CLEARLAKE— Thursday at the Judge’s Breakfast forum in Clearlake guest speakers Henry Bornstein with the Anderson Marsh Interpretive Association, Chris Glenn, supervising park ranger for Lake County and Kaylee Williams, park ranger, interpreter discussed the county’s two state parks – Clear Lake State Park and Anderson Marsh State Historic Park during California State Parks Week.
Bornstein’s presentation included current happenings at Anderson Marsh and their plans for the future, noting that the Marsh is celebrating its 40 year anniversary this October 1. The park hosts a monthly guided tour with a different trail each tour which gets shorter in the late Summer months . Bornstein said he looks forward to their annual New Year’s Day Hike at Noon, part of a nationwide program whose goal is to start the year off right. Recently Anderson Marsh acquired two grants to aid in conservation efforts, one of which was, according to Bornstein, the “Entrance Meadow Rehabilitation Project which was part of a wildfire suppression grant given to us by the California State Parks Foundation, which is a nonprofit organization .” This project included prescribed burns and the replanting of native plants and oak trees. The other grant was for their Senior Days Program where the Marsh is partnering with senior centers and hospitals with transportation to get seniors and those with disabilities out into the park. This is a pilot program that will begin next Spring.
Each in the series of Guided Nature Walks is led by a volunteer State Parks docent. Recent hikes have covered parts of the Cache Creek Nature Trail, the Marsh Trail and the Ridge Trail. These hikes are over mostly level terrain and cover about three miles at a leisurely pace. The hikes last between one and two hours. Hikers normally are encouraged to bring binoculars and meet in the parking lot at 8:15am in time to experience the early morning wildlife that can be found in the Ranch House and Barn complex yard – the walks begin at 8:30am.
There is no charge for the guided nature walk and parking is free for those attending. Anderson Marsh State Historic Park is located on Hwy 53, between Lower Lake and Clearlake.
Chris Glenn spoke about the re-opening of the Visitor’s Center at Clear Lake State Park which has been closed for two years due to the pandemic. Glenn also mentioned staffing issues and the immediate need for lifeguards stating, “A lot of times we get somebody come and take a job from out of the area and they transfer out as soon as they can. I also started a seasonal lifeguard program and it was very difficult to get started but it’s growing.”
With re-opening comes the need for new programs and the revival of old ones, and that’s where Williams comes in, running the multitude of educational programs at the park. For example, they have a Junior Ranger Program every Saturday for kids ages 7 to 12 years old. Williams detailed the class. She said, “I take them through 12 different subject areas related to ecology, natural resources, cultural resources, and just basic stewardship for the land. We really want to instill this appreciation for natural resources and the park and that can start pretty early if you spark some interest in kids.” They also have a story walk on the second Saturday of each month which is part of a statewide program advocating literacy where families can walk a self-guided tour around a designated trail reading a posted story along the way followed by a craft activity at the end . The park also hosts campfires on the weekends and will be having the Friends of the Taylor Observatory on August 20 inviting kids of all ages to check out the stars with their telescopes.
More information on Lake County’s State Parks can be found on their websites clearlakestatepark.org and parks.ca.gov. The Judge’s breakfast takes place weekly at the Highlands Senior Center in Clearlake. More information and a schedule of upcoming topics and guests can be found on their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/JudgesBreakfast