Environment

Post image for Menlo Park resident Jonathan Nash participates in National Outdoor Leadership School

Menlo Park resident Jonathan Nash, 20, recently completed a semester course in New Zealand with the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS).

Nash and his coursemates kicked of their semester with a 24-day canoeing section traveling on the Clarence river of New Zealand for 120 miles. The group traveled in 6 tandem canoes down the river. Curriculum focused on camping skills, canoeing skills, environmental studies, risk management, leadership and first aid.

While on the river, the group faced variable weather conditions from sunshine to snow. The river was technically challenging with low water levels and frequent rapids. Students left the river as competent white water canoeists and efficient backcountry campers.

DCIM116GOPRO

DCIM116GOPRO

Nash and his coursemates transitioned from the river to a 24-day hiking expedition in the Lake Sumner region of the South Island, New Zealand. Students traveled on and off trail for 100 miles through Beachwood forest and high alpine ridges. Curriculum focused on first aid, navigation, self-care, “Leave No Trace” principles and student leadership. The section highlight was an independent student expedition where students traveled without instructors for five days and nights.

For the final section of their semester Nash and his coursemates headed into the mountains for a course on technical mountaineering. The group was faced with much adversity during this section. They were first met with torrential downpours that forced the group to find high ground to escape flooding. Once into the mountains instructors and students were hammered with gale force winds and snow that destroyed all but two of the tents.

DCIM116GOPRO

DCIM116GOPRO

Fortunately, the group was resupplied by helicopter halfway through this 24-day section allowing them to take another attempt at summiting Anderson peak. On the second attempt, students learned a number of technical mountaineering skills that included glacier travel, fixed line travel and high altitude camping.

Ultimately injuries and weather thwarted the attempt to reach the summit; however, this did not dampen student’s spirits as they came away from the alpine country competent mountaineers.

Nash and his coursemates graduated from their NOLS Semester in New Zealand equipped with technical outdoor skills, a wilderness ethic and leadership skills they will use for the rest of their lives.

{ Be the first to comment }

Litterati exhibit on display at Cafe Zoë in Menlo Park – founder to speak on July 15

Thumbnail image for Litterati exhibit on display at Cafe Zoë in Menlo Park – founder to speak on July 15

The  internationally acclaimed Litterati.org photo exhibit is visiting Menlo Park. The exhibit is on display at Cafe Zoë (1929 Menalto Ave) and available for viewing during normal business hours through July 31. There will be an evening reception on Wednesday, July 15, at 6:00 pm with Litterati founder Jeff Kirschner. He will discuss how the Litterati movement began with a single […]

Click to read more →

Marissa Muller takes off on cross country trip riding a solar-powered electric bike

Thumbnail image for Marissa Muller takes off on cross country trip riding a solar-powered electric bike

Sacred Heart Prep grad Marissa Muller started her professional career as a journalist at CNN before taking a hard right turn and working for companies focused on sustainability. As she embarks from Southern California on Thursday atop a solar-charged electric bike on a cross-country trip — which she will be chronicling along the way — you could conclude she’s […]

Click to read more →

Menlo Park is host to numerous energizer stations on Bike to Work Day 2015

Thumbnail image for Menlo Park is host to numerous energizer stations on Bike to Work Day 2015

The rain predicted for today appears to be holding off during the morning commute — agood thing for those folks who are choosing pedal power to get to their jobs as part of Bike to Work Day 2015 sponsored by the Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition. Menlo Park resident Gudrun Enger snapped this photo at the […]

Click to read more →

Diane Bailey, Executive Director of Menlo Spark, talks about the new non-profit’s mission

Thumbnail image for Diane Bailey, Executive Director of Menlo Spark, talks about the new non-profit’s mission

There’s a new non-profit in town, Menlo Spark, with an ambitious goal — to make the City of Menlo Park climate neutral (zero carbon) by 2025. “The city already has a climate action plan that calls for a 27% reduction in greenhouse gasses by 2020. This is a good foundation to start with, but we will […]

Click to read more →

Spotted: Goats taking time out from munching before transfer to next section of Sharon Hills Park

Thumbnail image for Spotted: Goats taking time out from munching before transfer to next section of Sharon Hills Park

It’s May, which means it’s time for the goats to munch their way through Sharon Hills Park, part of the city of Menlo Park’s annual fire prevention program. This morning they we’re having a time out after clearing the dried, tall grass from the northern portion of the park. A section on the other side of Valparaiso […]

Click to read more →

Free document shredding and electronics recycling for Menlo Park residents on May 2

Thumbnail image for Free document shredding and electronics recycling for Menlo Park residents on May 2

Menlo Park residents and businesses are invited to bring confidential files for shredding and unwanted electronics for recycling on Saturday, May 2 from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm. The shredding/recycling will take place at 333 Burgess Drive. Residents will need to bring proof of residency such as a utility bill or driver’s license with Menlo […]

Click to read more →

Leah Rogers hopes her film on the Tuolumne River makes locals fall in love with their watershed

Thumbnail image for Leah Rogers hopes her film on the Tuolumne River makes locals fall in love with their watershed

Water has always piqued Menlo Park resident Leah Rogers’ interest. “People are curious about the quality of the water they are drinking,” she said. She pursued a career as a hydrogeologist until a few years ago when she stopped working full time. “I’d spent my career writing a lot of papers that nobody read and decided to go in […]

Click to read more →

Tussok moth caterpillars appear to be making their mark on Menlo Park

Thumbnail image for Tussok moth caterpillars appear to be making their mark on Menlo Park

In 2007, Andrea Gemmet wrote a piece called “Don’t Touch the Caterpillars” in the Almanac. This past weekend, my five-year-old has been fascinated by all the little fuzzy caterpillars coating every play surface in Burgess Park playground. He has petted them, let them crawl on him, and examined them from all angles. Yesterday morning he […]

Click to read more →

Nick Turner turned from tech to eco-system garden consulting

Thumbnail image for Nick Turner turned from tech to eco-system garden consulting

We’d come to view Menlo Park resident Nick Turner’s deep nature garden in part to search for butterflies. Another Menlo resident, filmmaker Dorothy Fadiman, has produced a new film, Butterfly Town, USA, which will be having a free premiere on Thursday, April 2, co-sponsored by the Sierra Club Loma Prieta Chapter. The film chronicles a community of […]

Click to read more →

Merchants of Doubt to be screened at Trinity Church on March 7

Thumbnail image for Merchants of Doubt to be screened at Trinity Church on March 7

On Saturday, March 7, at 7:00 pm, Trinity Church in Menlo Park will host the Bay Area premiere of Merchants of Doubt, a Participant Films documentary on the psychology and politics of climate change. Sponsored by the Palo Alto-based non-profit Acterra, the film is free to the public. Registration is not necessary. Attendance is limited […]

Click to read more →