Students from Cortada Elementary School who joined us for the event to celebrate the 2nd anniversary of the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument were eager to share their love of parks with us.

The students came to Eaton Canyon Park as part of the Every Kid in a Park initiative and were led on a hike before the event began. While seated at picnic tables with magic markers and paper, they talked about what they liked about their hike and about being in the great outdoors. They began drawing pictures of what they liked the best — a lizard, a bird, a tree with wild branches, the mountains.

We wrote “We Love Parks” on top of a sheet of paper and asked them to fill the page with their reasons why. They noted animals (more specifically, lizards), trees (more specifically, oak branches), plants, rocks, water, air. Their answers also included how they felt. “It’s fun, “It’s peaceful,” “It’s beautiful.”

We asked for a group photo, then a short video. How enthusiastic were they? They started by saying “We love parks” then began chanting it.

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