I am an environmentalist adventurer. I strive to be as "green" as I can and encourage others to do their little bit.

My job is an Education Specialist/Zoo Adventure Coordinator at the El Paso Zoo. Basically, I create and present classes, programs and workshops that are fun, educational and inspire participants to conserve in their everyday lives.

My journey is full of thoughts, wildlife, food, conservation and adventures! So keep up!

Monday, May 21, 2012


I have finally designed my new website!  If you follow this one, please do me a favor and head to the new one and follow it.  I appreciate your follows!!

Please check out the new website at www.enviroadventures.com


Let me know what you think with some comments!



Monday, May 7, 2012

Boston Daydreams

I recently had a chance to visit some old stomping grounds and my family in Boston, MA!  It was a fantastic visit and made me long for green grass, dandelions, humidity, sea water, trees, public transportation and more!

We departed extremely early from El Paso, because we did not want to waste the day away just traveling.  So upon arrival at Logan airport, we set out on the trains and buses to navigate our way to Watertown where my brother, sister in law and two kids lived.  I say lived because they are making a big move to Dallas and by the time this blog goes up, they will no longer reside on the east coast.  So it was our last chance to visit Boston with them!  I however still have family in Connecticut, where I grew up and hope to visit them soon as well!

I felt like a tourist all over again, trying to figure out the train and bus routes and payment info.  We stopped downtown to grab a quick bite to eat before continuing on.  All in all we took 2 planes, 3 trains and 1 bus! 

Hot dog and a lime rickey!  yes please.

Lucha Libre himself!

Beautiful path.  This led us to a fun park, the public library and a cute lunch spot!

David spent a lot of time teaching Anis how to climb trees.

The newest addition Issam.


I love and miss treeees!
My brother and his family from Connecticut came up to go with us to the Franklin Park Zoo.  This was where I interned right after my bachelors and then was a keeper for a bit.  I had a great experience as an intern and have vivid memories of working with the eider ducks, joey (baby kangaroo), anaconda and burmese python, birds birds birds and lots of great people (Anne, Jenna, Johnathon, Jake, Michelle and Hulia to name a few)!  I also have great memories from the intern classes we took each week and hope to bring some of those ideas into my workshops at the El Paso Zoo.  I have grown so much since I was an intern.  I remember interviewing and really not knowing much of anything!  Being an intern started my journey and my attitude to constantly be learning and questioning the world around me, which led to me going back to school for a masters degree in biology (wildlife).  Now, I have returned to the zoo world!

Let me tell you how impressed I am with little Jalloul.  He is pictured above and below.  While visiting the zoo we passed by a graphic of our local birds in the area.  He was able to identify chickadee, blue jay, cardinal, woodpecker and many more!  Most adults can not do that!

They loved the silly rides.

Chillin with the tigers.

If you go to Boston, there are few stops you must make.  Mike's Pastry shop is one of them.  The place is always packed and is nestled in the North End which is home to fantastic Italian restaurants.

While exploring some of downtown Boston, we noticed several Hubway areas.  Hubway is a unique way to rent a bike to get to work, get some lunch or tour the city!  Locations are set up all around the city to pick up and drop off the bikes.  Lots of people were utilizing this green service!

El Paso is trying to set up a rent a bike system for downtown as well so people don't have to use their cars for the short trips around downtown.  I am all for it!  But really, our downtown area is small enough that we should easily be able to walk from place to place in less than 5 blocks.  But the bikes would help to create a more bike and exercise friendly mind set.

One of the biggest differences of visiting Boston, is the amount of people out exercising, walking, enjoying parks, and using public transportation.  It is a culture of activity.  El Paso offers many outdoor activities and sunny weather to enjoy it, but I am still shocked at how many people have yet to visit the Franklin Mountains, the largest urban park in the country.  That's right, it is only about 20 minutes from downtown!   But while living here, I have not held up my end of the bargain either.  I vowed to ride my bike to work at least once a week.  This year, I have not rode my bike to work very often and I have not taken the bus much either.  The simple reason is time.  It takes a little over an hour on the bus or on my bike and about 15 minutes in my car.   Time is just another excuse.  Visiting Boston has sparked my ambition again and I hope to be back on the bike soon!  The traffic here is not as bad as in Boston but maybe the cars there are a bit more aware of bikes? 

Need motivation to ride your bike?  Read this article from Grist entitled, "Get your ass on that bike!" in honor of National Bike Month! 

I am so excited about a school I have been working with that is going to take public transportation for their field trip!  I love it and wish more schools took a chance and used public transportation!

Rent your Hubway bike!
Water taxi!  Call and they come and pick you up!
The crazy fam.

 Just enjoying the city!

Basically how we felt having to say goodbye. :(
It was awesome to visit family from Boston and Connecticut.  I am excited that some of them will be moving to Dallas.  I hope to get to them a lot More often! 


I will be dreaming of seafood...
Clam chowda in a sourdough bread bowl and calamari. :)

Boston daydreams.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Party for the Planet!

Earth Day was this past weekend and we had a great event at the El Paso Zoo to celebrate wildlife and the environment and to challenge people to make a difference! 

If you know me at all, you know I love my Earth.  Yup, it's mine.  Everyone should feel like the Earth belongs to them and say, "yes, it is my world and I should take care of it!"  This past weekend was a chance to spread that Earthy enthusiasm to others. 

Throughout the zoo there were activities, educational stations, partner organization booths and party music!  My area was appropriately titled "Dig in the Dirt" and was a chance for kids to get dirty.  Kids had to dig through three kiddie pools filled with dirt to find five plastic bugs each to win a prize of edible dirt!  I was a bit apprehensive that people wouldn't want to eat the dirt but boy was I wrong.  We made about 160 edible dirt cups and quickly gave them all out to eager kids with their dug up bugs and dirty hands.  The next day we moved on to a prize of an edible worm (sour gummy style) which was just as big of a hit.

My banner - all about how our soil is an important ecosystem service that goes unnoticed.
Throughout the zoo, people had the chance to learn all about how our environment silently gives back to us.  "Ecosystem Services are the processes by which the environment produces resources that we often take for granted such as clean water, timber, and habitat for fisheries, and pollination of native and agricultural plants."  In El Paso, and around the world, these ecosystem services are being taken for granted as we plow through open wildlife habitat to make roads wider, build bigger houses and much more. 
Edible dirt!  and yup cups are recyclable.
Although I didn't have much time to really "teach" about soil and its importance to our world, I was extremely happy to let kids get their hands dirty, sometimes at the sadness of their parents.  I loved the transformation of the "we have to do what" attitude to being aggressive to find more and more bugs with no fear.

Digging for bugs and getting their hands dirty!
Inside the classroom people had an opportunity to create a pledge of their commitment to make a difference in their everyday life to help out wildlife and the environment.  At first I thought we may get a few people to do it, but volunteers were awesome and we inspired lots of people to make a pledge!  They were also able to view the zoo staff and volunteers making their pledge on the TV in the room.  Click here to view the video that includes our zoo director, education curator and of course yours truly, pledging to make a difference!

So proud of all of the kids and parents that made a pledge to change the world!

 Check out some of the heart warming pledges that were made! :)

The classroom at the end of day one collecting more and more pledges!
Also got a quick chance to run around the zoo to see what was going on everywhere else.  Take a quick look at the excitement.  The education team offered many stations to learn more about ecosystem services and how you can take action to help our Earth and wildlife.

Miss Rose teaching kids all about PPMs! Should have stopped by if you don't know!

Waiting for their customers to teach them all about climate change!
 Rock climbing wall! Wish I got a chance.
These guys are my go to for plant ID! Love them! Wish I had their knowledge.
Plants and diseases and pests!  Grow a garden everyone!
Did you know just knowing that wild spaces are out there brings joy and happiness to people! CRAZY!
They auctioned off a Prius on Sunday in Las Cruces, I wonder who won???
I did not get a chance to make it over to my home girls (Heather) station in Africa where you could grow your own tornillo plant to be planted at the Rio Bosque park to restore native plants in the area.  What a unique way to help out the environment and I am excited to see what we get back in one month!  Unfortunately these little bugs have been eating lots of the seeds so it was a challenge to find the seeds, but making it all the more worth it in the end to see growing, healthy plants! 

What a great weekend to celebrate the Earth.  Let's continue it all year long.

And someone recently told me, I can't change the world!  I screamed back, YES I CAN!

Pure sass.


Planet Party