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Nature's Bounty

New outdoors center seeks Native American and wildlife artifacts.


If you find yourself puttering around the garage or attic and come across your great-grandparents' collection of mounted butterflies or Native American baskets, you might consider making a gift to the new Stough Canyon Nature Center in Burbank.

Now under construction in the hills above the east San Fernando Valley, the center will display artifacts and offer educational programs when it opens early next year, said Carol Mercado, who is heading the effort by the Burbank Park and Recreation Department to prepare the displays and programs.

"We're seeking donated or loaned nature items and collections related to animals, reptiles, birds and insects indigenous to the area or the Verdugo Mountains," Mercado said.

She hopes to acquire Native American tools, games, cooking utensils and baskets, especially those related to the Tongva/Gabrielino culture of the Valley region.

She and the center's docents recently examined some of the early donations, including a bobcat skull and a snakeskin. "These aren't just going to end up in a glass case," Mercado said.

June Box, a veteran docent and nature hike leader, brought in the snakeskin. "We want to fill the center with things that kids can see and handle," she said.

Mercado said the materials, such as bones, feathers and eggs, will be used in classes and on hikes that will be organized for different age groups. For the library area, she wants to collect donated field guides and books on Native American history.

Donors will receive a thank you note on city letterhead for any items donation to the center, Mercado said.


Stough Canyon Nature Center Wish List sponsored by the Burbank Park and Recreation Department, seeking donated or loaned nature items for exhibit and classroom use. The collection site is McCambridge Recreation Center, 1515 N. Glenoaks Blvd., Burbank. Monday-Friday 9 a.m.-9 p.m., Saturday-Sunday 1-4:30 p.m. Call (818) 238-5378.

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