March CIR Membership Party and Natural History Walking Tours Fun and Educational!


In March, CIR members were treated to a gorgeous day for our annual membership appreciation party at Rincon Beach Park in Carpinteria.  Each available picnic table was filled to the brim with the smiling faces of CIR members snacking on chips, salsa, and Duke McPherson’s delicious homemade guacamole, not to mention whole fruit and granola bar baskets to tease the appetite, in anticipation of the feast to come.


CIR Membership Party at Rincon Beach Park. 


As festivities got underway, everyone enjoyed the delightful sounds of musician, Lawrence Wallin and the Glendessary Jam, who generously donated their tunes, talents, and time in exchange for helping themselves to the pot-luck buffet and barbecued fare.  With a sighting of coastal bottlenose dolphins from the pavilion, outstanding ocean views and sunny skies, one couldn’t have asked for a better setting.

One entire twelve-foot picnic table was absolutely overflowing with pot-luck goodies from salads, sides, and snacks to delectable desserts—it truly was an impressive turnout of culinary contributions that satisfied everyone.  After


The Glendessary Jam making great music!
the feast, which featured marinated chicken and veggie burgers provided by CIR and barbecued to perfection by Mr. President himself, Duke McPherson, we all enjoyed a presentation given by Executive Director, Ken Owen, during which he crowned Ron Nichols the first-ever CIR volunteer of the year!  Ron was applauded and awarded a commemorative wooden plaque, as well as a brand new Anacapa Island t-shirt and CIR cap.



Following the picnic, CIR members took a short drive to the Carpinteria Bluffs Preserve where

CIR Board President Duke McPherson and Gretchen Ingmanson prepare BBQ chicken.
Wayne Ferren was the first to speak about the ecology and the plant communities of the area.  Members were then treated to a talk with Tanya Atwater on the beach about local geology, as well as a docent-led program at the Carpinteria Harbor Seal Sanctuary.  The final tour was a visit to the Carpinteria Tar Pits Park.  Here, members were addressed by Wayne Ferren, Tanya Atwater, and John Johnson of the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History about the history of the tar pits and the ancient flora and fauna that had been preserved there.


Ron Nichols received an award as CIR’s first member of the year at the CIR Membership Party.  Ron has participated in dozens of CIR volunteer events on the Channel Island and on the mainland.