Cabrillo National Monument was happy to host an Alternative Spring Break experience this past week for the University of Arizona Honors Program.

The University of Arizona Honors Alternative Breaks is a service-oriented organization that challenges students to become active citizens, making the community a priority in their values and choices. The Honors Alternative Break program sends students to locations all throughout the country to empower and encourage active engagement with a specific social issue in mind. Through these trips, Alternative Breaks allows students to grow and learn about themselves through an opportunity of a lifetime.

The San Diego contingency of this program participated in a variety of projects involving the ocean and its surrounding ecosystems’ ecology, biology, and conservation. Throughout the week, the group was very fortunate to also work with our partners at Tijuana River National Estuarine Research Reserve, the San Diego Audubon Society, and The Batiquitos Lagoon Foundation.

The last leg of their trip ended them here at Cabrillo National Monument. Their afternoon spent with the CNM staff was an educational experience to remember, and gave students an up close and personal look at the complex aquatic species that call the tidepools home. Furthermore, students were given a full overview of the parks science and management programs. To finish their adventure the students collected trash throughout the tidepools to be upcycled as art through the Cabrillo Artist-in-Residence Program.

Cabrillo National Monument is excited to be carrying out the Park Service mission by connecting students and young people to their parks in new ways, while offering them a platform to give back and serve in their communities.