San Benito High School Outdoor Club
The San Benito High School Outdoor Club originated in 2007 to give structure and campus club status to an activity originally called the San Benito Riverbed Project. Begun in 2005 by Earth Science teacher Jim Ostdick, the purpose of the San Benito Riverbed Project is to provide ongoing, outdoors-oriented community service opportunities for San Benito High School students.
Now officially called the Outdoor Club, the organization is designed to promote positive, responsible environmental stewardship, to enhance academic achievement, and to teach hands-on professional development skills in the fields of Earth Science and Environmental Science. These goals are achieved by student participation in a series of Saturday morning clean-up events and field trips on the local stretch of the San Benito River, the source of the community’s drinking water.
Since the project’s inception in 2005, student volunteers have removed more than 15 tons of illegally dumped refuse from the watershed. Students have also learned GPS mapping skills, stream flow measurement techniques, and the fundamentals of riparian ecology.
Funding has been generously donated by the Baler Education Foundation, DonorsChoose.org., the California STEM Service Learning Initiative, and private citizens. Local logistical support has been provided by the San Benito County Integrated Waste Management Division, the San Benito County Public Works Division, the San Benito County Water District, and Graniterock, Inc. In the spirit of public education, the Pinnacle Weekend News has frequently supported the club’s efforts with local and online newspaper coverage.
On April 22, 2009, the Outdoor Club sponsored the first Earth Day Party for the Planet at San Benito High School in the main campus quad. Now an annual celebration, the lunchtime event features the Earth Day Art Contest winners, students-versus- teachers Recycled Olympics competitions, and a tree-planting ceremony in the slowly growing Senior Grove on the new campus.
Outdoor Club goals closely mirror the most admirable tenets of the Baler Code and the Expected School-Wide Learning Results for all Students (ESLRS). Join us in keeping San Benito County a healthy place to learn and grow.