Environment

Post image for A wolf comes calling at Hillview School in Menlo Park

A wolf named Aqutaq, which means “ice cream” in the Yupik (or Western Eskimo) language, is 3 1/2 years old. She hails from a breeding facility that produces ambassador animals for education and lives in the Sierras with her owners, Oliver and Thanya Starr —and a large Alaskan Malamute named Bixby. Thanks in part to the efforts of Menlo Park resident Michele Chandler, she came calling at Hillview School last week.

Wolf in grassThe assembled students and teachers got to learn about why wild lives matter. “The wolf is a keystone species,” explained Oliver. (Wikipedia defines keystone species as one “that has a disproportionately large effect on its environment relative to its abundance.”)

“Dogs are a subspecies of wolves,” he told us during a walk through the day before Aqutaq’s appearance. “All dogs are a form of wolf. I call them micro wolves.”

Michele said that she met Oliver a couple of years ago, and they’ve joined forces to get kids back in touch with nature through the wolf. “Oliver has spent a lifetime learning what it means to be wild,” she said. “We want to give kids a better sense of why nature is something to preserve.”

Oliver with wolf and dog

Oliver explained that wolves are social animals and form intensive social bonds. “[Thanya] and I are her pack. She is closest to me than anything. I’ve put in over 10,000 hours working with her.

“She is definitely not a dog. Living with her is not like living with a dog in any respect.”

More information about Oliver and Michele’s effort can be found online.

Photos by Irene Searles

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League of Women Voters public meeting on SAFER Bay on Jan. 28 focuses on tidal flooding

Thumbnail image for League of Women Voters public meeting on SAFER Bay on Jan. 28 focuses on tidal flooding

Almost 6,000 parcels and critical infrastructure (e.g. waste water treatment plants and transportation corridors)  in southern San Mateo County and Palo Alto are vulnerable to tidal flooding, given sea level rise. Also, most cities are considering land use changes that would increase the number of people vulnerable to this type of flooding. No public agency […]

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Next bird walk at Bedwell Bayfront Park is Jan. 10

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Join Friends’ volunteers at our next monthly bird mornings on Jan. 10  from 10:30 am till 12:30 pm at Bedwell Bayfront Park (the end of Marsh Road in Menlo Park). It’s an opportunity to see shorebirds and ducks before they head north again in spring. Meet along the entrance road by the tidal pond to look at ducks […]

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Italian stone pine in Fremont Park gives birth to art & play structure – with new trees to come

Thumbnail image for Italian stone pine in Fremont Park gives birth to art & play structure – with new trees to come

From disaster and death can come the birth of something good (myth of the phoenix). The big Italian stone pine that guarded the eastern side of Fremont Park had to be taken down in September, a disturbing event for many in our community. From the collective brainstorming of residents and city of Menlo Park staff, […]

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Spotted: Fall color in Menlo Park

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Are other residents noticing that Fall in the form of the changing color of the leaves on Menlo Park’s liquid amber trees is early this year? In 20 plus years, we’ve witnessed the peak around Thanksgiving. And certainly not before Halloween. We’re presuming it’s drought related but if anyone has other explanations, we’re opening to […]

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Reported mountain lion sighting in Atherton last weekend

Thumbnail image for Reported mountain lion sighting in Atherton last weekend

On Saturday, September 6, a resident in the area of Monte Vista and Linda Vista Avenues in Atheton, reported a mountain lion in her driveway at approximately 9:15 pm. In an incident that has attracted much media attention, a mountain lion attached a boy last weekend in the area near Picchetti in the hills of Cupertino. […]

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Water efficient gardening 101 is topic at Sept. 6 talk at Menlo Park Library

The public is invited to a free informational seminar on drought-tolerant gardening techniques presented by the Menlo Park Library on Saturday, September 6. The seminar’s presenter is Alane O’Rielly Weber, a Sustainable San Mateo County Award Winner, a long-time Master Composter, and owner of Botanical Arts in San Mateo. Weber’s early educational focus on Biology, […]

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Mosquito fogging in industrial areas of northeast Menlo Park scheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 2nd

Thumbnail image for Mosquito fogging in industrial areas of northeast Menlo Park scheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 2nd

The San Mateo County Mosquito and Vector Control District (SMCMVCD) detected adult mosquitoes carrying West Nile Virus (WNV) collected on August 28, 2014, from the 94063 ZIP code area. In an effort to prevent human cases of WNV, the District will conduct a truck-mounted mosquito fogging treatment around the detection site. Weather permitting, the ground […]

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Menlo Park Municipal District Water activates conservation plan

Responding to the current drought, a new California State mandate requires water suppliers to activate their water conservation plans. In compliance with this law, the Menlo Park City Council activated the existing Menlo Park Municipal Water District Conservation plan. This plan will only affect Menlo Park Municipal Water District customers. Please refer to the interactive […]

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West Nile Virus detected in mosquitos in Menlo Park – fogging scheduled for Aug. 11

Thumbnail image for West Nile Virus detected in mosquitos in Menlo Park – fogging scheduled for Aug. 11

The San Mateo County Mosquito and Vector Control District (SMCMVCD) has detected West Nile Virus (WNV) in adult mosquitoes collected on August 6, 2014, from two areas of the 94025 zip code in Menlo Park. In response, the District will conduct truck-mounted mosquito fogging treatment around the detection site, in an effort to prevent human cases […]

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Spotted: Sign supporting Drakes Bay Oyster Co in Menlo Park front yard

Thumbnail image for Spotted: Sign supporting Drakes Bay Oyster Co in Menlo Park front yard

Menlo Park resident and physical therapist Robin Tobias spotted this sign supporting Drakes Bay Oyster Co. in west Menlo Park this morning. The oyster farm on Tomales Bay was going to be forced to close today until a group of restaurants filed a lawsuit saying closure would violate the Aquaculture Act and harm businesses. Carolyn […]

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