According to the nonprofit group Hispanic Access Foundation (HAF), all citizens have a responsibility to do whatever they can to help protect our environment. In an effort to lead the way, HAF will join forces at 9 a.m. Saturday with the West Coast-based Por La Creación (Faith-based Alliance) in an educational nature hike at Amboy Crater. Several local pastors will participate.
The hike will be led by Barstow resident David Lamfrom, a tour guide/wildlife photographer for the California desert region of the National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) based in Washington, D.C.
“Amboy crater is an amazing place and its beauty is the result of volcanic activity a long time ago,” said Lamfrom. “The rocks form all kinds of shapes and patterns and there are sand dunes and mountain ranges.
“It’s really a diverse and beautiful location and I’m excited to introduce it to people and point out how important it is to our California desert.”
Throughout the hike, Lamfrom said he will talk about the history of Amboy Crater and also look for wildlife. Time also will be set aside for a group discussion.
“People get really excited when they find animals,” said Lamfrom. “I’m hoping we will spot some Chuckwalla lizards, which are native to the area. They are really cool because of their large size.”
Along with introducing people to Amboy Crater’s many attributes, Lamfrom hopes the hike also will inspire ideas for how its participants can get involved in environmental protection efforts. The various ways include writing Op-Ed pieces and letters to the editor, as well as spreading the word among the community through grass roots efforts.
“We’ll definitely be talking about how pastors and their churches can get involved,” said Lamfrom. “But we want them to do it in way that will interest them rather than tell them what they should do. I think that approach creates the most passion and excitement.”
HAF is a nationwide 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, whose mission is to build bridges that connect Latino communities with information and services they need for a better life. Over its history, the group has assisted more than 100,000 individuals in their search for supportive and affordable services in the communities where they live.
Por la Creación (Faith-based Alliance) was founded with the intention of inspiring Hispanic religious leaders to actively engage in supporting the protection of our country’s natural resources.
Since forming in 1919, NPCA has been on a mission to strengthen and protect the nation’s natural, historical and cultural heritage. Over the years the organization has become one of the largest and most powerful advocacy groups for America’s national parks.
Saturday’s hike will kick off at 9 a.m. at Mojave National Preserves Headquarters, 2701 Barstow Road in Barstow. After a short presentation, hikers will proceed to Amboy Crater for a two-hour walk through the area.
By L.J. Gambone
For the Press Dispatch