It was a beautiful foggy morning in Trinidad, California last Saturday, July 20th–the final weekend of Latino Conservation Week–and perfect for introducing some new people to tidepool exploring! Friends of the Dunes’ Vanessa Muñoz and Trinidad Coastal Land Trust’s Sabrina Paredes were ready to lead a Spanish/English Bilingual Low Tide Walk at Trinidad State Beach.
Our organizations both have similar goals of protecting and conserving the natural environments along the Humboldt Coast, and also share the goal of educating the public about nature and inspiring people to strengthen their connection to the environment. Guided nature walks are a great way to strengthen these connections.
Currently, the Trinidad Coastal Land Trust organizes a series of summer environmental educational walks, but only English walks are available. The TCLT has not organized many Spanish walks in the past, so we put together this Spanish educational walk to expand opportunities for environmental education to Humboldt County’s Latino community.
“Language barriers discourage participation from a lot of nature walks, and it’s essential for organizations to provide community members with resources that meet their needs. Bilingual outings bring people and nature together through language, and the bilingual intertidal exploration walk allowed us to bring the wonders of the tide pool ecosystem to a broader audience.”
– Vanessa Muñoz, Education and Stewardship Coordinator at Friends of the Dunes
Both Spanish and English speakers who attended the low tide walk were thrilled to scramble over the slippery rocks and dodge waves in search of rock crabs, giant green sea anemones, and ochre sea stars. We were even lucky enough to spot a sea star eating a mussel! (Photo below.) Participants included children and adults who enjoyed learning about tide pool ecosystems in their own unique ways. Some people wanted to learn more about tide pool ecology, some were especially interested in identifying seaweeds, and others just wanted to explore the rock crevices for crabs. Everyone enjoyed learning some words in a new language.
Environmental education is an essential tool for inspiring and empowering the public to become involved in conservation. It’s important that educational walks like the Bilingual Low Tide Walk are available to everyone. People are more likely to protect what they love, which is why developing a personal connection through firsthand, direct experiences is so key. These experiences can be made more available through methods such as language, accessible locations and targeted outreach to underserved audiences.
We were thrilled to have had such a successful tidepooling day. If you would like to join us on future outings or receive notifications about future events, please email [email protected] to sign up for our newsletter.