Huntington Beach, CA for Service Day at an Ecological Reserve

One of the coolest experiences I’ve had to date. I’ve always felt pretty connected to nature. There just seems like there’s so much to learn from it at any given time. Bolsa Chica Eco Reserve near Huntington was proof of that.

My initial visit was just as a wanderer. There are hundreds of species of birds and other critters, and the terrain is pretty damn photogenic, so I took my camera and spent a couple hours meandering and shooting. While I was there, I stopped by their office and learned that they regularly hold service days, where the public can come in to help restore and maintain the grounds of the reserve. I’m always looking for new ways to stay active (physically and otherwise), so I signed up.

It was June, so the weather was fairly temperate – sunny and right around 80 degrees. We all met at the reserve’s Interpretive Center, where we were briefed on the morning’s activities, grouped up, and handed large garbage bags. The whole experience was actually sort of moving. The turn out was pretty good, and included all ages and walks of life. We spent the next three hours collaboratively picking up trash, planting, and taking in the beauty around us. Unexpectedly, I made some new friends in the form of a couple awesome guys – also photographers. We strolled on over to the beach for some beer and fish tacos afterward.

Insider Tip

Definitely wear closed-toe shoes if you plan on participating in the service day. Also sunblock. It’s California, after all.

Where I stayed / started

Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve

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