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News from the Friends of The Bernard Biological Field Station of the Claremont Colleges

LEEP program gets award and grant!

    Pitzer's Leadership in Environmental Education Partnership (LEEP) program, which brings classes to the Field Station for 11 weeks in spring, has enabled over 500 children from schools in Pomona and Claremont to study ecological and environmental issues. The program recently was given a Silver Medal for excellence by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education, and an Interactive Education Initiative Grant by the America On Line Foundation. Kudos to Pitzer!


  • The Roadrunners have been dashing around.

  • Two specimens of the gold-backed fern, Pityogramma triangularis, have been found, one on the proposed KGI site.

  • Goldenbush put on a magnificent display during the autumn.

  • Hungry birds are feasting on the bright red Toyon berries.

  • A tiny red and green succulent is carpeting the edges of the fire roads.


Recent Activities

    Fourth of July: The Friends had a booth in the park and a float carried by a truck in the parade. There was a background painting of purple mountains against a blue sky with buckets of CSS plants in front. Rabbit and turtle puppets emerged from the vegetation at the whim of several of Claremont's schoolchildren. It was great! Thanks to all who helped.

    Village Venture: This year we set up a game booth in the children's area. We had a wheel with drawings of CSS plants and animals for the children to spin and lots of great prizes: BFS coloring books, large plastic bugs, furry animals, posters, and so on. It was a great success and a lot of fun for everyone.

    Library Display: The Friends had a display in the Claremont Library during January. There were great pictures of activities at the BFS and old photos of the area. There was also a wonderful array of articles relating to the Tongva, the Native American tribe who used to live in the Claremont area, including north of Foothill.

City Council Candidates

    As a non-profit, the Friends cannot endorse particular candidates but we can provide information. A letter was sent to each of the seven candidates setting forth reasons for preserving the BFS and inviting them to send a statement for inclusion in this newsletter. Mr. Bunck did not respond. Neither did Mr. Quintanar although he has stated elsewhere that he supports preserving it. Mr. Bollinger declined to make a statement. Mr. Held, the incumbent, lives near the BFS and therefore did not vote on the issue. This would be true for any future issues concerning the station.

Mr Nasiali wrote:
    Thank you for taking the time to share your views with me about Bernard Field Station. You made a convincing case for recognizing the field station as an important educational facility. I discussed my views with you as follows:

  1. I agreed with you about the educational importance of the field station.

  2. I indicated my belief in recognizing property ownership rights, including the right to use the property within the framework of adopted zoning and environmental regulations. I also recognized the intrinsic value to the community of certain open space properties such as the hillside areas.

  3. I stated that I was not opposed to the College Trustees' intentions to use a portion of the field station for an educational institute (KGI). However, I also stated that I support the position that "educational use" does not necessarily mean only constructing buildings on the site. I believe that a case can be made for recognizing the fact that the field, as currently used, qualifies for being categorized as "educational". Therefore, if I am elected to City Council, I will be prepared to argue for this position. I would view development rights at the field station in the same manner as the adopted policy for development in the hillside areas.

  4. I indicated that I support the agreement now in place, whereby the Colleges have committed to leaving a portion of the property to stay as (a field station) for the next fifty years. I would like to see a commitment for a longer period of time and on a majority of the property. Nevertheless, I believe that the way to do it is through negotiation and appropriate use of adopted environmental regulations. In part, it would be desirable to first consider for development other properties owned by the Colleges prior to focusing on developing the field station.

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