Local student joins chapter trek through Bolsa Chica reserve


We all need nature.

The Sierra Club creates opportunities for everyone to experience the transformative power of the outdoors. Getting out into nature improves our mental, physical and social health and encourages us to take an active role in protecting and preserving the environment, which is especially true for our young people.

The Angeles Chapter is thrilled to be leading day hikes again as we slowly and cautiously begin to reopen in-person activities. Our dedicated outing volunteers lead weekly hikes throughout our region (check out hikes and activities here). Join us and fall in love with a new corner of the world, even if it’s in your own backyard.

The following is a report and photos from a local Long Beach student who attended one of the chapter’s regular hikes to Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve. Many thanks to Ms. Cunradi, professor of biology at Wilson High, who often encourages students to join her on our hikes, and to Nick for her thoughtful article. We hope to see you back on the trails soon!

Nicolas hayes


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Bolsa Chica wetlands

Bolsa Chica is a beautiful natural public ecological reserve where you can find a lot of birds that migrate from all directions.

I recently visited Bolsa Chica on my trip with the Sierra Club where we walked around the entire reserve. On our first stop on the tour we were shown mounds of dirt that BMX riders used to jump on with bikes, it was perfectly fine a few years ago, although now it is illegal .

In Bolsa Chica, you can see a lot of wildlife such as coyotes, snakes, fish and lizards, but most of them are different types of birds. During my trip, I saw American white pelicans, mallards, tourniquets, willets, great egrets, snow egrets, ospreys, turkey vultures (which are distinguished from hawks because they have beaks white), California gulls, elegant terns and a few black skimmers.

Bolsa Chica was once Native American land, and believe it or not, the natives used the plants and wildlife of the area to make food. Some of these plants contain buckwheat, which people used as a flour substitute and most of them were able to make bread with it! Another plant found in the reserve is the pickle which in itself is indeed edible, but most natives used it in meals as a side dish or as a main course.

The birds in the area come in all kinds of different colors and sizes, and they all have different characteristics, for example, snow egrets have yellow legs while on the other hand, great egrets do not have legs. yellow like other birds. All birds lay eggs and most of them plant their eggs under the sand so that predators and other birds do not eat or take them. Most birds have different shapes and sizes of beaks, so there is no competition for food among the wildlife here.

Overall, Bolsa Chica is a great place to see wildlife and nature with no human construction to get in the way. One of the primary goals of the Sierra Club is to stop drilling for oils near the ocean. A few months ago there was an oil spill near Huntington Beach, California, and they even had to cancel an air show because of it. Fortunately, the Sierra Club was there and they were able to shut it down. I agree with these actions and would love to revisit the Bolsa Chica wetlands in the future.

Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve, Nick Hayes
Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve, Nick Hayes

Nicholas Hayes Pictures


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