All over the State of California the landscape is changing and unfortunately that is not always a good thing. Urban sprawl and industry are eating away at the state’s natural beauty and destroying the habitats of dozens of species of animals, birds, marine life, plants and trees.
One of the organizations that works hard to preserve some of the most beautiful land in San Luis Obispo County is the Small Wilderness Area Preservation group – better known as S.W.A.P. Founded in 1971 its mission is to protect and preserve small but significant natural areas from the ravages of urbanization.
S.W.A.P’s biggest project is the preservation of the Elfin Forest in Los Osos. Named after the stunted California Live Oaks that are found in abundance in the area, the Elfin Forest is a 90 acre site that is home to over 200 species of plant and over 100 species of wildlife.
In addition to providing the leadership and personnel needed to maintain the forest S.W.A.P also works to encourage public participation in the stewardship of Elfin Forest. The group organizes regular gatherings of “Weed Warriors” – volunteers who donate their time to remove invasive plants and prevent soil erosion amongst other things.
S.W.A.P also sponsor Third Saturday Nature Walks through the forest that are held once a month. Each month the walk has a different theme and focuses on a specific area or feature of the forest depending upon the time of year.
You can find out about the upcoming month’s walk here.
Those who lead S.W.A.P, which has no paid employees believe that in the long term only the community members of Los Osos can ensure that the Elfin Forest and its inhabitants survive. In addition to the monthly walks that are open to all S.W.A.P also provides educational programs and excursions to the area’s children.
To learn more about how the general public can help the S.W.A.P mission succeed contact Yolanda Waddell or Pat Akey.
Phone: 805-528-0392 (Voicemail)
Mailing Address: PO Box 6442 Los Osos, California 93412