Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Highlights for the week ending June 18th

Educational and environmental field trip to the Piñones State Forest:
This week we had one of the most rewarding activities of our educational program. Our Education Manager, Javier Cardona, and AmeriCorps VISTA volunteers Helen Angell, Ivangs Rivera, Laura Fidalgo, and Diana Ferro, guided a group of twenty six (26) youngsters from different correctional institutions of the Island. They identified and classified the flora and fauna of Piñones and talked about the importance of the watershed’s environmental resources. Also, during the trip, the boys performed water quality monitoring tests in the Piñones lagoon.

Bird census:
Our AmeriCorps VISTA volunteers and other members of the SJBEP explored a bird census' route by the Chiclana Creek in Caimito on June 15th. VISTA Laura Fidalgo, our Fauna Specialist, identified over 20 bird species and 7 plant species during the trip into this beautiful and diverse ecosystem. Community leader Juan Cruz served as our guide and told us about the history of Chiclana residents’ activism to get back the creek from an adjacent developer who filled it with sediment and rocks to build over it. The AmeriCorps VISTA group documented the expedition, which is part of their ecosystem-based economic growth initiative within estuarine communities.

Old San Juan and SJ Bay Educational Field Trip for over 100 Students:
Our Education Manager, Javier Cardona, with the assistance of our VISTA volunteers and staff, guided a big group of students from the Ponce de León School through the San Juan Bay, on May 17th. These students and their parents enjoyed a wonderful educational trip that began with a short workshop in our Visitor Center. The students and teachers performed water monitoring tests, cleanups and solid waste inventory.

Summer camps are here!
This week, our enthusiastic group of AmeriCorps VISTA volunteers and other members of the SJBEP conducted various workshops in different community summer camps. On June 14th, VISTA volunteers Helen Angell, Laura Horta, and Diana Ferro led a talk about the history and importance of the Capetillo Urban Forest at the Summer Camp of the Capetillo Community.  VISTA Volunteers Rosana Betancourt, Laura Fidalgo, and Ysabel Díaz participated in this activity, and conducted workshops about trash on the street and guided a bird census.  On June 15th, our Water Quality Monitoring Coordinator, Harold Manrique, participated in an educational field trip in the community of Las Curias, San Juan. Our coordinator offered a talk to 70 students of diverse ages from the San Juan Municipality Summer Camp.

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