The City of San Diego’s Department of Park & Recreation has established an informational tent overlooking La Jolla Cove to teach visitors about the wildlife below. Manned with Shoreline Park interns and educational material, the kiosk has been in operation since June and is open Wednesday through Sunday.
“The need came about because there are hundreds of visitors to this area every day and we can’t stop all of them (from getting too close to the wildlife),” said intern Gabriel Fischer. “But if we can talk to them before they head to the beach, we can answer whatever questions they have.” He added that visitors have resorted to asking lifeguards questions about wildlife, possibly distracting them from their duties.
The kiosk has pamphlets, magazines and wildlife skulls for people to explore, with the idea that if people touch the skulls they won’t want to touch the animals themselves. Examples include sea lion, sting ray, dolphin and bird skulls.
Fischer said since the tent was set up, an average of 300 people per day stop by. As of 1 p.m. last Thursday afternoon, 225 had already visited the tent.
Further down the line, a similar full-time kiosk is planned for the upcoming Scripps Park Pavilion (restroom facility). In 2017, representatives from the City facilitating the project said the Park & Rec Department requested an area that could serve as an information booth for rangers, which was integrated into the design.
The project is slated to break ground in 2019 and be finished in 2020.