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Kids Korps: Passport to Sustainability ‘A Voyage in Environmental Stewardship’

No doubt you have driven by it countless times: the lagoon east of the freeway off La Costa Blvd. Just as many times, you have probably wished you had time to stop, hike, and explore this breathtakingly beautiful coastal preserve where the delicate habitat and its abundant denizens are protected from encroachment by the surrounding civilization.

Sebastian Dos Santos, Raquel Dos Santos and Sasha Moscona Kruger clearing the Batiquitos Lagoon of invasive plants.
Sebastian Dos Santos, Raquel Dos Santos and Sasha Moscona Kruger clearing the Batiquitos Lagoon of invasive plants.

On Saturday, May 5, Kids Korps teamed up with the Batiquitos Lagoon Foundation to help restore this local coastal salt marsh. We convened at the Foundation’s Nature Center, where Fred Sandquist, Foundation President gave a brief talk about the natural habitat, native vegetation, and how important it is to restore them to their natural state.  Thirty-six Kids Korps volunteers then bounced down a long dirt pathway which winds around the lagoon, donning gloves, rakes, hoes, and shovels. Although miles of foot trails snake around the periphery, efforts were focused on specific areas of trail maintenance and removal of mustard and radish plants.

Energetic and eager, the team of Kids Korps volunteers, their parents, and local citizens set to work, clearing out old, lifeless, non-native plants and carrying them armload by armload to the large dumpster. There the break-down crew sawed, split, and stomped the withered trees and branches into small pieces for stacking in the container. With so many helpful hands, however small, the container filled quickly and soon our time was over. What could be better than honest, hard work in the sea air on a sunny day? Everyone felt sore but proud to have helped maintain our lagoon. Once speckled with non-native plants, animals and plants can live there now because of us. That is a very special knowledge. The estuary can now harbor rare wildlife with the intruders up and out. Doing a little thing can make a huge difference!

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Kids Korps’ “Passport to Sustainability: A Voyage in Environmental Stewardship” program will further Green Korps’ ongoing commitment to engage youth ages 5-25 as stewards of the environment through expanded service learning opportunities, and an ongoing series of educational seminars led by community experts. It will effectively broaden the depth and breadth of Green Korps by targeting quarterly focus areas including: Water Preservation, Habitat Preservation & Restoration, Recycling/Waste Reduction, and Natural Resource Conservation and Protection with a series of expert roundtables to complement the field education, and expanded service learning opportunities through volunteerism.  Thank you to SDG&E for your continued support of Kids Korps, our environment,and our commitment to instill the spirit of giving in our youth.

Earl Warren Middle School Teen Korps Ghana Book Drive

Earl Warren Middle School Teen Korps is a youth organization offering opportunities for teens to engage in community service. The Solana Beach Library partnered with them for a Book Drive to collect books and start the Twenedrase Community Library in Ghana, where they currently do not have a library at all. The new Twenedrase library will serve the general community and the K-8th grade students in the local school. The book drive, which ran through April at the Solana Beach Library, was a huge success, and the team of Teen Korps students, parent and Library volunteers collected and packed 15 boxes, including well over 1,000 books and other educational materials. The boxes were mailed to Ghana on May 7. For more information on the African Library Project or to inquire how to start your own book drive, please go to: https://www.africanlibraryproject.org/.

For more information about the Earl Warren Teen Korps, please contact: teenkorps@gmail.com

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Kids Korps’ Super Star Gala

More than 200 guests at Kids Korps’ annual Super Star Gala received the royal treatment on April 28 at “A Night at the Royal Ascot”, chaired by Christena Ferran and Marlene Holmquist.  Set in the beautiful grounds of the Del Mar Country Club, Kids Korps’ annual fundraising benefit featured real horses and young “jockeys” – Kids Korps youth members in traditional colorful silks – greeting attendees as they arrived. Guests were treated to scrumptious hors d’oeuvres, while strolling among the dozens of silent auction items, and enjoying horse racing memorabilia from Hall of Fame jockey Don Pierce who attended the event with his wife Penny.   A special opportunity drawing featured a pair of diamond and amethyst earrings, donated by Martin Katz Jewelers, valued at $25,000.

The evening, emceed by Yolanda S. Walther-Meade and Junior Emcee Alex Baker, featured a gourmet dinner, musical entertainment by Barrie Minniefield and his band, and performances by 16-year old Kids Korps member Elsa Eve, as well as a trumpet welcome by Ian Holmquist.  Kids Korps Program Director Robin Chappelow introduced the National Leadership honorees, including the Bobileff Family, the Scafidi Family, the Lichtenberger family, and the R. Roger Rowe School.

Guests were treated to a new Kids Korps video, featuring the youth volunteer “superstars” who are the backbone of our programs.  A live auction was followed by a Raise the Paddle to support Kids Korps’ Outreach programs in the community.  Following the auction, Barrie Minnifield and his band got guests out of their seats and onto the dance floor.

For more information on how you can get involved in helping plan Kids Korps’ next fundraiser, please contact the Kids Korps office at (760) 452-2676.

Our sincere thanks to our Gala sponsors: Martin Katz Jewelers, Bertrand & Denise Hug/Mille Fleurs Restaurant, California Bank & Trust, Dick & Barbara Enberg/Junior Seau Foundation, Hoehn Jaguar/ Land Rover, Maggie B/ Mister B, Bobileff Motor Cars, Chuck & Joani Wafer, Bill & Connie McNally, Dana Falk, Greater Good Realty. Media sponsors: Rancho Santa Fe Review, Ranch and Coast Magazine, FINE Magazine, GB Magazine, Cur8eur Magazine.

UPCOMING PROJECTS:

WHAT: Partners Therapeutic Riding

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WHEN: Sat. May 26 (8:30 a.m. - 12 p.m.)

WHERE: Lakeside

WHAT: Interfaith Community Services

WHEN: Sun. May 27 (4:30 - 7 p.m.)

WHERE: Escondido

WHAT: Sports for Exceptional Athletes

WHEN: Sat. June 1 (9 a.m. - 5 p.m. shifts)

WHERE: San Diego

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