Elkus Ranch urgently needs help to repair its barns

By on Tue, February 2, 2010

Elkus Ranch, the environmental education center on the Southcoast, needs $34,000 to repair its two barns, reports Julia Scott in the County Times. The barns are used for teaching classes.

"Every time the wind blows, we find more shingles on the ground. It’s just getting worse," said Program Coordinator Leslie Jensen, leading a tour of the barns during a break in the rain on Monday.

A few miles south of Half Moon Bay, Elkus Ranch is one of the most popular school field trip destinations in the Bay Area. More than 6,000 students explore the ranch’s gardens, greenhouse, animal paddocks and barns each year to learn about how food is grown, how to care for farm animals, and how they are connected to it all.

Hundreds of other kids come to the ranch each year with their Scout troops and 4-H groups. The ranch offers scholarships to low-income and disabled students with help from donors and the University of California, which provides the operating budget.

The historic barns are a centerpiece of the Elkus Ranch experience — it’s where the kids come to see the newborn sheep who start to appear at this time of year. They learn about history and physiology from an impressive collection of ancient fossils and animal bones, and they get to try their hand at working an old-fashioned loom during a popular "sheep to shawl" event.

To contribute to the Elkus Ranch "Adopt-a-Shingle" program, contact Leslie Jensen at 650-712-3151 or e-mail [email protected].