I want to take a moment to update the community on all of the great things the Environmental Nature Center has been up to this year.
We have put your donations to good use! This year more than 21,000 people participated in educational programs at the center — more than ever before.
Here are some highlights:
•More than 11,000 school children visited the center for hands-on field trips to learn more about their environment and local history.
•Our "traveling naturalists" brought science and nature into hundreds of classroomsand nearly 5,000 students, sharing everything from live birds of prey to poppin' rockets.
•More than 600 volunteers gave more than 8,500 hours of their time. They played an enormous part in making the center successful while developing new skills.
•We were able to buy the adjacent 1.3-acre property at 745 Dover Drive. Our vision is to expand our natural habitat, develop a nature play area and build our community's first nature-based preschool.
On behalf of the board of directors and my amazing staff, I thank you for your continued support and wish you and your family a very joyous holiday season. Thank you for partnering with us to expand the center's educational outreach in the community.
The writer is executive director of the Environmental Nature Center.
'All we have is today'
Re: "Commentary: Don't waste the final moments," [Nov. 29]: I deeply appreciated Dr. Allyson Brooks for sharing her personal story about end-of-life planning for her father.
As a stroke survivor and professional in the hospice community, I know firsthand the importance of end-of-life conversations. I had my second stroke in 2008, at age 25, due to an inoperable lesion in my brain. I've lived most of my life knowing that there's no promise for tomorrow — all we have is today.
At the Southern California Hospice Foundation, I work each and every day to enhance the quality of life for patients who are nearing the end of life. We partner with the hospice team to cover expenses beyond what Medicare or insurance will cover such as food, transportation or a final wish.
I encourage all patients and families to have those frank conversations with their loved ones, so that the fear and anxiety associated with dying will dissipate as people become more comfortable discussing their final wishes.
The writer is executive director of the Southern California Hospice Foundation.
Fencing plan for Adams Elementary
Thank you, Newport Mesa school board, for approving the latest fencing plan for Adams Elementary School. Although fencing is needed for the safety of children, it is not aesthetically pleasing to the residents of the Mesa Verde inner loop.
Therefore, to alleviate potential future unrest, we at the Mesa Verde Homeowners Assn. Inc. request that you please choose fencing that is aesthetically pleasing/ornamental to complement this fine residential area. We believe that some small shrubbery close to the fence, as well as a complete absence of signs, will go a long way toward making the project more acceptable to the local residents.
We encourage you to implement this fence as soon as possible for the safety of our children.
The writer is the education chairwoman for Mesa Verde Homeowners Assn. Inc.