Canyon Day at Mesa College Set for April 12

San Diego Mesa College launches its first Canyon Day -- an annual event when students, faculty, and staff join members of the community to celebrate, educate, help protect and preserve Tecolote Canyon -- on Saturday, May 3 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The free, family friendly event focuses on outreach, education and awareness around the issues of conservation of the environment and preservation of the Tecolote Canyon. Canyon Day is preceded by Canyon Clean-up, which will be held Saturday, April 12 from 9 to 11 a.m.

Canyon Clean-Up Will Ready the Canyon for Nature Walks

Led by Ranger Janice Lavallee of Tecolote Canyon Natural Park, this effort of students, faculty and community residents will clean up and ready the Tecolote Canyon trail in preparation for canyon walks that will be conducted during Canyon Day on May 3.  Anyone interested in participating in this hands-on effort to remove invasive species and restore the Tecolote Canyon habitat to its natural state is invited to meet at the Tecolote Canyon entrance located at the intersection of Genesee Avenue and Marlesta Drive at 8:45 a.m. on Saturday, April 12.

Canyon cleanup activities will include trash and invasive species removal. Tools and supplies will be provided; please wear long pants and close-toed shoes.

Free Information Fair, Festivities and Fun Family Activities Set for Canyon Day…

On May 3, Canyon Day will open with a traditional Native American blessing by Jane Dumas, a respect tribal elder of the Jamul Band of Kumeyaay Indians. Welcome remarks will be made by Councilmember Donna Frye and Mesa College President Rita M. Cepeda.

Following, participants can choose from a host of activities and workshops, including vendor and information booths. Hands-on activities for children coordinated by the MET High School students include arts and crafts with recycled materials, and opportunities to create bird feeders with natural materials and paint a peace mural. Separate canyon walks for children and adults will led by trained volunteers.

The idea of Canyon Day evolved in January, 2007, when the San Diego City Council considered a request to construct the Mesa College parking structure and police substation at the head of a branch of Tecolote Canyon. Under the leadership of Councilmember Donna Frye, the City Council and the San Diego Community College District agreed that Mesa College would sponsor an annual community educational experience.

San Deigo Mesa College wholeheartedly embraced the recommendation as an extension of its efforts to use the canyon as textbook. Bordered on the south and west sides by Tecolote Canyon, Mesa College has always been committed to Tecolote Canyon and its preservation. Geology Professor Don Barrie, Biology Professor Leslie Seiger and other faculty members have for years used the canyon as a living textbook to enhance classroom learning.

"Canyon Day and the canyon clean up preceding it represent the best example of synergy of an idea whose time has come," said Mesa College President Rita M. Cepeda. "This is an opportunity for us all to 'think green' and demonstrate how to respect nature and the environment. On Canyon Day, we will take our involvement even further by engaging our surrounding community, parents and their children with our own students faculty and staff in an effort to learn about the Canyon, enjoy its natural beauty, and most important of all, become active in preserving it for the future."

More information on Canyon Day is available at www.sdmesa.edu/canyonday. Interested community groups and businesses should call 619-388-2699.

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