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Take a hike 

Arroyo Grande

A letter from Lucia Casalinuovo (“Ban offroading,” Nov. 13) complained that Oceano State Park, though an “enchanting and educationally valuable site”, was not fulfilling its potential because of lack of educational opportunities for the public. I am very happy to correct misperceptions in the letter.

The Nature Center in the park is open five days a week in the summertime and on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays in the winter. The hours are 1 p.m to 4 p.m. There are always docents available to answer questions and we have interactive learning opportunities for children.

Hikes are led around the lagoon on a regular basis and can be found by checking Adventures With Nature in the local papers, the postings in the park, or at The hikes vary and can be about birds, plants, beavers, or our local Native Americans. There is something for everyone and children are always welcome.

We also conduct an educational program throughout the school year, which offers third-grade students an opportunity to learn first-hand about the lives of the Chumash Native Americans. Last year we hosted 31 groups for a total of 1,620 students. Next year, second graders will be eligible.

I think I speak for all of us docents when I say that we donate our time because we love nature and enjoy sharing our experience with the public. We would not be able to do any of this without the assistance and support of state parks personnel and the Central Coast Natural History Association.

Please stop by to see us at the Nature Center. We would be very pleased to give you more information and perhaps you might also think about becoming a volunteer or docent.

-- Terri Jackson - State Park Docent

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