Slide Ranch Programs
Slide Ranch is a non-profit, educational center and demonstration farm in a coastal setting which provides hands-on experiences teaching respect for our human role in the web of life.
A teaching farm since 1970, the ranch enables Bay Area residents to make choices which are ecologically and agriculturally informed, take action supporting the sustainable use of natural resources, and feel nourished by the natural world.
Teachers are professional, gentle educators who provide exciting experiences for families.
Homestead Farm Days
Saturday, July 27; 10am-2pm; $12/person
Experience farm life for a day. Learn where food and clothing come from. Activities may include milking goats, making bread, collecting eggs and feeding chickens, carding and spinning sheep and rabbit wool, helping in the garden or hiking along a coastal wildland trail. Bring a lunch. This program is most suitable for adults with children between the ages of 6 and 12.
A Time for Toddlers
June 2 & 30, July 7 & 28; 9:30-noon; $10/person
These half-day programs are especially oriented to families with children under 6. Children's senses will be awakened as they help milk a goat, feel the warmth of a freshly laid chicken egg, stroke the soft fur of an angora rabbit or plant seeds in a garden bed. Bring picnic lunch.
June 8 & 9, July 13 & 14; 1:00pm Saturday to noon Sunday; $30/person
These programs allow the special opportunity to get into the rhythm of farm life by spending the weekend with your family. There will be a campfire in the evening.
Weekday Summer Camp
June 24-28; August 5-9; 8:45am-3:00pm; $175, 8-14 years
June 14-21; July 29-August 2; 8:45am-1:30pm; $150; 5-7 years
Your child will experience farm living, explore tidepools, hike the trails, make a variety of crafts, and learn about interdependence. Space is limited.
Father's Day Program
Sunday, June 16; 10:00-1:30; $12/person (Dads free)
Program includes Homestead Farm and Toddler Day activities and is for all ages. Bring a lunch.
All programs are by advance reservation only. Call 381-6155.
Protection For The Sonoma County Coast
The California Coastal Conservancy has authorized over one-half million dollars for the protection of farmland, wildlife habitat, and coastal views near Bodega Bay. Grants will be made to the Sonoma County Agricultural Preservation and Open Space District and the Sonoma Land Trust to help purchase properties and conservation easements in the area.
"Farms, coastal visitors, and the natural environment will all benefit from these purchases," said Penny Allen, chair of the Coastal Conservancy. "The Conservancy is pleased to work with local preservation and open space groups and with private landowners to help protect this beautiful and largely unspoiled part of California's coast."
The properties to be purchased are on the shore of the Estero Americano, a portion of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary whose water quality and wildlife habitat are affected by large-lot residential development. The two adjacent properties, which together contain about 96 acres, are along the northern boundary of an area proposed for expansion of the Point Reyes National Seashore by Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey and Marin County Supervisor Gary Giacomini. President Clinton recently endorsed this plan, authorizing $1 million for the purchase of agricultural easements to forestall development of farmland between Olema and Bodega Bay. To purchase the properties, $150,000 in Coastal Conservancy funds will be joined by $150,000 from the Sonoma Land Trust.
Media Alert Marine Mammals Need Offshore Protection
While marine scientists have worked hard to establish safe coastal havens for elephant seals, they now call for protection of shrinking offshore feeding grounds—a problem rooted deeply in the open ocean. On Thursday, May 16, Dr. Claudio Campagna of the Wildlife Conservation Society explained why these natural divers can't survive on beaches alone.
Elephants seals spend over 90 percent of their lives diving for food in the upwelling areas at the edge of the continental shelf. These nutrient-rich zones churn out more life than any other part of the sea, supporting wildlife from shrimp larvae to whales. According to Dr. Campagna, fierce competition from the $70 billion international fishing industry is taking its toll on the marine mammals that forage fathoms below, but are protected on land. He sees changes in elephant seal populations as a sign that the ocean's resources need better management.
While completing his Ph.D. in Biology at UC Santa Cruz, Dr. Campagna spent many hours studying the behaviors and ecology of the Ano Nuevo elephant seal colony. He now returns to the Pacific coast after 20 years of research on the wildlife along the rugged Patagonian coastline. His studies range from the impact of eco-tourism on marine life to the foraging habits of the deep diving elephant seals.
Dr. Campagna also conducts research for the National Research Council of Argentina, and is a founding board member of Fundacion Patagonia Natural. He is also the scientific director of the Patagonian Coastal Zone Management Plan.
Tax Freedom Day
After laboring 127 days this year to pay federal, state and local taxes, average Americans are finally working for themselves. That's according to the Tax Foundation, a on-profit Washington, DC research group, which designated May 7th as "Tax Freedom Day."
"It's shocking when you think about how much time you spend working for the politicians," said Steve Dasbach, Chairman of the Libertarian Party, America's third-largest and most fiercely anti-tax political party. "It's like spending one-third of your life as an indentured servant."
In fact, the average American works about two hours and 45 minutes every eight-hour workday and 15.3 years out of a typical 45-year career to pay taxes.
"Republicans and Democrats are experts at stealing your money," Dasbach said. "But if you want to keep more of the money you've honestly earned, vote for the party that is working every day to slash taxes—vote Libertarian."