Retreat for a Day Laura James Anthropology 102 Dr. Leanne Wolf
Nature CenterA nature center is an organization with a visitor center designed to educate people aboutnature and the local environment. This nature center is the Eaton Canyon nature center,located in the city of Pasadena, California in Los Angeles County. The center reliesentirely on donations and volunteers. “The staffs mission is to develop in children andadults an appreciation of nature and to preserve the area for future generations”(ecnca.org). This nature center is free for the entire family.
The StructureThis center is a 7,600 square-foot building and it contains four main places where space is utilized.The information desk, the exhibit containing live animals, the auditorium for classes orentertainment and a nature trail containing indigenous wild flowers. As you can see in the pictures,this is the main entry way. Here, you can see one boys waiting for his friend to come in to see theirfavorite part of the building; to see the live animals!
The Inside Donation box RestroomRight when you walk into the building you will see a square structure containing a replication of thecanyon outside. It is a birds eye view of what awaits families who want to explore the wilderness.When you press a button next to a picture on the top of the structure, it emits the sound; such asthe roar of a Mountain Lion. Notice the restroom sign on the left and the small donation box withmoney in it on the right. A visitor can donate in order to help the nature stay running every year andto help make sure that they have a clean restroom after a long drive.
Information DeskTo the right of the entryway, a worker is leaning on the information desk. This is the firstplace you go If you are a visitor and have questions about the area or educational eventsthat are being held in the near future. The desk clerk, who had to go into her office, wasnot in the picture, but when I asked her for information, she gave me all of the informationI needed to know. To the right, you can see a hiker with a backpack finding pamphletscontaining maps on local hiking trails.
Visitors CenterWhen thebutton ispushed, thebat lightsupInteractivebottom Entry way to the visitors centerBehind the worker and above the entryway, you can see the sign for the Visitors Center. This is theplace where children love to go and explore the live animals and life sized displays to make theirlearning experience fun. The main two ways that the space is utilized is the play area and theexhibit. The exhibit includes interactive displays, such as the botton being pressed at the bottom leftwhich lights up the diorama of the bat in a dark cave, above left.
Play area inside the Visitors Center Bulletin of paper birds. Cubby hole shelves Mobile book containersStuffedanimal/puppetsIn this space, small children can be occupied with the help of their parents by playing with stuffedanimal puppets that resemble the natural wildlife in the area or opening a book to read about them.The cubby hole shelves are extra storage space right next to the mobile containers for books, andabove that is a bulletin of paper birds left over from a class to educate kids about the wild birdsliving in the area.
Live AnimalsThis live animal display is further to the right of the children’s play area. This is where youcan get an instant education for the types of animals you may encounter when hiking.The display shows the Western Toad, the Southern Pacific Rattlesnake and the nonvenomous Coastal Rosy Boa at the bottom right. On the top right, the mother iscautioning her child not to touch the glass after reading the sign, because it will cause theanimals to go into stress from their fight or flight response.
Auditorium Projection screenOn the left of the entrance to the building is the auditorium. It is a place for the communityand visitors alike. They have lectures on funding or teaching sessions for students orfamilies. As you can see, citizens are arriving to the event and getting ready to beseated. In the background, you can see the projection screen. Once the event is over,people and staff clean up after themselves to utilize this room for the next event.
Nature Trail Wild Flowers River rocksJust. outside the building is their nature reserve that is maintained by the groundskeepers for the public. In thephoto you can see the botanical and geological features on the sides of the dirt trail. Local river rocks frame thesides to define a foot path and the beautiful indigenous flowers that bloom during the spring. Here, its obviousthat volunteer landscapers and gardeners worked to make a foot path and made sure to spread wild flower seedsto bloom in sunny areas. As you hike the trail, you notice it is teaming with life. From the sounds of birds to thebutterfly top right.
Students at the Nature CenterAs the trail winds around the property, there can be outdoor art classes or places forpeople to sit and relax. It is common to see signs on the trail, such as caution signsabout fire ecology or about wildlife and plants. Top left, a student artist and his paintingtop right. Bottom left, people talking and at bottom right, the sign is placed in plain view,warning against poison oak and rattlesnakes. The landscaping of the nature center wasjust enough to make it people friendly and to preserve the wilderness around it.
Works Cited"Eaton Canyon Nature Center Associates Home Page." Eaton Canyon Nature Center AssociatesHome Page. Web. 26 Apr. 2012. <http://www.ecnca.org>.