Inside the Outdoors gives back to the community during MLK Day service events

Boeing volunteers in a nature preserve
Representatives from the Boeing Co. join the Inside the Outdoors Foundation and others to remove invasive plants from the Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve on Saturday, Jan. 14. More than 100 volunteers, including students from local schools, took part in the effort.

Students and staff from OCDE’s Inside the Outdoors environmental education program once again honored Martin Luther King Jr. Day by engaging in community service over the extended weekend.

On Saturday, Jan. 14, more than 100 volunteers from local schools and representatives from Boeing, Wells Fargo, the Girl Scouts and OneOC joined the Inside the Outdoors Foundation to restore a native habitat at the OC Parks’ Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve.

Children from Irvine
Students from the Irvine Unified School District pitch in at the Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve.

We’re told volunteers removed over 100 60-gallon bags of invasive plants, enabling native plants to re-establish. The preserve is ecologically significant as one of California’s last remaining coastal estuaries, and it’s also the site of frequent Inside the Outdoors field trips. Each year, hands-on science lessons are presented there to more than 4,000 second- and third-graders.  

Meanwhile, two days later, more than 300 students from the Anaheim Elementary School District and the Anaheim Union High School District spent the morning cleaning up Paul Revere Park and its surrounding community. Inside the Outdoors also participated in the Jan. 16 event, leading art and science activities designed to connect students to the natural world.

“Students created art from natural objects commonly found at parks as they learned how to create memories and have fun in nature while leaving only footprints,” said Lori Kiesser, development officer for Inside the Outdoors.

As we reported previously, ITO has partnered with the Anaheim Elementary School District to make hands-on environmental education field trips and Traveling Scientist programs available to every student in the district.

We should also add that the Paul Revere Park clean-up was one of a number of community service projects undertaken by about 4,000 Anaheim Union High School District students during their third annual Servathon event. You can read more in this Orange County Register story.

Oh, and all of the above good deeds will be logged as part of the One Billion Acts of Kindness campaign.