What are two things that mostly go unappreciated when you return from a great hike? Park Rangers and watching the sunset. This August, Keep Coyote Creek Beautiful organized a Sunset Walk along with other partner organizations to allow the participants to interact with the people who make sure we can hike without a hitch: park rangers, all the while soaking in the summer sunset.
The event started with Shay Franco-Clausen, one of the directors of Open Space Authority of Santa Clara Valley handing out certificates to all the organizations and rangers in recognition for their actions towards preserving the environment.
Right after the presentation, the attendees were split into groups of 8-10 individuals and paired with a docent for a walk talking about the natural history of Kelley Park and its inhabitants. The attendees visited several tables as part of the walk and got to learn about how park rangers do rescue operations for lost or injured hikers. The rangers also answered questions about the career path and the requirements for becoming a park ranger. And if you thought "well, where would I find such courses," West Valley College hosted a table as well, which highlighted the different courses offered at the community college for people interested in park management or becoming a ranger.
One of the tables hosted by Saved By Nature, showed us the difference between an elk antler and a deer antler. Getting to hold an antler and compare the weights between the two ensured no one at the event will ever forget the difference.
Finally, we stopped at the Keep Coyote Creek Beautiful table, where the participants got to play a game with Jeopardy-like questions about species, floods and other factors affecting our environment. Not only did the participants have a lot of fun in being the fastest to answer the questions, each one of them got tickets to watch the home team San Jose Giants play in their final game of the season. Truly a win-win situation!
And what could be a better day to end this event than to indulge in some s'mores cooked over a campfire.