The Egret Corner
March 2021 | Issue 9
The intense stare of a White-tailed Kite perched on the branch of a Chinese Elm(Ulmus parvifolia) tree.
Location: Ballona Wetlands Area C
Photo by Rick Pine, edited by Lisa Rachal.
Dear Ballona Wetlands Advocates,

We are on our third month of the year, and we hope all has gone well for all of you! In this month's issue, we showcase the founder of Outdoor Asians, learn to repair outdoor gear, and update you on local news from the recent Culver City Council vote to urge California to close down the SoCalGas facility at Ballona Wetlands.

As for project updates, our outreach and education projects will start to ramp up from here onward, as we continue to reach out to local schools of the Ballona Creek Watershed. We will continue to offer free virtual classes with a focus on the Ballona Creek Watershed to groups or classes of age 6-11 years. We are also developing a new curriculum for children which will focus on Ballona's Aquatic Life. This will be a virtual presentation for the time being with the hope to be taught in-person as well, topics that would be discussed are aquatic organisms, the aquatic food chain and web, the aquatic ecosystem, conservation, and stewardship.

If you know of an organization or class or wish to form a group of children who may be interested in the virtual class, please email 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 Christopher Chalaka
Meet Christopher, the founding member and executive director of Outdoor Asian. This organization's goal is to create communities for Asian & Pacific Islanders in the outdoors.

He is a second-generation South Asian-Taiwanese American with a B.A. in Environmental Studies and Biology and works in the health, environmental, and diversity field.

Gear Repair 101 with Yvan Tran
Do you have some gear lying around that could use some love?
The Outdoor Asian Team has the perfect activity for outdoor enthusiasts to do while spending this time indoors. Yvan Tran is a designer in the clothing industry and has shared some serious knowledge to extend your outdoor gear life...

Local News
Culver City Council votes 4-1 urging CA to close down SoCalGas facility under Ballona Wetlands
On March 8th, Culver City City Council voted to approve a resolution calling on the state to present a timeline and plan for the closure of the facility, one known for leaks and blowouts...

Bird of the Month: Least Bittern
Interesting Facts
Least Bitterns are one of the smallest members of the heron family. Due to their lightweight and size, Least Bitterns can cling to cattails and reeds with their long toes to catch prey instead of wading through high waters like most other herons.
Habitat - freshwater marshes and/or brackish marshes, where tall strands of vegetation grow (e.g. cattails)

Diet - small fish, amphibians, crustaceans, and small mammals (e.g. mice)

Nesting - the male builds a well-hidden nest near the tall strands of vegetation and uses the surrounding vegetation to build its nest
Photo: Jonathan Coffin, edited by Lisa Rachal
Facts from
*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.