A team of Burbank Sunrise Rotary Club members put their talents to work Wednesday afternoon to bring more seating to the Stough Canyon Nature Center.
The Rotary Club had donated three new benches for the Nature Center, which is located up in the Verdugo Hills, at the top of Walnut Ave., above the DeBell Golf Course. The benches are made from recycled plastic. They come from the factory unassembled. That’s where the team of “Rotarian assembly experts” jumped in to help.
Rotary members Janice Lowers, Lee Stacy, and Dave Thomas were led by Sunrise Rotary President Rod Gregson, as they tackled the job. With portable drills, screw drivers, and socket wrenches in hand, the group made quick work of the benches. Despite a slight mix-up between parts of the large bench getting switched with one of the two medium-sized benches, the job went quickly. Each bench is engraved with “Donated by Burbank Sunrise Rotary” and the Rotary motto, “Service Above Self.”
The benches are a welcome addition to the Nature Center, which only has two wooden benches and one recycled plastic bench outside for weary hikers and visitors. One of the benches donated by Rotary was to replace one damaged in a brush fire in 2005. The bench didn’t actually get burned, according to Mike McHorney of the Nature Center.
“Back during the 2005 fire, a fire engine was trying to turn around on the fire road and backed into the bench,” said McHorney, adding, “Although the bench was damaged, hikers still use it up on the trail.”
The new benches should see a lot of use, as the Nature Center attracts lots of visitors. On Wednesday afternoon, as the crew from the Rotary Club were assembling the benches, a dozen people sitting outside on the center’s patio were busy doing wood carving with the Smoky Hollow Carvers. The group meets there each Wednesday from 1 – 3 p.m. Hikers, both young and old, were heading up the trail that starts in front of the center. Several young children were inside checking out the live snakes, lizards, tarantula, and educational exhibits. Overhead, ravens were gliding on thermal currents, and a hawk was spotted soaring way up high. The Stough Canyon Nature Center is open from 1:30-5 p.m. on Mondays, 9-5 p.m. Tuesdays-Saturdays, and 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. Sundays.
The Burbank Sunrise Rotary Club meets Tuesday at 7 a.m. at the Burbank Holiday Inn. For more information call Rod Gregson at (818) 428-0151, or go to www.BurbankRotary.com.