AGUA HEDIONDA LAGOON FOUNDATION / Compost, Chicken and Climbing Courtyard

Compost, Chicken and Climbing Courtyard

Story & Need

Our Preschool Playdates Program here at the Agua Hedionda Lagoon Foundation’s Discovery Center is rapidly expanding. In order to meet the needs of these young environmental stewards as well as our community’s, we are embarking on an exhibit and safety expansion project here at the Discovery Center. The Compost, Chicken and Climbing Courtyard.

With 50 preschoolers attending our Preschool Playdate Program daily, on top of our approximately 80 visitors and Academy of Environmental Stewardship Field Trip attendees, we need extra security fencing around our property to ensure an enjoyable and safe experience for our young learners.

Phase 1 of this expansion includes adding 3ft high slatted fencing around the parking lot perimeter of the Discovery Center that is adjacent to Cannon Road. This will provide a proper barrier for our busiest area. We will continue on with the perimeter fencing in our expanded parking lot and educational nodes adjacent to Cannon Road. Each opening to Cannon will receive a gate. This will give our preschool teachers more space to use our outdoor educational nodes bordering Cannon Road, and thus expand our program and offerings. 

Phase 2 of this expansion is the real fun – adding a natural play area, compost and chicken courtyard! We have mapped out a space in the north-east portion of our Center, partially shaded by the towering Torrey Pines. We plan to provide the same perimeter fencing around this entire area, and split it into two zones. The composting center (zone 1), which will feature a chicken coop, composting bins, vermiculture bins and interpretive signage that will be used daily in our programs to teach about the importance of composting, a living example of sustainable practices, and reduce our waste. We envision making compost for our community, or selling it in our giftshop as well as the use of it around the Discovery Center grounds where the plants permit it. The chicken coop will border the second zone of the natural play area so our preschoolers and visitors will see directly into their coop. The chickens will provide hands-on care and learning opportunities, and become the newest Animal Ambassadors to welcome guests at the Discovery Center and interact with them.  The natural play area (Zone 2), will feature permeable surfaces to provide another example onsite of water percolation into the soil, filtering out pollutants and recharging the water table. In addition, this area will have ample “play features” such as tree stumps, safe climbing surfaces, an outdoor “mud” kitchen, natural foliage and native plants, games and much more as our imaginative minds get to creating, and our donors support our vision. One ongoing donor has already committed to providing the shade cover where the Torrey Pines do not shelter. We thank Shazeebo for their past efforts in providing shade to our outdoor classrooms, and welcome their commitment to community once again, in providing shade covering for this new expansion.

 The last portion, Phase 3 is to continue on with the perimeter fencing on the inner part of the center near our pollinator garden. By using reclaimed wood fencing, or composite fencing, we can walk our walk and provide an example in real time of sustainably made materials and their use.  This will provide another learning area for our young stewards and a safe enclosure from cars entering the facility.

We invite you today to invest in your future. The Agua Hedionda Lagoon Foundation provides early environmental learning experiences and appreciation for our natural surroundings in the North County area of San Diego. We strive to garner the interests of young environmental stewards, and give them the stepping stones to become our next environmental engineers, climate scientists, naturalists, biologists, conservationists and so much more. They are our future - invest in their experiences today. 

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Learn About Our Vision Here

Video produced by Cameron Honda and Aaron Cawler

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If you have any questions please contact samantha@aguahedionda.org, or (760) 804-1969