The SDHC Team - Jim Rocks, Habitat Manager
Jim, where are you from originally?
I grew up in the Chicago suburbs and then spent many years in southern Illinois, including my time in graduate school.
What initially drew you to become involved in the preservation effort?
I was already involved in many projects involving land preservation, but this was my first opportunity to actively manage habitat preserves and be involved in the day-to-day decisions.
When did you join the SDHC team and why did you decide to become a part of this organization?
I joined the organization in 2008 because I knew this was a perfect opportunity to get involved with a growing organization that was going to do great things for land conservation in California.
What is your favorite preserve and why?
Each Preserve has it’s own unique attributes, but I would pick Bridges-Santa Fe Creek for it’s diversity of habitats and sensitive species.
Why is it important to focus efforts on San Diego County specifically?
It’s important to focus on San Diego because it is a ‘biodiversity hotspot’, which means that San Diego County supports an incredible array of plants and animals, but many of those species are declining due to development and other disturbance to native habitats.
What has been the reaction of the children at the local elementary schools you've visited?
We’ve had an amazing reaction from the kids who are truly fascinated with the beauty and diversity of San Diego County many of whom didn’t realize how it positively affects all of us. They really enjoy seeing the butterfly collection and different tools and gadgets we use as biologists.
If you could share a message with all of San Diego, what would you share?
I would say that while we all appreciate San Diego for it’s beautiful weather and scenery, it has taken (and will continue to take) the interest and effort of all of us to help preserve large areas of open space not just for plants and wildlife, but for our well being too. Get involved; any level of effort can help from picking up trash, to pulling weeds, to joining SDHC!
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