Cornucopia’s Environmental Learning Center is located on an acre of land at the rear of Malibu High School next to the tennis courts (click here for map). This degraded piece of land was overgrown with fennel and weeks. We hand-cleared this acre with workers and volunteers using no herbicides or pesticides. As you probably know, fennel is a very strong determined plant with a deep taproot. Clearing it by hand, and re-clearing and re-clearing took months and months of back-breaking work.
It was all worth it once we planted the native and drought tolerant gardens which are now home to all manner of birds, lizards, pollinators, little critters and a very brazen, inquisitive bunny.
We’ve completed the shaded natural teaching amphitheater, planted wind screens, and the worm farm (the red wigglers are in residence and eating away producing their wonderful rich castings for the gardens) We’ll next work on the yurt, secret garden, more picnic tables for eating and working, the pond, greenhouse and tool shed.
Best of all, the teachers and children are in residence. It is presently being used by the Before and After School Enrichment Program, Summer Program and also a Science Teacher. Needless to say, the class mascot iguana is in total heaven to be out in Nature.
In October, another Malibu school will participate in a riparian restoration project on the degraded stream that runs along the side of this property and down to the ocean. When we first found the stream, it wasn’t even flowing in this area – it was hidden underneath big chunks of asphalt and plywood that had been thrown into the creek. You can imagine what other kinds of junk were also thrown into this creek.
We did an initial clearing of the stream area, but realized it would be such a teaching opportunity for students to be involved with the restoration of a watershed.
We also envision wonderful music, plays, art, poetry, writing, history and math classes here (what better place to learn the Fibonacci sequence or fractals than Hands On/Minds On in this Nature classroom
It is our firm belief that the future of our Planet is not by chance… It is by choice. We hope that sustainability will be your choice as well, and that you’ll consider supporting Cornucopia with donations (money or in-kind) or volunteering.