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Clark Magnet students 'Bio Blitz' through wildlife at Deukmejian Park

A team of students from Clark Magnet High School organized a special “Bio Blitz” on Wednesday in Deukmejian Wilderness Park as a way to raise community awareness about the surrounding biodiversity.

Calling themselves the “EcoNarcs 4.0,” the team of eight Clark Magnet seniors held the event as part of a national scholarship competition called the Lexus Eco Challenge. Allen Khudaverdyan, the student project manager for the blitz, said part of the challenge was for students to look at their community, identify a problem there and then find a solution.

“The problem we found was a loss of biodiversity,” he said. “[The solution] was to get people more informed about the biodiversity in their area.”

Khudaverdyan said being more aware about the local plant and wildlife would lead people to value and take care of it.

Teams who win the challenge will receive a $10,000 scholarship, according to the competition’s website.

Students from Roosevelt Middle School and Glendale Community College were on hand to help the team with photographing the Crescenta Valley park’s flora and fauna. Khudaverdyan said photographs taken during the blitz were shared with naturalists who will help identify the different species captured in the pictures.

Dominique Evans-Bye, the EcoNarcs’ teacher, said the event couldn’t have happened without the help of the Glendale Community Services & Parks Department.

“They were really great to work with, very supportive,” she said.

Evans-Bye was one of 16 educators named “Teacher of the Year” by the Los Angeles County Office of Education last year.

Of the blitz, Evans-Bye said she hopes the event made people more aware of the biodiversity that surrounds them.

“There is wildlife in your neighborhood,” she said. “You just have to get out and see it.”

andy.nguyen@latimes.com

Twitter: @Andy_Truc

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