Sunrise light on a grove of tufa towers emerging from the water of Mono Lake with soft green and dusty-red wild grasses in the foreground, Canada geese in the shallow water with reflections of the rocky towers, and desert hills in the distance.

Braving the cold to learn (and give back) at Mono Lake

Students from Communites for a Better Environment on top of Panum Crater, Novemter 2012.
For science! Students reach the top of Panum Crater on a chilly November day. Photo by Bartshe Miller.

The temperature was maybe 30 degrees Fahrenheit in the sun, but the wind made it feel much colder. Students, used to much warmer temperatures, shook off the cold and hiked up one of the Mono Basin’s most dramatic classrooms: Panum Crater.

Hosted by the Mono Lake Committee and Communities for a Better Environment (CBE), these 12 students came from Los Angeles for a week of programs and activities at the Mono Basin Outdoor Education Center (OEC). After getting their hands on Mono Basin geology, the students helped rehabilitate the trail up to the crater dome, blocking access to unsafe user trails, and restoring a portion of the main trail against erosion and shortcuts. These students are already familiar with service work since they all are active in CBE youth programs, which stress empowerment and taking action for the benefit of their communities.

This is the last group of the 2012 OEC season, and the third CBE group to travel to Mono Lake this year. Great things happen at Mono Lake, in the field, and this week is another example of people, agencies, and organizations coming together for education and stewardship. The Mono Lake Committee, Communities for a Better Environment, the Water Repleneshment District of Southern California, the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power, and the Inyo National Forest all helped to make this week a great experience for 12 students—all excited to see how far their watershed reaches, and to understand how they are connected.

The last Mono Basin Outdoor Education Center group of 2012.
CBE students on the Panum Crater Trail braving the wind and cold for a volcanic adventure. Photo by Bartshe Miller.

One comment

  1. Good report Bartshe. I told them it would be cold. I enjoyed meeting this group and their parents when I did their pre-trip orientation with Ale Guzman, a student at Roosevelt High School. Roosevelt was the group just before this one and this is one of the ways students can stay involved once they return from their trip.