Members of the Boys & Girls Club of Santa Monica participated in the first planting of the National Park Foundation’s “First Bloom” program at the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area Saturday, April 26th, in honor of National Park Week.

The youths planted 30 types of perennials native to Santa Monica, including irises; California lilacs; various ferns; hummingbirds; white, purple and black sages; Our Lord’s Candles; coral bells; purple needle grass; and a variety of other grasses; at the Peter Strauss Ranch.

“The First Bloom program is an opportunity to provide all children with a meaningful outdoor experience,” said Vin Cipolla, National Park Foundation president and chief executive officer. “Through First Bloom, children are taught lessons of environmental stewardship at a young age so they can develop a strong conservation ethic and become connected and invested in the world around them.”

The students have been learning about the First Bloom program during several weeks of curriculum-based lessons.

Joined by National Park Service rangers from the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area and Boys & Girls Club mentors, the youths planted the gardens they designed through First Bloom and demonstrated what they learned about native plants.

Information about First Bloom, www.nationalparks.org/.

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