Environmental Club members team up with FoLAR to restore local fire-damaged habitat

Natalie Cosgrove

The Environmental Club partnered with Friends of the L.A. River (FoLAR) for a habitat restoration day April 24. The event took place at the Sepulveda Basin Wildlife Reserve, which was affected greatly by a fire in October 2020. The event focused on restoring the land after the fire and ridding the property of invasive species.

Grace Hudson ’23 said she was excited for the opportunity to actively participate in helping the area and is looking forward to helping the school connect with more organizations like FoLAR.

“I really enjoyed working with Friends of the L.A. River, and I learned a lot about native California plants and habitats,” Hudson said. “It made me feel more connected with my community, and I never realized the impact that invasive species have on the environment.”

A group of students went on the yearly trip

Chloe Appel ’23 also helped rehabilitate the area and said she thoroughly enjoyed the activities planned by FoLAR.

“It was an amazing experience to be able to talk to people who have a connection with the land there and hear about their stories,” Appel said. “It was also very interesting to learn about invasive plants and how they contribute to the acceleration of certain species extinctions as well as use up natural resources native to the land. I will definitely try to go to more events with FoLAR because I now understand the importance of restoring the L.A. River and making sure that the benefits it can provide are accessible to L.A. as well as its citizens.”

Caroline Riemer ’24 said she enjoyed helping the plant life and getting rid of any harmful species. She said her favorite part was seeing her progress for the day while packing up mustard flowers.

“I think generally it is important [to actively participate in environmental change] because we all need to learn to have some respect for the environment or else the climate crisis will not get any better and just small acts will help in any way,” Riemer said.

The environmental club is officially partnered with FoLAR

Science teacher Nadine Eisenkolb said that the Weddington campus is adjacent to the Los Angeles River, so it is convenient to partner with FoLAR for this program. She said that the school’s mission statement mentions the phrase “purpose beyond ourselves,” and hopes to see students apply this idea to their everyday lives, while helping the environment.

“If you are interested in environmental science on a personal level, there is a lot of negative news and there is a lot of continuous news that can hurt your soul after some time,” Eisenkolb said. “So when you are continuously inundated by negative news with what is happening in the environment, it really feels like a little bit of healing when you can do something about it.”