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Science students organize fundraiser for Cottonwood Canyon conservation effort

To unwind after finals and AP exams, Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy’s advanced-placement environmental-science students hosted a Cottonwood Arts & Eco Festival Friday at La Cañada’s Memorial Park to celebrate the year’s accomplishments and back a good cause.

Under the supervision of teacher Leslie Miller, the girls arranged an afternoon of fun to benefit Arroyos & Foothills Conservancy. The local nonprofit is

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, an 11-acre parcel of land rich in natural resources and wildlife, so that it may be preserved as a natural habitat.

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Miller explained the environmental students — often emotionally and intellectually taxed at the end of the year from learning about ecological crises around the globe — typically plan a fun event at the end of the exam cycle to end the year on a high note.

“When you study environmental science, a lot of things seem bad,” Miller said. “So this is something positive.”

This year, when students learned about the effort taking place at Cottonwood Canyon off Pasadena’s Linda Vista Avenue, they were motivated to act on behalf of the conservancy, Miller added.

Participants Friday enjoyed ecologically themed games and several local performers, while students sold upcycled goods and organic foods. The Arroyos & Foothill Conservancy hosted an informational booth at the event.

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Barbara Goto, the Conservancy’s program administrator, said members were impressed the girls pulled the festival together so quickly.

“We feel fortunate that the FSHA science students took on our cause,” Goto said in an email Monday. “As a small nonprofit, we rely heavily on volunteers with a passion for the environment. We can't thank Leslie Miller and her students enough!”

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