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San Marcos nonprofit sponsors nature field trips for Title 1 schools

San Marcos nonprofit sponsors nature field trips for Title 1 schools

Every school year, hundreds of students take field trips to Jack’s Pond Nature Center to learn about our local ecosystem—and the important role they play in preserving it.

This year, even more students from all types of economic backgrounds will be able to participate thanks to sponsorships from Friends of San Marcos Parks and Recreation (Friends of San Marcos).

The nonprofit group is sponsoring several field trips for Title 1 schools, where at least 40 percent of students come from low-income homes.

“I have happy childhood memories of playing at Jack’s Pond and to this day, it’s still a communitytreasure. It gives kids a chance to disconnect from their phones and reconnect with nature,” said Friends of San Marcos board member Jason Simmons. “Our goal is to expand that enrichment to more children here in San Marcos.”

The Friends of the San Marcos Parks and Recreation will help hundreds of students learn about their local ecosystem this year.

Last year, Simmons helped Friends of San Marcos pilot the sponsorship program with several Title 1 schools, including San Marcos Elementary, Knob Hill Elementary and Joli Ann Leichtag Elementary in order to send 273 students to the nature center. Significantly, that accounted for about 35 percent of all the students who took field trips there last year.

Friends of San Marcos plans to ramp-up its support this school year by sponsoring field trips for allseven Title 1 schools in San Marcos. What’s more, the Vallecitos Water District has agreed to sponsor the cost of bus transportation, meaning all the schools can now participate with zero cost.

“These sponsorships are a tremendous gift to our community,” said Kim Valdovinos, City of SanMarcos Recreation Coordinator for Youth Programs. “This program teaches students about theirsurrounding environment and instills a sense of pride for living in San Marcos. We are teachingour future leaders how to appreciate and preserve our beautiful city.”

Jack’s Pond Nature Center is located at 986 La Moree Road. For more information about the center and the field trip program, please call (760) 744-9000 or visit san-marcos.net/play/jack-s-pond- nature-center.

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