The Egret Corner
June 2021 | Issue 12
A Baja California treefrog (Pseudacris hypochondriaca hypochondriaca) resting on the Cocklebur leaf (Xanthium strumarium L.).
Location: Area B of the Ballona Reserve
Photo: Jonathan Coffin, edited by Lisa Rachal.
Dear Ballona Wetlands Advocates,

Summer is officially here! In this month's newsletter, we are featuring a prominent TikTok forager, a beginner's guide to foraging, a recent column article discussing the homeless encampments on Jefferson, and a bird that can be known as the 'palm-leaf oriole'. We hope some of this information brightens your day or enhances your summer.

We are continuing to offer our environmental virtual classes for summer groups or classes (1st to 5th graders). If you know of a group or class that may be interested in our virtual class, please feel free to contact or fill out this form.

Please enjoy the rest of the newsletter, for previous issues visit our newsletter archive. If you have any questions or concerns email

Thank you for your ongoing support.


The Ballona Wetlands Team
Diversity in the Field: Presenting Alexis Nikole Nelson
Meet Alexis Nikole Nelson, famously known on TikTok and Instagram as the Black Forager. Her entertaining videos share foraging tips and unique recipes with her findings. Her creations are simply magical, it feels like a lesson at Hogwarts.

Safety Warning: Harvesting wild plants should only be done by experienced knowledgeable foragers. This information is for general education, use this information at your own risk

In this segment, we aim to showcase people of color or organizations in outdoor and STEM fields working to improve the environment and/or people's access to natural spaces.
A Beginner's Guide to Urban Foraging
Urban foraging is the practice of identifying and collecting wild foods (think tree nuts, plant roots, mushrooms, and even flowers) growing freely around your city. It might also be one of the easiest ways for consumers to start engaging with larger discussions of environmental land use, food justice, and the effects of climate change. The practice is accessible to everyone...

Ballona in the News
The humanitarian and environmental crisis unfolding at the marsh
The encampments and the RVs on Jefferson have been a source of concern for a lot of local residents and visitors of the freshwater marsh(owned by the State Lands Commission and managed by the Ballona Wetlands Conservancy). Public green spaces in the Los Angeles area are far and few between and as a nature and wildlife advocate it's upsetting to see these places negatively impacted by human activity but so is the rising amount of people who are becoming homeless. This complex issue doesn't have a simple fix but it needs to be addressed thoughtfully. This article features a range of perspectives on the issue and provides a more personal account of a few of the people currently living on Jefferson Blvd.

News items related to the Ballona Wetlands
do not necessarily reflect the views of the Ballona Wetlands Land Trust.
Bird of the Month: Hooded Oriole
Interesting Facts
In California, Hooded Orioles are sometimes referred to as the "palm leaf oriole" because they weave their nests into the underside of the palm leaves.
Habitat - open, dry areas in the southwest of North America, where trees are sparse

Diet - insects, fruit, and nectar

Nesting - places hanging nests on the underside of palm trees, sycamore trees, or eucalyptus trees
*Birds featured here have been seen at the Ballona Reserve or in the surrounding area.
Your Contributions Further Our Efforts!
Contributions collected are used to advance our efforts to advocate for the greater Ballona Wetlands ecosystem. Any contributions are greatly appreciated.
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The Ballona Wetlands Land Trust is a non-profit community organization
dedicated to advocating for the greater Ballona Wetlands ecosystem and to facilitating access to this ecosystem for education, stewardship, and public outreach.