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GOING WILD WITH NATIVES: Explore Our Local Canyons

By Susan Krzywicki.

Canyons are an important element in the rich, biodiverse natural landscape of San Diego. The La Jolla Historical Society offers two opportunities to learn more about these ecosystems and the important role that they play.

La Jolla Canyons: Place, Diversity, Connections

The canyons of La Jolla provide a historic, ecological, and social microcosm of San Diego. The La Jolla Historical Society's La Jolla Canyons: Place, Diversity, Connections explores multiple issues in a layered approach that sets the canyons in the midst of our urban environment and daily existence. Geography, geology, wildlife habitation, plant habitation, watershed, fire, and social history are interrelated aspects of the canyons that share and shape the urban landscape, and influence planning and public policy. This context presents the opportunity to consider the natural environment and assess its role in social paradigms and urban planning, and to understand how daily acts like driving and water use are related to this unique environment.

This free exhibit will give you a sense of what it is like to surround yourself with nature in the midst of the urban setting. See live plants, contemplate the photographic mural, and even learn about our underwater canyons! The exhibit is a fun way to learn more about the native plants, as well as the other natural and man-made systems, that make our canyon geography unique. If you grew up in our canyons, or are new to this interesting physical feature, the exhibit will be entertaining and eye-opening.

The exhibit runs from June 9 to September 2 at Wisteria Cottage and the gallery is open from Wednesday through Sunday, 10 AM to 4 PM.

DNA Hike in Kate Sessions Canyon

In times past, typical voucher specimens, such as entire preserved specimens, were used to differentiate plants. Now, DNA serves as a genetic voucher that can quickly and very accurately identify living material. And this is just what is being done at thirty-six branches of the San Diego Public Library through the Catalog of Life @ the Library project headed by the La Jolla/Riford branch. As part of this effort, the public is invited to become citizen scientists by joining a DNA Hike through native chaparral and coastal sage scrub. Participants will collect insect samples during the tour that will be analyzed and added to the DNA barcoding database that reflects San Diego's biodiversity.

The hike is offered through a collaboration between San Diego Canyonlands, San Diego City Library, and the La Jolla Historical Society. Fifteen LifeScanner kits will be available for free to capture insect samples along the hike.

July 14, 9 AM to Noon: Hike in Kate Sessions Park with San Diego Canyonlands. Learn more or sign up here.

Susan Krzywicki is a native plant landscape designer in San Diego. She has been the first Horticulture Program Director for the California Native Plant Society, as well as chair of the San Diego Surfrider Foundation Ocean Friendly Gardens Committee and is on the board of San Diego Canyonlands.

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