Nearly 100 youth explored the San Lorenzo River this summer. Youth from the Santa Cruz County Animal Shelter, Nueva Vista Community Resources and the downtown Boys and Girls Club explored, investigated and examined the lower San Lorenzo River as part of their respective summer camps. Summer is an opportunity for adventure and for relaxation. And during this time, it is the Coastal Watershed Council’s commitment that youth discover new things about their community and themselves while exploring the San Lorenzo River. Whether it is one’s first time to the river or tenth visit, there is always an opportunity to discover something new. 2018 marked the first year all summer camp activities focused on the lower San Lorenzo River, providing all participants with the opportunity to get to know the neighborhood river up close.

Youth living in the Beach Flats and Lower Ocean area, participating in the Nueva Vista Community Resources summer camp, experienced the river from a new point of view: in waders in the San Lorenzo River collecting aquatic bugs or collecting water quality data. When the water level was too high, youth trekked across Main Beach to examine the San Lorenzo River lagoon from a new perspective or play disc golf in San Lorenzo Park.

Each week, youth from the Boys and Girls Club participated in a variety of explorations and investigative activities including bird watching, water quality monitoring, nature art, playing disc golf in San Lorenzo Park, conducting a scavenger hunt to learn about the plants and animal that call the San Lorenzo River home.

Young animal enthusiasts from the Santa Cruz County Animal Shelter summer camp learned about the threatened steelhead trout and collected water quality data to determine if the San Lorenzo River is currently a viable place for the trout to live and grow. Youth identified actions humans can take to support steelhead trout habitat.

As the summer camp comes to a close, the Coastal Watershed Council reflects back on our experiences from the summer with immense gratitude to our partners.

Thank you to:

  • Lidia Montesino and Erick Cruz of Nueva Vista Community Resources;
  • Daniel Guerra and Katee Freeman of the Boys and Girls Club;
  • Jen Walker, Lindsey Hutchison, Shelby Clark and Sheila Golden of the Santa Cruz County Animal Shelter for their incredible collaboration to make the field trips a safe, fun and enriching experience.
  • Jeff Caplan for his wonderful creation of bilingual guides to birds of the San Lorenzo River which were used during our bird watching adventures.
  • Tremain Hedden-Jones of the City of Santa Cruz Parks and Recreation Department for making it possible for youth to explore the San Lorenzo River from a new perspective.

Bring your youth group to the San Lorenzo River

Contact Mollie Behn, Education Coordinator at or 831-464-9200 ext 103.


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