On May 21, Environmental Charter Schools was excited to be one of the many local environmental nonprofits invited to participate in a luncheon and tour of the Santa Susana Field Laboratory hosted by Boeing, one of our ECS partners. From all corners of Los Angeles, we headed up to Simi Hills in Ventura County, driving up the mountain to land owned by The Boeing Company, the Department of Energy, and NASA. Boeing has spent millions of dollars so far to conduct research and rehabilitate the land from the chemical and radiological contamination caused by its former use as a rocket engine testing site. Boeing worked with the LA Conservation Corps and the Pollinator Partnership, among others, to build a state-of-the-art storm water treatment system using native plants, biofilters and CA storm water best management practices to clean contaminated surface water and eliminate runoff from the property.
We saw the cool historic rocket engine testing stand owned by NASA and heard how the Audubon Society and Friends of the Santa Susana Mountains are working with Boeing to track bird migrations through the undeveloped areas of the property and to preserve these 2,400 acres as undeveloped open space for future public use. These riparian oak woodlands serve as a rare wildlife corridor connecting the Los Padres National Forest to the Santa Monica Mountains and the Pacific Ocean.
The Santa Susana Field Laboratory is a great site for students to study the legacy of contamination in our communities, and the innovative measures being taken to rehabilitate the land for safe public use. Thanks to Boeing for sharing their research with us and supporting Environmental Charter Schools programs that help students, families and educators reduce their ecological footprint!
[photo] Sammy Lyon from Environmental Charter Schools and Viviana Franco from From Lot to Spot