It's not all bad news right now. Especially when it comes to parks, there's a lot of good news out there!
A teacher connecting with her students virtually. Young people comforting each other through poetry and photography. Even some hilarious 1-star Yelp reviews can help comfort us all during these times.
If you're looking for some more parks in your life and want to get there virtually, check out our roundup of resources to visit the parks from home, including some fun crafts and more. Or check out the latest info on closures and find us on Instagram @ParksConservancy for photos and video from the parks.
We'll see you there, but for now, enjoy some pops of good stuff to make you smile during these tough times:
Teacher releases trout for students on video
Nothing can stop science! Fifth grade students at the Mark Day School in San Rafael had been participating in the Trout in the Classroom project, where students help raise trout and eventually release them into the wild. When coronavirus restrictions ended the possibility of a release, Mark Day Science Specialist Eva Geisse did a "virtual release":
Geisse had a permit and training from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife to perform the release. She released the trout in Lagunitas Creek between Bon Tempe Lake and Lake Lagunitas in Marin. She did everything to teach her students about the place, from asking for observations to spotting a trout predator.
The One Tam partnership, which includes the Parks Conservancy, helps support Trout in the Classrom, and Geisse called it a highlight of the school year for her fifth graders. And now they've become a highlight for us!
Crissy Field Center students share on Instagram
If you're wondering how young people are coping during this crisis, check out the resilience displayed on the Inspiring Young Emerging Leaders (I-YEL) Instagram handle. Youth from Crissy Field Center programs are helping each other out by sharing art ("origami helps my boredom"), recipes, photography, and poetry ("I miss the homies"). Check it out on the I-YEL Instagram page.
One-star Yelp reviews provide some levity
Other stuff providing park joy right now
We couldn't fit it all above, so here are some of our picks for the best work being done by our staff, our partners and other parks nearby. Enjoy!
- This fun Parks Bingo game from the NPS for National Park Week.
- This peaceful trip through Presidio nature from the Presidio Trust, part of the Trust's Presidio at Home offerings.
- Mindful posts from the Parks Conservancy's Yakuta Poonawalla, the San Francisco Community Programs Manager for the Park Stewardship team.
- These incredible plant videos with Garden Curator Ryan Guillou of the San Francisco Botanical Garden.
- Live ranger learning with California State Parks rangers through their PORTS program. They have classes geared toward different grade levels throughout the day, from all over the state.
- Learn how to draw a Yosemite black bear—it's easy!
- Now and then photos, park photos, videos, podcasts and more from the NPS Golden Gate team.
- These videos and activities from the Marine Mammal Center in the Marin Headlands.
- "Outside Still Open" activities from NatureBridge, also located in the Marin Headlands.
- The live webcams for Annie and Grinnell, the Cal Falcons living atop the UC Berkeley Campanile, who have been supported by the Parks Conservancy's Golden Gate Raptor Observatory.
Got something for this list? Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we may add it. We hope you're finding little joys wherever you are right now.