We sent our first letter today!  Talk about extreme excitement!  Hopefully the officials will be able to comment on our idea and give us some advice about how to start our project.  I'm starting to like the sound of going big and seeing where it will lead...


Dear Curator,

Happy New Year!

We are students at Canyon Crest Academy who are passionate about the plight of the Western Burrowing Owl in San Diego County. When we learned that less than fifty pairs of this species remained at a handful of sites scattered all around the county and that their populations have declined more than 90% since the 1970’s, we were compelled to form S.T.O.P.: Save the Owls Project. We plan to fundraise money for various organizations working to learn more and conserve the burrowing owls and on digging homes for them on our own (we live near several canyon preserves).  We were looking at previous failures to set new habitats and wanted to use biomimicry to create another habitat, possibly using native rodents to dig burrows before introducing owls to the habitat.   However, we would like your input on other things we can do to help this species. 

When we discovered that the Safari Park had a burrowing owl exhibit, we wondered whether zookeepers and experts would be willing to suggest other ways to assist this endangered species. Maybe we could arrange a visit to the Park so we could learn more about the Burrowing Owl and the dangers it faces in today’s world!

We appreciate your time and hope you consider our request.

Have a good day!


S.T.O.P. (Save the [Burrowing] Owls Project) @ Canyon Crest Academy HS

Alice Wu
Stephanie Guo
Amanda Ke
Jojo Lee
Alice Xie

Perhaps I shouldn't have been quite so worried last month.  Looking over the list of ideas today, they don't seem quite as daunting as they did before.  It's amazing what a few months of careful planning can do.  However, I don't think any amount of planning will prepare me for the crazy deeds we're about to attempt.  But looking at their faces... watching my friends become so absorbed in and worked up about a subject... well, that's the biggest motivating factor.  With passion like that, I'm sure we can accomplish anything.  And as they always tell me, I've got to let go and dive in at some point.

We're going with promoting awareness at the moment.  We spent today typing up hundreds of versions of species profiles and flyers.  Today was also that start of our webstore, with the first T-shirt designs crumpled and tossed into the recycling bin as we edited each others' ideas.  I think this letting go is really starting to make sense now... bit by bit... it seems like everyone so willing to work and come together that it's incredible.  Finally, some members started writing and polishing our letters to the San Diego Zoo and Safari Park.  We also set up our first website, which can still be found at www.sdburrowingowls.webs.com/

However, one member has started drafting a plan to create our own burrowing owl colony, which sounds like a crazily daunting task at the moment.  We're trying not to discourage her, though, and helping to research her plans.  It's actually becoming very clear as we work, and we agreed that if we felt it had potential, we would try out her ideas.  This really feels like it might become something... maybe we can make a difference after all...