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Diamond Bar Scouts Visit Landfill and Lend a Hand to Bird in Need of Conservation

Diamond Bar Cub Scouts and Waste Management staff collaborate to build a home for depleting burrowing owl population

Submitted photo.
Submitted photo.
This past Saturday, Cub Scout Pack 788, Den 7 of Diamond Bar participated in a conservation event that aimed to increase the Western burrowing owl population in the Waste Management El Sobrante Wildlife Preserve. In collaboration with Waste Management staff, the scouts established an underground den that will serve as a nesting area for the rare owl.

The El Sobrante Wildlife Preserve, located adjacent to the landfill, comprises more than 650 acres that is preserved for 31 protected plant and animal species. The El Sobrante Landfill is located in unincorporated Riverside County and serves more than one million Inland Empire residents as well as Waste Management customers in Diamond Bar.

Since 2000, the Waste Management El Sobrante Landfill and Wildlife Preserve has been providing learning opportunities that engage students and scouts in environmental protection and resource conservation. The project on Saturday not only served as a hands-on learning experience for the youths but also enhanced the likelihood of more Western burrowing owl hatchlings in the Lake Mathews region.

For several years, the burrowing owl has been experiencing population decline due to threats such as habitat loss and habitat degradation. The owl’s habitat is open grassland, and it nests in underground burrows dug out by other animals such as ground squirrels. Burrowing owls are often seen standing erect on fence posts or near the entrance to one of their burrows. The owl is diurnal and its large yellow eyes, rounded head, long legs and dull brown and white spotted feathers are distinctive among other North American owls.

With the assistance of the El Sobrante Landfill biologist, Cub Scout Pack 788, Den 7 installed one artificial nesting burrow over the weekend. To establish the den, the scouts attached a 6-foot plumbing tube to a 12 by 20-inch box and buried both the box and tube. They left the end portion of the tube above ground so the owls can enter the burrow to lay eggs.

“This conservation project was a unique opportunity for the scouts to create positive environmental change through volunteerism and collaborative action,” said Miriam Cardenas, Waste Management community relations representative. “Plus, we are thrilled to offer this educational activity to children from Diamond Bar, a city where Waste Management does business.”

Additionally, the Cub Scouts toured the El Sobrante Landfill to learn about what happens to Diamond Bar’s municipal solid waste after it leaves curbside and the importance of recycling often and recycling right. 

—Waste Management
CC February 27, 2014 at 03:39 PM
Mr Russell,how much you know about scouting? Please respect others !! You want respect ,you must give first!! Can't immagine we have such ignorant people in this society !!
Vito Spago February 27, 2014 at 04:38 PM
I agree. Boy scouts and YMCA are the best groups in the world. Do great things with boys. Too bad the gay lovers have to poke their heads in and try to join. Would not be a problem if the gays just kept their mouths shut and did not make a big deal of it. If leaders and kids do not act out their gayness, no one really cares if they are part of these groups.
Ray Russell February 28, 2014 at 12:57 PM
CC, I was just stating my opinion of Boy Scouts as a group on camping trips ! I do respect them, but I'm also saddened to see the problems they cause when they don't have either enough or proper leadership! Please re-read my entire comments! As an organization they are great! As individuals doing good they are great! But in some situations they have been rude and down right destructive and I blain it not on the individual's or Scouts as a group but on the leadership or lack at the particular time. It's a skill I'm suggesting they need to work on. You can disagree with me, it's your right, but please give me the curtesey to read my entire posting before you comment. Thank you!
Vito Spago February 28, 2014 at 01:23 PM
Sorry, Ray. Did not mean to sound so critical. And I did read your entire post. These are just kids and kids are noisy when they are having fun. Including the leaders. The alternative is them sitting home getting bored and getting into trouble.
Ray Russell March 01, 2014 at 04:19 PM
Vito, sorry but comment was directed towards CC. I have worked with groups of kids including my own. And yes they are noisy but that's not the only way to have fun and it's not what I was complaining about. Like I said they do great deeds, but they also do great environmental damage when in poorly led or controlled groups. I've witnessed dumping of garbage and waste into waterways, trees chopped on and carved up to practice knife and axe skills etc. and campsites left in near ruin by scouts. And more than once. I've seen it offten enough that I make it a point to stay away from these groups if I can. I don't blame the kids, but the leadership of these groups. My kids were always taught to respect nature and the environment and to leave it in at least as good a shape or better than what it was when they entered. And they still had fun. These values they still practice and pass on to their children.

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