McLeans Win Angeles Chapter Award

by Ginny Heringer

(reprinted with permission from Naturalist Notes, Mar-June, 2010, Sierra Club Natural Science Section)

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Gabi and Cliff receiving the Elna Bakker aware

At the 2010 Sierra Club Angeles Chapter Banquet, the Elna Bakker Nature Interpretation Award was given to our own Cliff and Gabi McLean. The award, named for the celebrated nature writer and author of the UC Press classic introduction to the ecology of California, An Island Called California, is presented for "unusual creativity" in interpreting the natural world, using "the written word, photography, graphic art or field demonstration." Cliff and Gabi's CDs and iPhone app to identify San Gabriel Mountain flowers certainly qualify them for this recognition. The award is not meant just for leading nature walks, but Cliff and Gabi have done that too, for the California Native Plant Society and for Eaton Canyon Nature Center, as well as for our Natural Science Section.

Cliff and Gabi got their start in nature interpretation at Eaton Canyon Nature Center, where they met and took the docent training class, learning from Elna Bakker's text, Windows into the Wild. Soon they were very involved in nature center activities in leadership and interpretive roles. Cliff has served as president of the nature center board and Gabi is president of the San Gabriel chapter of the CNPS. Now, in response to last summer's devastating Station Fire, they are participating in the Sierra Club's "Angeles Forest Recovery Project" and taking people on walks into the foothills of our mountains to see the bounty of fire-following flowers. I'm sure we can all remember a special monent when Cliff or Gabi answered our questions or settled our confusions, sharing their appreciation of the natural world with us all. Congratulations to you, Cliff and Gabi!—Ginny Heringer

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