Preserved salamanders, snakes, frogs, and ducks attracted many to the Cheadle Center for Biodiversity and Ecological Restoration (CCBER) booth again this year at the 2012 Santa Barbara Earth Day celebration. Here, kids could feel the soft feathers of a cooper’s hawk or the pointy whiskers of a non-native possum while they learned about the animals’ natural habitats and order on the food chain. Those looking for a “hands-on” Earth Day experience found their calling here.
A facility dedicated to education, research, and outreach, the CCBER, comprised of only ten full-time employees, works hard to restore over 230 acres of native plant and animal resource space in the Santa Barbara community. Recently though, they have collaborated with local schools to provide perspective for children as young as 12 to begin to learn about restoration strategies, ecological preservation, and biodiversity.