EcoCenter On Wheels: A New Mobile Learning Station

Introducing the "EcoCenter on Wheels," the Environmental Volunteers' new mobile learning station launched in June 2016!

Teen docents will be hitting the trails in the Baylands, bringing hands-on nature education into the preserve! Docents will share their choice of three topics: Skull Adaptations, Bay Plants; and Birds, Nests, and Eggs. Read more about the topics below. There is also a scavenger hunt for families with children who are learning to observe nature. Plus, scavenger hunt participants will get a special take-home prize! Funding for the EcoCenter on Wheels was generously provided by Palo Alto University Rotary Club.

The EcoCenter on Wheels will be roving the trails on Tuesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays this summer. Come out and experience the preserve in a whole new way!

Topics for the EcoCenter on Wheels

Skull Adaptations:
Skulls provide many hints to an animal’s lifestyle. Tooth structure and eye placement are two important focus points for determining what the animal eats and whether it is predator or prey. Visitors are able to compare the structure and adaptations of different local animals' skulls and to hypothesize how those animals are connected within the Baylands ecosystem.

Birds, Nests, and Eggs:

One of the easiest types of animals to spot in the Baylands is birds. This activity focuses on the numerous shapes and materials nests can be made out of including sticks, leaves, mud, feathers, spider’s webs, and even human made materials. Visitors can also see the different types of eggs birds lay and try to match bird specimens to their nests.

Salt Marsh Plants:
The salt marsh is a harsh place for many plants, however, there are some that are specifically suited to living in this salty, tidal environment. Visitors will examine and dissect real samples of pickleweed and Pacific cordgrass to understand how they deal with salt and how they survive being submerged in water or completely exposed to the elements during different parts of the day.