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Voluntourism Spotlight: Catalina Island Conservancy

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This week’s Voluntourism Spotlight is just 22 miles outside of Los Angeles, but don’t expect to be stuck in gridlock. Instead, we’re showcasing an island with no cars and some of the state’s richest natural resources. Find out how to you can volunteer for a day or a trip with the Catalina Island Conservancy.  Check back every Wednesday for more voluntourism opportunities and tune into Peter Greenberg Worldwide Radio on Saturday for more information.

The island is home to the Catalina Island Fox, which can only be found on there, as well as 150 American bison and several other plant and wildlife species.

If you are looking for a conservation-oriented volunteer opportunity near Carlsbad, then you should check out the Catalina Island Conservancy. The Conservancy is responsible for preserving 88 percent of the beautiful Southern California treasure, Santa Catalina Island.

Those interested can volunteer at the Conservancy anywhere from one day to many years.

If you want to take a day-trip to the island, you should consider being there on a Thursday when there’s an excellent opportunity to volunteer at the James H. Ackerman Native Plant Nursery in the interior of the island. Transportation to the nursery is available from Avalon, Catalina’s main city, at 7:30 a.m. every Thursday year-round. Typical projects include seed germination, seed collection, plant propagation, weeding, light construction and nursery maintenance, and last until noon.

Another option allows volunteers to spend three days and two nights on the island helping to preserve the ecological wonder of the island. The trip includes lodging at the Hermosa Hotel as well as round-trip boat transportation from Avalon and boxed lunches for working days. Volunteers on this trip are expected to arrive on Wednesday ready to work, volunteer Thursday, and spend Friday enjoying the island. The trip fees are $249.

Volunteers who commit to spending a larger portion of time on the island have the opportunity to clean beaches, conduct trail maintenance and explore Avalon. Long-term opportunities are made available on the Catalina Island Conservancy’s website.

By Charles Edward Hicks for