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  Santa Cruz Parent Santa Cruz County

April 20, 2012

Community Walk-a-thon and Celebration Offers Family Fun and Help for Local Nonprofits

Kelp Pickling, A Delicious Family Outing for Ages 10 & Up

Viva: Goal Setting, Set Spiritual Goals First

Science Fun with Christine: Another Great Wall in China

Suki: Siblings
This Week
Popular Baroque
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(BUILT IN) (Icons/Graphics) Text_CampGuideLogo.jpgThe Summer Camp Guide is out.  For best viewing and to bookmark go here!

Walk, enjoy the outdoors and come see us at the Summit for the Planet April 28th.  Santa Cruz Parent will have ladybugs for the children to release.

Seahorse Swim School is offering FREE swim level assessments this Saturday.  Owner Tiffany Harmon told us "This is a great way for parents to know exactly where their children's skill levels are and to be able to help set swim skills goals for the summer.

The Santa Cruz Baroque Festival is a great way to introduce the children to music in a concert setting.  It's great that the tickets are priced to be VERY family friendly!!

Have a great weekend! Parmalee

  Community Walk-a-thon and Celebration Offers Family Fun and Help for Local Nonprofits

(Special Event Images / Graphics) Summit_Snake.jpgWhether you come to walk in support of your favorite nonprofit organization or for the after-party fun, the upcoming 6th annual Summit for the Planet Walk-a-thon and Celebration offers something appealing for all ages. The celebration will feature live animals including birds, bats, lizards, and snakes; community networking, green businesses and more. Interested in bats? Come and meet representatives of the Bat Conservancy of Coastal California and their winged friends! Want fun? Check out the solar car races, live music, "eco-carnival' games and delicious, organic foods!

Planned for Saturday, April 28 from 9:00 am to 1:30 pm (walk-a-thon registration begins at 9:00 am and the walk, promptly at 10:00 am), Summit for the Planet is a free, "out-of-the-box' fundraising event to support local environmental and educational organizations.

"The Summit for the Planet event has it all," comments Parmalee Taff, publisher of, one of the event's sponsors. "Family-friendly activities involving children in the planning and execution, raising our consciousness about taking good care of our planet, dedicated adults working with children, fundraising for a worthy cause and entertainment."

(Special Event Images / Graphics) Summit_SolarRace.jpgFor nonprofit groups, determining how to creatively and successfully meet annual fundraising goals can be difficult and time-consuming- and frequently not a lot of fun. With the dual intent of putting the "fun"back in "fundraising" and bringing together other local nonprofit organizations- including educational, environmental, and youth-focused groups - Mount Madonna School (MMS) is again hosting its annual community walk-a-thon and celebration - a family event intended to make fundraising as easy as a walk in the park!

All nonprofit organizations are invited to join in the Walk-a-thon. Mount Madonna will coordinate the event and do most all the work, while participating groups are invited to organize a team of walkers to walk for their organization, and their walkers, in turn, are urged to gather pledges of support.

(Special Event Images / Graphics) Summit_GirlWreath.jpgDepending on the number of walkers and amount pledged to each walker, organizations will have the opportunity to cover a hefty portion of their annual fundraising needs - without the hassle and expense of running their own fundraiser! There is no charge for organizations to sign up and participate; and organizations keep 70% of what they raise in pledges, while 30% is used to offset the costs of organizing and running the event.

"It's much better than selling cooking dough or wrapping paper," comments Pamela Blunden, parent of an MMS senior and MMS' Outreach and Special Events Coordinator. "Organizations are able to retain a higher percentage of the money raised, and it's good for the environment. This format allows people of all ages to spend time together outdoors in a beautiful natural setting, while also raising money for a cause that is important to them!"

In talking with other schools and groups about fundraising, Blunden says she is repeatedly hearing how more and more families are steering away from having to participate in door-to-door sales. "With Summit for the Planet, walkers don't have to go door to door! Instead they can utilize social media - or just make a phone call - to seek support from friends, family, or even grandma and grandpa who live on the East Coast. Pledging support is convenient and easy from any location via the Summitfor the Planet website."

Celebration participants will spotlight sustainable "eco-living'and education, and represent a broad range of environmentally-focused businesses and nonprofits, from the Sulphur Creek Nature Center to Save Open Space, Gilroy; the Bat Conservancy of Central California, Uvas Gold Apiary, and the Fitz Wetlands Education Resource Center. Attendance at this annual event has grown to some 500 people of all ages, from across south Silicon Valley and the MontereyBay areas.

(Special Event Images / Graphics) SummitforthePlanet_BoyandParrot.jpgThe support of key sponsors is essential to this event. Event organizers are honored that numerous local businesses have offered support, including the Michael Lee Environmental Foundation, SunRidge Farms, and Real Good Solar - who's 2008 solar installation on the school's upper campus rendered the campus, and the event, 100% solar powered!

"We are proud to sponsor the 2012 Summit for the Planet festival,"comments Josh Lorey, a Real Goods solar power consultant. "As a leader in the sustainable energy industry for more than 30 years, Real Goods Solar is dedicated to working towards a healthier future and reducing the human ecological footprint on Earth. We appreciate Mount Madonna School's commitment to education and environmental conservation, and we are looking forward to this fun and green family event!"

Other event sponsors include: the Santa Cruz Sentinel, KAZU 90.3FM. the Register-Pajaronian,, Out & About, and KUSP 88.9FM.

Things to know when you go:
6th annual Summit for the Planet walk-a-thon and celebration, April 28 from 9:00am-1:30pm*. Hosted by Mount Madonna School, 491 Summit Road, MountMadonna. Free event with $5 carbon offset parking (waived for participants of Summitfor the Planet and alternative energy vehicles).

For more information visit: and on Facebook at, or call Pamela Blunden at (408) 846-4035.

*Walk-a-thon participants must pre-register; registration begins at 9:00am; the walk begins at 10:00am.


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  Kelp Pickling, A Delicious Family Outing for Ages 10 & Up

by Dennis Judson, Adventure Sports Unlimited

Since early times, home canners have enjoyed the art of pickling foods. It is one of the oldest known methods of preserving food. The Chinese were fermenting vegetables as early as the third century B.C and the Romans were pickling by the first century A.D. Pickles even followed the colonist to America ... and now picked kelp is coming to Santa Cruz!  What a great way to be one with our kelp forest and get a great reward in the form of a delicious treat.

(Photos General) AdventureSports_KelpCollecting.jpgWe will pick a beach noted for a variety of succulent sea vegetables. Here we will search for our quest in tide pools and by boogie board. We will than return to Adventure Sports Unlimited to pickle as only a family group can do.  The pool will be open for fun. This is a wonderful activity for everyone in your family and will instill an ethos of community for one and all.

(Photos General) AdventureSportsForage.jpgWe will have an evening of planning followed by a Sunday morning of collecting and pickling. 10-17 year olds are encouraged to join us in the kelp beds but must have an adult/guardian take the class with them.   All must be able to boogie board in the ocean. An ocean only fishing license is required for collecting.


Meeting 7-9 pm May 18  ~  Collecting & Pickling 6am-2 pm May 20

• Swim suit and towel
• Sun screen and hat
• Sunglasses with holder
• Aquatic shoes
• Wet suit/full suit for children

• Boogie board
• Pickling equipment
• Goodie bag/scissors
• State Fish & Game Fishing License



(Photos General) AdventureSports_DennisWaveKelp.jpgDennis Judson has lead many a novice on adventures throughout the world.  Whether it's giving swimming lessons in Adventure Sports' warm pool, taking families on nearby foraging and kayaking trips or leading dives in exotic waters Dennis himself is the epitome of an adventurer pictured here riding the waves in his kayak.    


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  Viva: Goal Setting, Set Spiritual Goals First

(Photos General) VivaGravatar.jpg

We're four months into 2012 now, so you likely fall into one of two groups: 1) The 8% who are actively working to achieve their New Year's Resolutions, or 2) the rest of us, who are in various stages of falling off that bandwagon.  Whichever group you are in, there's no better time than the present to re-evaluate and re-energize your goal-setting.  I've mentioned before that using categories can help you come up with meaningful goals, and I'll re-paste the list of suggested categories here to refresh your memory:

  1. Spiritual (even if you're not religious, you can think about what your ultimate purpose in life is and how you'd like to fulfill that)
  2. Family (anything related to your relationships with family and close friends)
  3. Financial (budget, spending habits, investments, retirement savings)
  4. Community Service
  5. Lifestyle (travel, hobbies, material desires)
  6. Career (short and long term work goals)
  7. Education (what you'd like to learn)
  8. Fitness (your health, weight, eating habits)
  9. Homemaking (cleaning, organizing house)
  10. Homeschooling (even if you don't homeschool your children, there are probably things you'd like to teach them outside of their regular school work)

Skim through the list, and think about what goals come to mind in each of the ten categories (and  if I'm missing a great category, let me know).  Then...... continued>>>

Visit Viva at the Daily Citron for more frugal tips and finds.


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A perfect gift for baby & wedding showers or for any occasion. Available in $35, $70 or $100 denominations.

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  Science Fun with Christine: Another Great Wall in China

(Photos General) ChinaGreenWall.jpgChina built the Great Wall over 2000 years ago. They are building a second wall - The Green Wall. A second one has been started in Africa. The original Great Wall was built to keep out invaders. What can another wall do for protection?

These two new walls are being built to keep out deserts. In China, the Gobi Desert is creeping south and eating up arable land. In Africa, the Sahara has been moving outward. These walls are an attempt to halt the spread.

Every year over 1000 square miles (over 3000 square kilometers) in China are overtaken by desert. Huge dust storms occur every year. The Green Wall was begun in 1978. China is using a combination of seed planting, tree planting, and paying farmers to plant and protect trees.

Two/thirds of Africa is already desert or dryland. They can't afford to lose anymore land. They are planting native trees, and fencing them to protect them. One of the biggest dangers for the trees is being cut down for firewood.

There are lots of disagreements over the affects of these attempts at large-scale environmental change. The changes will take many years to complete, and many more years to see if they help...documentation>>>

More posts at Science Fun with Christine Cockey, scientist and mom.


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  Suki: Siblings

(Photos General) SukiRedHead_138.jpgThings have been pretty darn quiet around our house the last few days. Our son has been off on a school trip to Yosemite, so our daughter is living the life of an only child.

What a relief!

Don't get me wrong: I adore both of my kids. I couldn't imagine life without either of them. I'm glad I have them both.

But the truth is, the only extended period of time in which they got along really well was when she was a baby. And not just a baby but that tiny, sweet baby who didn't yet know how to make her big brother cry. As soon as she figured that out, well, the merry-go-round started to turn.

This is not to say that they never get along...continued>>>

Visit Suki at Avant Parenting for more perspectives on parenting.

  This Week

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of upcoming events and activities.

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Art Activities Library Ongoing
Guided Hikes & Park Activities


Parenting Workshops Free Activities

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School Corner






Coryell Autism Center, Ages 14-22, Open House 4/25


Chartwell School 1-8, Helping Develop Social Skills in Students with Learning Disabilities 4/25


Mount Madonna Pre-12, Campus Tour 5/7


Santa Cruz Waldorf K-8, A Walk Through the Grades 5/8


Santa Cruz Children's School K-6, Open House  5/1


All School Events

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 Popular Baroque

Santa Cruz Baroque Festival
A program of popular tunes that have kept audiences humming along from the 1560s through the 1960s and beyond.
4/21, 7:30pm - 9:30pm
All ages welcome, $3-23

(Photos General) SantaCruzBaroqueFestival_Instruments.jpgPopular Baroque (Season Concert IV) Featuring Lux Musica (early music ensemble), Darryl Coe & Affe (monkey organ) and Richard Bryant (vocals).

Popular Baroque' brings to life widely popular tunes from across the baroque period. Dances by Praetorius, Hardel and Couperin, Handel's 'Water Music', as well as the ever-popular 'Folia' took Europe by storm in their day, and continue to entertain early music fans. Likewise artists of the later 20th century looked back to Bach and company when composing works of popular culture with undercover baroque elements that have enjoyed international popularity.

This concert features Lux Musica early music ensemble, Darryl Coe and his Drehorgel, as well as Richard Bryant of the White Album Ensemble in a program of popular tunes that have kept audiences humming along from the 1560s through the 1960s and beyond.

Tickets can be purchased through the UCSC Ticket Office (, 831-459-2159) and the Civic Center Box Office. Ticket prices range between $3-23. For more information please visit

Location: UCSC Music Center Recital Hall, 1156 High Street, Santa Cruz  Map
Phone: (831) 459-2159 •website• Santa Cruz 

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Tours of the Reserve
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  Tours of the Reserve
Elkhorn Slough
Date: Every Su and Sa
Details: Great introduction to the Reserve
Special Instructions: 10am and 1pm
City: Watsonville Phone: (831) 728-2822 view all details >>
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Sea Otter Classic
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  Sea Otter Classic
Sea Otter Classic
Date: Every day (Apr 20-Apr 23)
Details: Competitive cycling for pros and amateurs and special fun for kids
City: Monterey view all details >>
History Hike - A Walk Through Time
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  History Hike - A Walk Through Time
Santa Cruz County Parks - Quail Hollow Ranch
Date: Every Su and Sa (Apr 1-Apr 29) from 10:00am to 12:30pm
Ages: All ages
Details: History Hike
City: Felton Phone: (831) 335-9348 view all details >>
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