EnviroBus Buck Online Application
MEEC in now accepting applications for the 2014/2015 school year.
APPLY TODAY! EBB Grant Guidelines with Application 2014 2015 Fillable_Boxes. MEEC will not consider any handwritten outdated EBB applications. All submissions must be on the attached online printable 2014-2015 form.
Deadline: October 30, 2014 Apply Now! Applications can be downloaded then sent via standard mail, scan/email, or by fax.
NO HANDWRITTEN FORMS WILL BE ACCEPTED
The EnviroBus Buck Transportation Grant Program provides grants for school bus excursions, offering students the opportunity to learn about environmental education using a hands-on approach during visits to host sites which promote environmental stewardship. The grant covers school bus transportation fees only. Lunch/meals, entrance fees, and substitute teacher fees are not covered. Teachers are encouraged to find creative ways to fundraise to cover additional fees. Consideration will be given to all qualifying applications and only one grant per teacher per year will be awarded. If there are still remaining funds available after all eligible applicants have been awarded, multiple grants may be awarded to a single teacher that has met all the requirements. Multiple grant award MAY NOT BE USED ON THE SAME DAY.
A list of participating host sites has been created in good faith on the part of MEEC and our sponsors; however, if for any reason the site selected is unable to accommodate the school, MEEC staff will work with the teachers to make arrangements to visit an alternate host site.
MEEC “DREAM SITES” ARE NO LONGER AVAILABLE AND TEACHERS WILL NEED TO SELECT THEIR FIELD TRIPS FROM OUR CURRENT LIST OF HOST SITES. NEW SITES HAVE BEEN ADDED THAT WERE PREVIOUSLY POPULAR DREAM SITES
General Rules & Guidelines
1. Once the judging has been completed, grant recipients will receive a formal award letter along
with an information packet for the EnviroBus Buck Transportation Grant host site selected via
email. The packet will include all contact information necessary for the recipient to schedule
the field trip. Non-awardees will be notified via email indicating why your grant application was
2. DETERMINING GRANT AWARD SITES: teachers have an opportunity to list a 1st and 2nd choice of
where they would like to visit on the Grant Application. MEEC determines which choice you will
receive based upon the overall total cost of all choices, then makes the selection to best
maximize the budget so that all eligible grant applicants are awarded a field trip.
3. Grant recipients are responsible for setting up all travel arrangements, which include, but are
not limited to:
a. Obtaining District Board and/or Principal approval.
b. Providing MEEC with a COPY OF THE ACTUAL SCHOOL DISTRICT ROUND TRIP
TRANSPORTATION COSTS FROM YOUR SCHOOL AND TO/FROM YOUR REQUESTED SITE
(INCLUDING TOUR TIME, DEPARTURE/ARRIVAL PRE-TIMES). IF YOU ARE UNABLE TO SECURE A
WRITTEN ESTIMATE FROM YOUR TRANSPORTATION DEPARTMENT, A GOOGLE, MAPQUEST OR
SIMILAR PRINTOUT THAT INCLUDES ROUNDTRIP MILEAGE AND YOUR DISTRICT
TRANSPORTATION COSTS (PER HOUR OR PER MILE) WILL BE ACCEPTED. MEEC IS NOT LIABLE
FOR UNSCHEDULED STOPS/ADDITIONAL CHARGES INCURRED THAT WERE NOT INCLUDED IN
THE ORIGINAL GRANT APPLICATION COSTS SUBMITTED.
c. Coordinating the field trip date with the host site contact personnel.
d. Notifying MEEC Program Specialist of planned field trip date.
e. Notifying MEEC of any changes to host site. You must notify MEEC immediately if you are, for
any reason, visiting a site that was not authorized on your grant award letter. Failure to do so
may result in none-payment from MEEC.
f. Providing chaperones: a minimum of one for every ten students. (Note: If sufficient chaperones
are not provided, the host site may cancel the field trip at their discretion).
g. Insuring that MEEC is billed for the cost of school bus transportation by the June 30, 2015
h. ALL TRANSPORTATION INVOICES MUST INCLUDE TEACHER NAME, SCHOOL, AND DATE OF TRIP
TO PROCESS PAYMENT IN A TIMELY MANNER. MISSING INFORMATION WILL CAUSE A DELAY IN
PAYMENT PROCESSING AS THE INVOICE WILL BE RETURNED TO THE REQUESTEE FOR
i. Send transportation invoice to: MEEC – EnviroBus Buck Grant Program,
14306 Park Avenue, Victorville, CA 92392
4. Grant recipients may transfer/share the grant to/with another educator from the same
school site. However, the original number of buses requested may not be exceeded nor the
destination site. Please notify MEEC of any such changes immediately. YOU MAY NOT USE
MEEC EBB FUNDS TO VISIT A SITE THAT IS DIFFERENT THAN THE SITE INDICATED ON YOUR
AWARD LETTER (SUCH AS SECOND CHOICE.) You must notify MEEC immediately
if you are exchanging sites with another teacher from your school who has received an EBB
Transportation Grant Award. MEEC is not liable to cover these charges without prior MEEC
authorization for the change.
5. Distance traveled by bus from school to host site and back may not exceed 250 miles. (Meaning,
the round trip mileage total may not exceed 250 miles.)
6. EnviroBus Buck Transportation Grants must be scheduled to occur within the school year the
grant is awarded. If for any reason the grant is not used in the school year it is awarded,
allocated funds will be forfeited. NO EXCEPTIONS!
7. Due to the high cost of fuel, school district transportation should be used for all trips.
Exceptions may apply and MEEC should be notified immediately. MEEC is not responsible for
District bus services and does not approve/disapprove which school transportation service
your School District chooses to use, but the MEEC Executive Board reserves the right to
approve/disapprove the use of charter bus services on a case-by-case basis.
8. Liability Clause: MEEC & its agents are released from any and all liabilities which may arise from
participation in field trip. MEEC field trip liability form required for each student and submitted
one week prior to the scheduled field trip or grant may be forfeited.
9. Grant recipients are required to submit a program evaluation form after the field trip along with
3 student field trip evaluation forms. PLEASE DO NOT SEND MEEC ONE FOR EACH STUDENT. YOU
MAY SEND A PACKET FROM ALL YOUR STUDENTS DIRECTLY TO THE HOST SITE.
For more information call (760) 245-1661 ext. 6101 FAX (760) 241-6271
Eligible educators must teach within the High Desert portion of San Bernardino County, the Palo Verde Valley of Riverside County or the High Desert region of North Los Angeles County, including the cities of Lancaster and Palmdale.
Due to the increased popularity of this program, only one grant will be awarded per teacher. Consideration will be made to award a second eligible grant application only after all eligible applications have been granted.
MEEC Host Sites
Advance Disposal is a single waste stream refuse and recycling company which processes almost 100% of the refuse and recyclable material brought in to the facility from residents and businesses in Hesperia, Spring Valley Lake, Oak Hills and the County areas of Apple Valley. Advance separates recyclable material from the refuse for their customers. Several kinds of plastic, paper, cardboard, glass, metal, wood, greenwaste, and other recyclable items are all sorted from the trash, prepared and shipped out for recycling. Most refuse haulers throughout California require source separation from their customers, whereas two or more bins are provided to each customer to separate recyclables from trash. These recyclables are then transported to a Material Recycling Facility (MRF) where only the recyclable materials are sorted for recycling and the trash bins go directly to the landfill. This is where Advance is unique and only uses one color bin for all customers and all of the material is brought into the MRF for sorting. The State mandates that all cities meet a 50% landfill diversion percentage requiring refuse companies and cities to work together to find new ways to reduce, reuse and recycle. A new MRF expansion recently completed anticipates a higher diversion rate which has also been State mandated to reach a 75% landfill diversion rate by 2020. Advance Disposal Company’s goal is to educate not only students, but the entire community on how Advance sorts and recycles for each and every customer. Many think that with only one color trash can, everything goes to the landfill when actually Advance sorts through everything to get more recyclables out and keep more material from going to the landfill with the tagline being… We Sort So You Don’t Have To! This educational tour will explain Advance’s refuse and recyclables processes, how the machinery works inside the MRF including a bird’s eye view from the new observation deck, an up-close look at the trucks and equipment used at the facility, a presentation that shows how trash and recycling is important to our environment and everyday life, and then an activity to explain to the students what we do and why we do it. Please allow 1-1 1/2 hour for the tour and presentation. Closed toe/tennis shoes and long pants are required. Grade Levels: 2-12 35 Students Maximum ADA accommodations (inside viewing) Contact: Beverly Williams (760)244-9113 x 225
Big Morongo Canyon Preserve The Preserve begins about one-half mile southeast of the town of Morongo Valley in the Little San Bernardino Mountains and opens at the bottom of Big Morongo Canyon into the west end of the Coachella Valley northwest of Desert Hot Springs. The desert oasis at Big Morongo Canyon is one of the 10 largest cottonwood and willow riparian (stream) habitats in California. The upstream end of the canyon lies in the Mojave Desert, while its downstream portion opens into the Colorado Desert. Elevations on the Preserve range from 600 feet on the canyon floor to over 3000 feet at the ridge tops. Several trails, including boardwalks through the marsh and stream habitats, meander through the Preserve. The one-half mile Marsh Trail is wheelchair-accessible. The Preserve is open daily throughout the year--from 7:30 am to sunset--but the ideal months to visit are in the fall, winter, and spring seasons. Admission is free but donations are welcomed. All trails begin at the kiosk by the parking lot. Visitors may choose from a number of trails ranging from three-tenths of a mile to an 11-mile round trip hike through Big Morongo Canyon. Hiking is permitted only on designated trails. Hikes led by docents are available seasonally. Trail maps, trail guides for self-guided walks, information brochures, picnic facilities, and restroom facilities are available at the Preserve. Tours, Field Studies, and Outreach Programs Docent-led tours and field studies are available by reservation. We can accommodate groups of up to 30 persons per tour (larger groups are based on staff availability). Reservations are required for both docent-led tours and self-guided tours for groups of over 15 people. Reservations are required at least two weeks in advance. An approved Tour Agreement is required prior to all group visits. Outreach programs are available for schools, community organizations, and special events by appointment and are subject to availability of staff. Education facilities are available to teachers and students for one-day excursions or long-term projects. Facilities include microscopes, computer access, field guides, and research books. Teachers can work independently or with trained docents. Program Topics Include: • Adaptations of Plants and Animals to Climatic Challenges • Desert Ecology • Homes for Flora and Fauna • Land Forms • Native American Uses of Plants in the Preserve • Pond Life Producers and Consumers • The Importance of Protecting Wetlands • The Rock Cycle • The Water Cycle • Weather and Climate • Wildlife Signs •Other Topics by Request http://www.bigmorongo.org/index.htm For more information on the Preserve, contact: Big Morongo Canyon Preserve PO Box 780 Morongo Valley, CA 92256 (760) 363-7190 E-mail: bmcp@BigMorongo.org
CalPortland Cement Company-Mojave Plant (Grades 6-up). Visit CalPortland Company and see why this high tech cement manufacturer has been honored with the EPA's 'Energy Star Partner of the Year' award for six consecutive years! The eight windturbines installed at the site produce 50 million kWh, which is equivalent to the amount of electricity needed to power 5,000 average homes annually and avoids carbon dioxide emissions comparable to what 7,000 passenger vehicles would generate in a year. Learn about the limestone lifecycle and how it was deposited, see it blasted, crushed, burned, ground, and then shipped as the finished product-cement! TOURS ARE LIMITED TO (60) PERSONS AND (1) BUS. PLEASE ALLOW AT LEAST 3 HOURS FOR YOUR TOUR.
Tour the country’s second largest cement manufacturing facility where more than 2 million tons of cement is processed each year. Tour the Apple Valley site to see the Pyro processing system, which uses coal, old tires, and wood by-products to generate temperatures in excess of 2500oF. When you schedule your tour, a CEMEX representative will contact you to schedule a classroom presentation prior to your trip using power point and actual materials to familiarize your students with what they will see on the tour. PLEASE ALLOW 2 HOURS FOR YOUR TOUR.
An animal sanctuary is a facility where animals are brought to live and be protected for the rest of their lives. Unlike animal shelters, sanctuaries do not seek to place animals with individuals or groups, instead maintaining each animal until his or her natural death. We do have a few reptiles and non-exotic animals that we allow the public to touch on certain tours. However we never allow the Exotic Cats to interact with the public, these animals are wild and in enclosures to protect them as well as you. Forever Wild is located in Phelan, California. The location can often be exposed and windy, and the enclosures are in the open. For your safety please wear closed toe shoes when coming for a tour. HOURS OF OPERATION The sanctuary is located 1.3 miles up a dirt road. Facility may close without notice due to inclement weather. Please call ahead before coming. To Schedule your tour, please contact Chemaine @ (760)-868-2755 or email email@example.com Schools: General Tour, All Ages $5.00 each Guided Tour, All Ages $6.00 each (admission fees are not covered under the transportation grant) Closed Mondays and Thursdays Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday 12:00PM to 5:00PM Saturday and Sunday 10:00AM to 5:00pm PLEASE ALLOW 1.5 - 2 HOURS FOR YOUR VISIT.
The programs usually consist of: 1. An informal talk on the local preserved animals on display in the Center. 2. A Hug-a-Tree program by Wrightwood Search and Rescue (how not to get lost in the forest and what to do if you do get lost) 3. Take a hike on the Pacific Crest Trail through the area burned by the 1997 Narrows Fire and damaged by last winter's storms. See the amazing forest recovery. 4. Access to the Grassy Hollow Visitor Center, where we offer interactive and tactile exhibits, mounted animal specimens, as well as nature films that can be shown in our Conference Room. If a teacher has need of special emphasis based on classroom activity, we will try to accommodate that need. For younger children, we may be able to arrange a visit by Smokey Bear. PLEASE CONTACT HOST SITE DIRECTLY TO DETERMINE LENGTH OF YOUR VISIT.
Joshua Tree National Park Joshua Tree National Park is immense, nearly 800,000 acres, and infinitely variable, delicate, and extremely fragile. This is a land shaped by strong winds, sudden torrents of rain, and climatic extremes. Rainfall is sparse and unpredictable. Two deserts, two large ecosystems primarily determined by elevation, come together in the park. Few areas more vividly illustrate the contrast between “high” and “low” desert. Below 3,000 feet (910 m), the Colorado Desert (part of the Sonoran Desert), occupying the eastern half of the park, is dominated by the abundant creosote bush. The higher, slightly cooler, and wetter Mojave Desert is the special habitat of the undisciplined Joshua tree, extensive stands of which occur throughout the western half of the park. Five fan palm oases dot the park, indicating those few areas where water occurs naturally at or near the surface, meeting the special life requirements of those stately trees. Oases once serving earlier desert visitors now abound in wildlife. The park encompasses some of the most interesting geologic displays found in California’s deserts. Rugged mountains of twisted rock and exposed granite monoliths testify to the tremendous earth forces that shaped and formed this land. Arroyos, playas, alluvial fans, bajadas, pediments, desert varnish, granites, aplite, and gneiss interact to form a giant mosaic of immense beauty and complexity. Joshua Tree National Park invites you and your students to attend ranger-led education programs. Most in-class programs are 45 minutes long. Programs given in the park last from one and one-half to four hours. There is no charge for education programs, but reservations are required and may be made a year in advance. Maximum group size will depend on the program and the number of park staff available. Most in-park programs are designed to accommodate two classes (60 students). Adult chaperones are required: one for each group of eight to 10 students. Some programs require four adults per class. Entrance-fee waivers are available for educational visits but not for recreational visits. A statement of your educational objectives and your lesson plan with an outline of educational activities is required. Primary and Secondary Groups To request an academic fee waiver for groups through grade twelve, return the request form and allow a minimum of two weeks for us to process your request. Camping fees are not included in the entrance-fee waiver. Ranger Guided • Second Grade: Natural History Earth's Bare Bones: Desert Landforms explores the different types of landforms found in deserts and helps students understand how rocks are formed and the makeup of minerals in rocks. • Third & Fourth Grades: Natural History Geo Kids: The Rocks of Joshua Tree National Park helps students discover how the rocks of Joshua Tree were formed and eroded. o Cultural History: Keys to the Past explores how successful homesteaders survived in the desert. (Limited to one class per program.) o Barker Dam: Survival in an Arid Land engages students in understanding how American Indians and early settlers survived in and adapted to the desert. (third grade) • Fifth & Sixth Grades: Natural History - Rocks and Faults engages students in how the ever-dynamic geology of Earth formed the landscape—and continues to shape it today. o Desert Water: A Secret from the Sun • Middle School & Junior High: Natural History Tortoise, Tortoise launches students into a study of the desert tortoise through scientific study practices using tortoise replicas. • High School: Research Opportunities - Discovering the Ancients: Science in Action has students participate in a science research project for the park that deals with desert plants. An in-class presentation is required to participate. o Job Shadowing allows a student to accompany a national park ranger in order to experience what he or she does on a daily basis. Entrance-fee waivers are available for educational visits but not for recreational visits. A statement of your educational objectives and your lesson plan with an outline of educational activities is required. Primary and Secondary Groups To request an academic fee waiver for groups through grade twelve, return the request form (http://www.nps.gov/jotr/forteachers/upload/feewaiver.pdf )and allow a minimum of two weeks for us to process your request. Camping fees are not included in the entrance-fee waiver. To contact us: Voice: 760-367-3011 Fax: 760-367-6392 Mail: Education Office Joshua Tree National Park 9800 Black Rock Canyon Road Yucca Valley, CA 92284
Living Desert Botanical Gardens and Zoo Education / Tours Youth Tours An Adventure in Education The Living Desert provides an introduction to desert ecology to more to thousands of school children each year. Field Trips have the following exciting options that include our regularly scheduled storytelling, live animal encounters, Wildlife Wonders Show, Village WaTuTu, hands-on Discovery Center and our desert play land – Gecko Gulch. Picnic areas are also available. Youth Tours appeal to all other youth leaders for many reasons, including: Group of 15 or more are invited to book either a Zoo Zone Field Trip or Docent Guided Tour. Zoo Zone Field Trips are available Monday Through Friday, priced at $6.00 each for grades Pre-K through 12. Educators may make arrangements to visit the park in advance to finalize lesson plans at no charge Free parking Groups of 15 or more are invited to book one of the following options: DOCENT-GUIDED TOURS $6.00 per participant (Grades 1-12 – Limited to 120 per day. Offered Monday through Friday from the mid of October until mid May, excluding school holidays & program black-out dates.) Our friendly docents take you on a 90 minute tour that can be modified to meet your educational goals. Tours start between 9:30 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. You may choose a tour of African or North American exhibits, or book a North American tour highlighting the ancient Cahuilla Indians. After your docent-led tour you may continue to enjoy the park at your leisure! Docent-Guided Tours require a minimum of one adult per 10 children. NEW “Zoo Zone Field Trips” $6.00 per participant (Grades Pre-K to 12) (Offered Monday through Friday from 9:30am to 11:30am. This program offers teachers and their students an adventurous walk through the park in search of six stations attended by volunteers to answer their questions about wildlife animals and plants. A map and guide to the six stations are provided along with some questions to ask volunteers. Look for demonstration carts with a volunteer wearing a red or blue shirt. Zoo Zone field Trips require a minimum of one adult per five students. (6 adults per 10 students maximum). (This time slot is the only time the docents will be at these 6 stations. So allow a minimum of 1 ½ hours to get all of these stations.) In Along with this you may want to include: • Giraffe Chat and Feeding at 10:00am • 11:00am and 2:00pm Wildlife Wonder Show (20 to 25 minute show) • NEW “Discovery Center” building with all hands-on activities that tell about how deserts were formed and pre-historic times (open from 9:30am to 4:30pm) • NEW “Ant Farm” exhibit at the Discovery Center. • For $5.00 each, you can ride a camel!!! • Jaguar Exhibit In compliance with Title 13, California Code of Regulations (CCR), Title 13, §2480 and in order to conserve energy and preserve the environment, no vehicles may idle for more than 5 consecutive minutes. Pre- and Post Visit Material Packets Are Available for free Download by contacting: firstname.lastname@example.org Materials include: • Field trip information • Guidelines for school groups • What is a Desert? • Activities for classroom settings • Background fact sheetsWe hope you are able to take advantage of this educational program that allows educators to book tours to The Living Desert at a special discount. For more details or to book a tour contact: Bobby Sizemore School Field Trips Director 760-346-5694, extension 2519 email@example.com Outreach Programs Tuesday through Thursday mornings, Docents and/or Education staff make house calls to local classrooms within the Coachella Valley School Districts. We are pleased to offer a variety of fascinating programs for Pre-K through 6th grade, geared to state science and history standards and The Living Desert’s Mission. Call Linda Gaeta at 760-346-5694, ext. 2505 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
(K-12) Clean Power Education Center (CPEC) - Located in the lobby of the MDAQMD's Victorville offices, the CPEC was designed to promote renewable, clean sources of energy and educate the public about their benefits to the environment, the economy and future energy demands. The display includes a 1/48 scale working model of the District's Solar Electric System, a diagram of how a solar cell works, actual size PV solar cells, a Solar Kiosk - a touch screen, interactive display customized to the MDAQMD's specific roof-top system, and highlighting it's performance data. Since its 2004 installation, the MDAQMD’s solar system has produced more than 1,000,000 KWh of electricity, which has saved the District more than $280,000 in energy costs and prevented approximately 631,000 lbs of C0 emissions. Includes a grade appropriate air quality workshop/presentation and tour of the air monitoring station and Clean Power Education Center. No more than (60) students per tour. ALLOW 1.5 HOURS FOR TOUR.
Organics Composting Nursery Products is an 80-acre compost recycling facility located 10-miles west of Hinkley. Compost recycling is the most environmentally responsible way to manage biosolids and green material (compared to landfilling, land application or incineration). The Nursery Products facility is completely off the electric grid and operates on solar power. Biosolids are generated during wastewater treatment throughout Southern California including the High Desert. Biosolids are a highly treated nutrient rich material that can be converted into high quality compost that provides two benefits. For one, a material that otherwise would take up valuable landfill space is diverted and recycled. Second, farmers and gardeners can use compost to provide essential nutrients to their plants and crops without chemical fertilizers, while reducing water usage and improving soil quality. Currently, 2.5 million tons of biosolids per year are transported from Southern California to Kern County, Arizona and local landfills, which results in significant diesel and greenhouse gas emissions. This site eliminates 2 million truck miles per year, and reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 39,000 pounds per day. School tours will focus on the process of recycling and composting and how it works, and what happens when “organic material” decomposes. The tour will highlight the construction of the site, and share with the students all the efforts made to protect desert tortoises and other native species as well as demonstrating the compost process. Please allow 40 minutes for tour. Appropriate for grades 4-12. No more than 40 students per tour. Wheelchair accessible. Contact for Scheduling Tour: Jeff Meberg, President 714-287-7654 Email: email@example.com Facility Address: 14479 Cougar Road, Helendale 92342
Twentynine Palms Water and Fire Department Tour – Students can enjoy a tour of local water and fire department facilities on the Twentynine Palms Water District environmental education tour. From pumps and reservoirs to pumper trucks and fire stations, students will get an interactive look at how the District operates. By discussing and observing the tools that we use to distribute and treat water from the sole source for 29 Palms – our groundwater – students will gain an understanding of why protecting our groundwater resources from pollution and overdraft is critical to public health and welfare. By viewing the fire apparatus and interacting with fire crews, students can learn about the importance of fire protection and how water and fire systems interact in our desert environment. Tours must be limited to one classroom of students at a time and will especially target fifth grade students who are studying Earth Science. The tour is 2.5 - 3 hours and morning is ideal due to the heat. Handicapped accessible. Contact: Cindy Fowlkes 760-367-7546
Vasquez Rocks, located in the high desert near Agua Dulce Springs, features 932 acres of spectacular rock formations, Tataviam Indian sites, and a seasonal stream. The rocks’ history began in prehistoric times when the sandstone rocks were uplifted at a picturesque angle, showing their jagged red features. The Vasquez Rocks Interpretive Center offers a tectonic plate simulator, EEI Curriculum-based activities, live animal displays, artifact exhibits, as well as cultural, historic and geological exhibits. Interpretive Center Hours are Tuesday – Sunday 8:00am to 4:00 pm Closed Mondays, except Holidays.
Victor Valley Museum “Discover Your Own Backyard at the Victor Valley Museum” Explore the cultural and natural heritage of the High Desert; • Native Americans, prehistory, and archaeology • History • Rocks, minerals, mining, and fossils • Plants, animals, and unique environments • Curriculum-based gallery guides for school groups • Special programs for children and families • Reading Room and the Grant Lamson collection of children’s books 11873 Apple Valley Road • Apple Valley, CA 92308 • (760-240-2111) www.sbcounty.gov/museum Wednesdays through Sundays 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Adult $5 • Senior/Military $4 • Student/Child 5 to 12 $2 Under 5 and SBCMA members free
With a sweeping view of Pyramid Lake from its wraparound balcony, Vista del Lago Visitors Center is the largest of DWR's three information facilities. Resident tour guides offer guests both personal and school tours. And as installation of new exhibits continues, the center now supports California's Education and Environment Initiatives (EEI) Curriculum. At Vista del Lago a visitor's journey at the center begins with a MAGIC PLANET spherical screen offering videos developed by the Smithsonian Institute and other science museums. The topics discuss the finite quantity of earth’s water, the effects of climate change and many other water-related issues. Go back in time with the ‘ANCIENT WATER’ EXHIBIT and learn how past civilizations endeavored to move water to their people. The world-class dioramas in this exhibit will thrill children and adults alike. Then learn about the issues that threaten our water supply in California as well as the many creative ways people are discovering to improve our stewardship of water at the ‘THREATS AND INNOVATIONS’ EXHIBIT. Through a giant mock pipeline, visitors enter the STATE WATER PROJECT ROOM, where a three-dimensional model depicts all the Project's facilities, including reservoirs and power and pumping plants. Another display illustrates the massive tools used to construct the SWP, the nation's largest state-built water and power development system. The difficulty of pumping water up-hill 1,926 feet is made clear with the PUMPING WHEEL. Other exhibits include a TIMELINE OF CALIFORNIA'S WATER HISTORY and a video flight, “WINGS OVER WATER”, soaring over the entire length of the State Water Project. No explanation of California water would be complete without discussion of the SACRAMENTO-SAN JOAQUIN DELTA, the largest estuary on the West Coast, featured in the center's ROOM 5. The state's two biggest rivers flow through the Delta before reaching the SWP's first pumping plant. The Delta supplies water to 25 million Californians and roughly three million acres of irrigated farmland. Its fragile environment is troubled by water exports, invasive species, and pollution, among other threats. Declining fish and wildlife populations in the Delta jeopardize the reliability of the water supplies upon which much of California's economy depends. The center also features a video presentation, projected on a huge topographical map of California, that explains how the state's geography influences where rain and snow fall -- and how water is transported to drier regions. At Vista del Lago, visitors can also learn about the 29 public water agencies that receive State Water Project supplies. Their customers pay the costs of constructing, operating, and maintaining the Project. The Vista del Lago Visitors Center, open daily 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. except Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's Day, is located on Interstate Highway 5 between the cities of Castaic and Gorman. There is a Vista del Lago off-ramp, north and south. For more information, call (661) 294-0219.