The largest wetlands in California sits on Ormond Beach in Oxnard, California, home to a dozen species of birds that are either endangered or a species of concern, due to constant degradation of the land. With over 200 total species of birds, other natural inhabitants and the opportunity for hands-on education, the Ventura County 4-H All-Stars worked with the city and the Director of Ormond Pointe, to help restore a portion of the wetlands.
How has 4-H helped?
The Ventura County 4-H All Stars built a walking trail at Ormond Beach, south of Hueneme Road in Oxnard. Ormond Beach is the largest continuous wetland in California and is an EPA superfund site — a former hazardous waste site that has undergone extensive clean-up in order to be re-established for safe and productive use. In addition to providing a safe place for physical activity and observing nature, the trail features educational displays highlighting information about bird species and ideas for including flexibility and strength development in daily exercise. “We want to relate the featured exercises to the movements of the diverse birds that live in the wetlands. For example, the blue heron stands on one leg. When visitors learn about the Blue Heron, they will also stand on one leg, strengthening their abdominal muscles and improving their balance,” said Dayle, one of the 4-H members leading the project. The Ventura County 4-H members hope to inspire others in their community to get active and practice healthy habits.
We want to relate the featured exercises to the movements of the diverse birds that live in the wetlands. For example, the blue heron stands on one leg. When visitors learn about the Blue Heron, they will also stand on one leg, strengthening their abdominal muscles and improving their balance. - Dayle
Ventura County 4-H partnered with the City of Oxnard and the Ventura County Master Gardener Program to make their dream a reality. The new walking trail will be used by a variety of nature-loving visitors, including children participating in the Ormond Wetlands Outdoor Classroom Program. We still remember the first time we brought 4-H members out to the site. Their joy in helping us with this project was exciting. The kids loved working out in nature. We had over 300 4-H members, leaders, teachers, professors, church groups, boy scouts, Oxnard City Corps members, military kids and naturalist help us work on the path. We had our very successful grand opening of the path on April 21, 2012. Over 150 people attended including the mayor of Oxnard, politicians, school board members and naturalists. The path will now be used by community members and school children.