Borrego Sun - Since 1949

Ranger Steve's "Egg Salad" Learning Center Dedication


Last updated 6/6/2018 at 8:53am

PHOTO Courtesy of Nina Gregory/ NPR

It's been a year since the idea was first floated, inspired by the life and teachings of the late Steve Bier. The beloved State Park ranger died tragically last year, and 13 Borregans lent physical, logistical, and financial support to the construction of the Ranger Steve Outdoor Learning Center gathered May 20 for its dedication.

Ranger Steve would surely have approved of the 18x18-foot post-and-beam screened-in room, located adjacent to the main Borrego Springs Middle School building. And perhaps he would have exclaimed, "That's egg salad!" He was never heard to use "excellent," but always its adjective substitute.

The Middle School students drafted the Learning Center mission statement mostly by themselves, stating that the Middle School garden is to provide:

– Education in an outdoor setting;

– Fresh food for students and their families;

– The opportunity for creativity to grow;

– An inclusive environment where empathy, tolerance, team building, and critical thinking are always practiced;

– A place for FUN where students can get their hands in the soil.

Among the produce choices to be grown by the kids are watermelon, cabbage, citrus, strawberry, ginger, several herb varieties, and sunflowers for the seeds. By way of a grant, a nutritionist will be made available to supplement the garden project.

At the dedication, environmental scientist and building volunteer Mason Hyland spoke of the Outdoor Learning Center as a place for kids to gather and do something creative. They can grow produce, work on mulching techniques, work up nutrition guidelines, or do anything else they see fit, and then pass on to other kids and future generations what Ranger Steve was all about – a legacy of learning about the natural world around us.

"We must address larger, broader community needs," Hyland said, in order to rally support for what the kids are doing.

It was also time to say a few words of thanks to retiring teacher Claudia Goldberg. Martha Deichler and Kathy Dice both spoke of Claudia's years of dedication to the education of kids of Borrego, and also how she played an instrumental role in taking the Learning Center idea to fruition. Deichler added that by way of a grant, funds would be made available, thanks again in large part to Goldberg, for a nutritionist to supplement the garden project.

Potted tomato plants were raffled off, which are now in place to provide fresh tomatoes through the long, hot summer. The legacy of Ranger Steve also looks to be long, and egg salad.

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