party Love Ride

Chopper Dave and the Happening Couch

Chopper Dave and the Happening Couch

“Santa Cruz Bike Party seeks cycling sweeties for casual roll-mance under full moon. All you need is love, and a trusty bike. Throw in a cute date, or meet someone bike-tacular on the ride, and its on!”

That was the Valentine’s card invitation from the Santa Cruz Bike Party to all cyclists, near and far, who are ready and willing to roll. The Santa Cruz Bike Party is a fun community ride on the 2nd Friday on each month, featuring different themes, routes, and music. It’s a party on wheels and a great way for people of all ages to make friends.

This month, the 2nd Friday was on February 14, Valentine’s Day, and a full moon. Cyclists converged at the Bicycle Church on Spruce Street at 6pm, sporting red and pink on their clothes and bicycles.

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Santa Cruz Joins Nationwide Vigils to Protest Keystone XL Pipeline

stop-keystone-xl_santa-cruz_1_2-3-14 Environmental advocates demonstrated at the clock tower in downtown Santa Cruz on February 3 — one of over two hundred across the U.S. — calling on President Obama to reject the controversial Keystone XL pipeline after the Administration late Friday issued a report supporting the pipeline.

The event was part of a national campaign led by CREDO, Rainforest Action Network, the Sierra Club and 350.org, among a host of other organizations.

They are calling on the president to keep his commitment to reduce carbon pollution and reject the pipeline, which will be a huge source of carbon pollution and clearly fails the climate test set by President Obama.

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Autumn at Fall Creek, Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park

Redwoods at Fall Creek

Redwoods at Fall Creek

Fall Creek, part of Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park in the Santa Cruz Mountains, is accessed in the town of Felton. I was an undergraduate student at UC Santa Cruz, majoring in Environmental Studies, when I first visited Fall Creek on a field trip with my Environmental Interpretation class taught by the wonderful Jenny Anderson. Ever since that class outing in 2001, where we learned about Fall Creek’s rich history and ecological diversity, it has been my favorite hiking spot in the area. On November 11, 2013, a beautiful autumn day, I hiked with a friend to the old limekilns and took a few photographs of trees and mushrooms during the excursion.

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Apple Harvest and Cider Pressing with Santa Cruz Fruit Tree Project

cider-press-party_6_9-28-13 On Saturday, September 28, the Santa Cruz Fruit Tree Project held their annual apple harvest and cider pressing party at the Live Oak Grange located at 1900 17th Avenue in Live Oak.

By 10 a.m., people started arriving at the grange, eager to harvest and make juice. Some people began preparing apples straightaway, while the rest of the group split up to harvest more apples from two different locations.

One group harvested apples from a location close to the grange, while the other group caravanned to an old orchard in Soquel. The orchard belongs to Farmer Bill, who previously owned and operated a pear orchard in the Santa Clara Valley.

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