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than those who don’t. Access to a green park, a place to walk, relax, play and meditate improves quality of life. A side effect of exposure to nature is better concentration in school and work, better health, and a sense of connection to our earth. The MRCA’s aim is to share these advantages with everyone and our new natural river park is only one of the ways the MRCA has been working to connect the inner city with the great outdoors.

Another way to foster a connection with nature is by bringing the students of Washington Elementary and the surrounding community to the mountains and beach. On our monthly Transit to Trails excursions students, their families and other community members spend a Saturday hiking, learning about wildlife, picnicking and relaxing (and the transportation is free!).

Also, over the past two years, many Washington Elementary students and teachers have gotten away from it all at the MRCA’s Outdoor Education overnight camp at King Gillette Ranch, in the heart of the Santa Monica Mountains. The Outdoor Education program gives a unique

Students from Washington Elementary School spent five days in the mountains a part of the MRCA’s Outdoor Education program.

behind the scenes nature experience, opening a new world to the students, many of whom have never visited the mountains, seen the deer graze in a field, hiked under the stars or woke up to the fresh mountain air. Our naturalists teach campers about the environment while interacting with nature, bringing science to life.

The MRCA is building a growing relationship with this community in the City of Compton, through the park and our programs. As we work to close the gap in green space between wealthy suburbs and the populous inner city, we

also work closely with the people of the community to best serve this area’s needs. At the end of the day, this guides us as we establish a riverside park that will become a natural backyard in this Compton neighborhood.

Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, Office of Health Assessment and Epidemiology. Preventing Childhood Obesity: the need to create healthy places. A Cities and Communities Report. October 2007.

LACC members contribute to the building of Compton Creek Natural Park.

12 Symbiosis

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