Thanks to the efforts and dedication of a local father, The Sacramento Zoo’s browse program continues to flourish, and the animals continue to find themselves with browse to eat. John Cleckler, a local father dedicated to preserving nature, organized volunteer work days to clean and preserve a Sacramento area Wildlife Preserve. Rather than wasting the branches and clippings from the trees, the parents from the California Montessori Project’s Carmichael Campus regularly bring the edible clippings to the Zoo as a donation. The zookeepers immediately feed the fresh browse to a variety of animals, including giraffes, chimps, lemurs, and many different bird species, and it helps to replicate their diet in the wild. Read his story below to see how one parent’s dedication can affect the entire community.
My daughter started school at the California Montessori Project’s Carmichael Campus last year. When I found out the school was next door to a 4-acre preserve/outdoor classroom, I immediately had to figure out a way to get involved.
The Koobs Preserve was in need of major maintenance. I organized the first school parent preserve work day last school year and was the only one to show up. Things have improved since and we have anywhere from 10 to 25 people show up for our monthly work days.
The preserve has come a long way this year. The hope is to begin enhancing the habitat after we get a better hold on taming the more invasive vegetation. Part of our vegetation control has been the removal of non-natives. A few months ago, one of our core parent volunteers mentioned her interest in cutting down acacia trees. A few days later something clicked and I made the connection to the zoo browse program.
The school has been very excited about contributing food to the giraffes. Wildlife education and experiencing the outdoors is key to a Montessori education which is why the preserve is so important to our school and having this connection to the zoo was special.
There are Koobs Preserve work days the second Saturday of every month and classrooms use it daily. There is a Vietnam Memorial on the site and special ceremonies are held on Veterans and Memorial Day. Mr. Koobs passed away last week and his memorial was held at the preserve on March 22nd.
How can you help? Instead of green wasting your tree trimmings, consider donating them to the Zoo instead! Visit our website to learn about the Browse Program, which species of tree we will accept, and how you can donate. You are welcome to bring them to us, or if you are within a five mile radius of the Zoo, we will come to you!
|Buckeye Bridge, before & after|
|Path, before & after|