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Mono Basin Outdoor Education Center receives many pairs of donated boots

Thursday, August 8th, 2019 by Miranda, Outdoor Education Instructor

The Mono Basin Outdoor Education Center (OEC) staff have been busy this season with a different group every week. Students of all ages, often from Los Angeles, spend five days with us, camping, hiking, and canoeing. They learn about the Mono Basin, where their water comes from, and how to cherish and preserve natural spaces and resources.

OEC students from Modesto’s Camp Cricket hiked up Bennettville Dome in boots generously donated by members. Photo by Miranda Norlin.

Each group brings new and wonderful adventures, but it takes hard work and support from many people to make sure students are prepared and to—literally—get boots on the ground. Most participants don’t have all the equipment needed to hike and recreate outdoors, so we turn to the OEC closet to find what they need.

We put out a call for gently used boots in the most recent Mono Lake Newsletter and received an awesome response! (more…)

Trail Chic: Lee Vining’s fashion icons emerge to support outdoor education

Monday, July 29th, 2019 by Ellie, Mono Lake Intern

Mono Lake Committee staff and other Lee Vining residents hit the astroturf runway on July 20 for the Eastern Sierra’s most anticipated event of the year—the Trail Chic Fashion Show Fundraiser.

This year’s group of runway walkers at the Trail Chic Fashion Show Fundraiser. Photo by Elin Ljung.

A fundraiser for the Mono Lake Committee’s Outdoor Education Center (OEC) Access Fund, the Trail Chic Fashion Show raised enough money this year to bring nine future OEC groups to the Mono Basin for five days of life-changing outdoor activities while learning about the source of their water. (more…)

Trail Chic fashion show fundraiser this Saturday

Thursday, July 18th, 2019 by Arya, Communications Director

You’re just going to have to trust us when we say, “you do not want to miss this fashion show!”

When: Saturday, August 26 at 7:30pm
Where: Lee Vining Community Center
What: An AstroTurf runway, the latest in trail fashion, Barefoot Wine & Bubbly (for a donation), trail snacks, and a silent auction
Admission: FREE! (but bring your wallet to support the cause)

The funds raised support the (more…)

Mono Lake is rising

Monday, July 8th, 2019 by Robbie, Restoration Field Technician

Last month we measured Mono Lake’s level as 6382.2 feet above sea level on June 3. This month we measured 6382.7 feet, an impressive half-foot rise. This falls right in line with our “likely range” forecast, with more lake rise to come in July.

A Mono Basin Outdoor Education Center group from Los Angeles touches the lake water at South Tufa. Mono Lake is expected to rise another foot this year. Photo by Miranda Norlin.

Be sure to check back with us in August—hopefully Mono Lake will rise past the 6383-foot threshold.

Celebrating World Migratory Bird Day with local students

Tuesday, July 2nd, 2019 by Rose, Education Director

World Migratory Bird Day (WMBD) was established in 1993 to connect people who live in important migratory bird wetland habitats from across the globe. It is a celebration of these various ecosystems, the birds that inhabit them, and the people who are trying to help save these wetlands.

Lee Vining Elementary School students birding at the County Park boardwalk for World Migratory Bird Day. Photo by Rose Nelson.

This spring the Mono Lake Committee partnered with students from our local Lee Vining Elementary School to celebrate WMBD and discuss this year’s theme:  Protect Birds: Be the Solution to Plastic Pollution. The goal of WMBD 2019 is to (more…)

It’s the season for interpretive activities at Mono Lake

Sunday, June 30th, 2019 by AnnaLisa, Mono Lake Intern

Summer is a busy time in the Mono Basin, and the birds aren’t the only ones making the most of the warmer temperatures and longer days! Whether it is your first or fiftieth visit to the area, there are a variety of exciting interpretive programs for the whole family available at and near Mono Lake this summer.

Join a 10:00am or 6:00pm free South Tufa tour to learn about Mono Lake from a naturalist guide. Photo by Bartshe Miller.

Gain an understanding of the ecology and history of the lake by stopping by charismatic South Tufa for one of the free, hour-long tours at 10:00am and 6:00pm every day, where you’ll have the hands-on opportunity to get to know the fascinating ecosystem and political history of the lake with the guidance of a naturalist. While the tours are free, South Tufa is (more…)

2019 Mono Lake Committee Scholarship recipients

Saturday, June 22nd, 2019 by Rose, Education Director

Since 2008, the Mono Lake Committee has supported local students by awarding two $1,000 scholarships to Mono County high school seniors. This year we asked applicants to get close to the shoreline of Mono Lake without distractions and jot down what they saw, heard, smelled, and felt around them. Then to reflect on the question: Why do places like Mono Lake matter?

The answers were quite moving from all applicants, but two essays rose to the top. We are pleased to announce this year’s recipients—Orion Ellis from Mammoth High School and Sophia McKee from Lee Vining High School.

Rose Nelson with scholarship recipients Orion Ellis and Sophia McKee. Photos by Rose Nelson.

(more…)

Summer 2019 Mono Lake Committee staff migrations

Friday, May 31st, 2019 by Jessica, Office Director

The 2018 Mono Lake Committee staff; 2019 staff arrive today! Photo by Elin Ljung.

Incoming seasonal staff are like spring flows in the creeks, bringing excitement, growth, and renewal to the whole Mono Basin. Without them, our extensive education programs at the lake and in the Information Center & Bookstore would be nearly impossible, and their zest for all things Mono Lake reminds us why we are all here.

We have two staff returning this year. Ava Stavros is back for her third year as an Outdoor Education Instructor after a winter working at The Lift café, a new woman-owned business in June Lake. Alison Kaplan will once again be leading weekend tours as the Canoe Coordinator after working for the Land Conservancy of San Luis Obispo County over the winter.

Information Center & Bookstore Assistant Kevin Brown has a wealth of retail experience in addition to experience as (more…)

2019 Andrea Lawrence Award presented to Elsa Lopez

Friday, May 10th, 2019 by Anna, Philanthropy Director

Community members, friends, and family of Andrea Mead Lawrence gathered at Mammoth Mountain’s Parallax Restaurant on May 3 to present Los Angeles community leader Elsa Lopez with the 2019 Andrea Lawrence Award.

Current and former Mono Lake Committee staff with Quentin Lawrence and 2019 award recipient Elsa Lopez (second and third from left). Photo by Andrew Youssef.

Elsa is a pioneering educator and activist committed to strengthening the link between Los Angeles and Mono Lake. Beginning in the 1980s, Elsa engaged her organization, Mothers of East Los Angeles–Santa Isabel, in the successful implementation of LA’s ultra-low-flush toilet retrofit program, creating effective water conservation solutions in her community. (more…)

Birds galore in the Mono Basin

Thursday, May 9th, 2019 by Nora, Lead Naturalist Guide

On Saturday, May 4, I participated in the eBird Global Big Day, which encourages birders around the world to contribute to citizen science efforts by birding and entering checklists into eBird on a single day.

Green-tailed Towhee singing from a pinyon pine. Photo by Nora Livingston.

I decided to use this Big Day as a chance to scout my local hotspots and catch up with migration. In the past two weeks, neotropical migrants have been moving north to their breeding grounds, so there have been new species arriving daily. As the (more…)

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The Mono Lake Committee is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization.