The Huntington Gardens: Wonder at the Natural World

Last week, English Language Learner (ELL) Camp at 826LA had an amazing field trip to the Huntington Gardens filled with beautiful sights and adventures. Students from both 826LA locations, around 15 Echo Park volunteers and eight Echo Park staff members wandered through the gardens for around five hours, and successfully left without any students (or adults) experiencing heat exhaustion.

We were able to visit six different gardens at the Huntington: we started in the Jungle Garden, a favorite of the students, then moved on to the spiky and cactus-filled Desert Garden. Next, we took a relaxing break at the shady and tranquil Lily Ponds, then wandered our way through the Subtropical Garden. Afterward, we spent some beautiful, introspective time in the Japanese Garden, and finally stopped to smell the roses in the Huntington’s beautiful Rose Garden. Needless to say, there was a lot of sleeping on the bus ride home (by both students and teachers).

Our students wrote wonderful narratives from the perspective of the nature they observed- for example, one student wrote that, as a fish in the koi pond, she “liked to eat worms and little animals in the water,” but was afraid of “humans fishing me and eating me!” It was a wonderful day all in all, filled with learning and wonder at the natural world. We are so grateful to the Huntington for providing us with this experience!

~Olivia Buntaine, 826LA Summer Associate in Echo Park

P.S. The field trip to the Huntington was exciting for a lot of reasons. One we could not have anticipated, however, is that three separate students lost baby teeth!

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