Time is flying by and I am really feeling the business here in Point Reyes. This week I have had quite a lot to do in the office! The new junior ranger book is really taking shape, but we are nowhere near being finished! So far we have a lot of text, IMG_9869but still need images, revision and translation.

In order to construct the activities, I have to do research, which is the fun part. This week I took a trip to Tomales Point and visited the historic Pierce Point Ranch. I went during the middle of an overcast day. I was the only one there and couldn’t help but feel a sense of eeriness along with the intrigue of the place. Pierce Point Ranch describes life on a Point Reyes dairy ranch and tells about the peninsula’s famous butter industry. It was established in the 1850s as a dairy ranch and became the most prosperous dairy ranch in all of Point Reyes. In 1929 it was sold and turned into a business of hogs and cattle. The NPS took over the ranch in 1973 and restored the original buildings. It is now a fascinating historic site.

Another reason why I am enjoying creating activities for kids is because I am learning a lot of cool things I didn’t know before. For example, did you know that when two bat stars bump into each other, a gentle brawl begins. It looks like they are “arm wrestling” in slow motion. I find this too be pretty darn cute even though perhaps these bat stars might be in a heated brawl!

Latino Conservation Week is coming up! My fellow park rangers and I have put our heads together to come up with an event that will draw people into the park. We decided to have a day of hiking and a picnic to follow. I am really excited to see new faces at the park.

Happy Late July 4th! To celebrate, I hiked 14 miles to a beautiful beach on the coast of the peninsula called Kelham Beach. It was the most beautiful hike I have ever done. Sometimes I just really can’t believe my eyes here. There is so much beauty here at Point Reyes!

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Written by Ilianna Padilla
My name is Ilianna Padilla and I am a graduate student at Cal State Long Beach studying Environmental Geography. I love all things wild, being in the outdoors, and traveling. What sparked my interest in nature was reading literature that fed my imagination with beautiful descriptions of wild landscapes that seemed so distant for someone who grew up in a densely urban environment like myself. This is why I want to continue working towards connecting people with the outdoors because I believe that it is crucial to our own well being as well as the health of the natural environment. In the future, I hope to have a career in the National Park Service or run my very own nonprofit organization. This summer I hope to gain a deeper insight on all the great things the National Park Service foes as well as take part in their mission of becoming more relevant to all communities.