Events Friends

Hey fourth graders! Join Every Kid in a Park for FREE!!!

kid in a park

Although this program does not apply to Goodan Ranch, it does apply to ALL NATIONAL PARKS.   Every Kid in a Park is a fabulous program!

Together, we can inspire the nation’s next generation of cultural and environmental stewards by

instilling them with curiosity about natural wonders,
furthering their understanding of historic events, and
fostering their appreciation for diverse cultural heritage.

Every Kid in a Park is a movement designed to give every fourth grader the opportunity to experience the living classroom of America’s national parks and historic sites. Between the ages of 9 and 11, kids are most open to learning about the world around them; yet, so many spend more time sitting in front of a screen than exploring environments that foster deeper learning and fulfillment. And most American families live in cities, without access to safe outdoor play areas. Beginning in the 2015 school year, these young Americans are eligible for a pass granting them—and their families—FREE entry to more than 2,000 federally managed lands and waters.

Research shows that children ages 9 to 11 are in the midst of a particularly unique developmental stage. During which, they form a more concrete understanding of how the world works, they are more receptive to new ideas, and they are most likely to have positive attitudes about nature and the environment. By focusing efforts specifically on fourth graders, the initiative aims to ensure kids have the opportunity to visit and enjoy federal lands and waters during this developmental stage.

At sites that charge per vehicle, the Every Kid in a Park pass admits the fourth grade pass owner and the accompanying passengers in a private, non-commercial vehicle. At sites that charge per person, the pass admits the pass owner and up to three accompanying adults (entering by foot or bike). Please note that fourth graders must be present at entry.

Fourth graders can obtain a paper pass for free entry into all federal lands and waters by visiting Fourth graders can then exchange the paper pass for a durable plastic pass at select participating sites.  Then Voila!  You are a member of Every Kid in a Park.

Educators can also visit to obtain paper passes for each of their students by navigating to the educator section.

Biography Friends History

Benjamin Franklin Kirkham – Poway, CA & a Town Called Stowe

A story of Stowe and the family of Benjamin Franklin Kirkham

What’s In A Name? A Lot of History

If you’re driving around the industrial area of Poway, you’re liable to cross Stowe Road. You might also encounter Kirkham Court, Kirkham Road and Kirkham Way. These roads wind above  and around Beeler and Sycamore Canyons. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries these canyons held a little community called Stowe.

Stowe had its own post office from 1889 to 1905 and its own school from 1890 to 1903.

The 1897 Directory of San Diego City and County lists 71 separate towns, with brief descriptions of each and the names of selected residents. Some of the town names are recognizable to us today, such as Chula Vista and Escondido. Others are communities that no longer exist, and haven’t for decades, like Almond, Bostonia, and Stowe. I refer to these places as “the lost towns of San Diego County.”

The 1897 listing for Stowe had this brief description: “Stowe is a farming section, about 23 miles from San Diego and six miles from Poway, on the road from Poway to El Cajon valley.”

That description was followed by the names of 14 residents and their occupations. Eleven of them were men, all farmers. Three were women: two schoolteachers and one postmistress.

Among the farmers was B.F. Kirkham.

Benjamin Franklin Kirkham came to California from Colorado in 1891 with his wife Fredericka Kirkham and four sons, 10-year-old Frank Kirkham, 7-year-old twins Isaac and Andrew Kirkham, and 4-year-old Fred Kirkham.

Benjamin’s son Andrew grew up to be a hard working farmer, but he was also an amateur historian and writer as well. When he died in November 1964 at the age of 80, an obituary in the Poway News stated that he “kept notebooks crammed with data and humorous anecdotes about Valley goings-on.”

A few years before his death Andrew summarized the information in his notebooks and put it into manuscripts which are now in the archives of the Poway Historical and Memorial Society’s museum. These manuscripts provide a wealth of detail about the Kirkham family and their lives in Stowe and the broader community of Poway into which Stowe was eventually absorbed.

Here’s an undated photo of Andrew Kirkham at work, courtesy of the Poway Historical Museum archives. Andy is on the left:

benjamin franklin kirkham

Friends Wildlife


acorn woodpecker

The Acorn Woodpecker is  named after its diet of acorns. These birds utilize a communal granary or acorn tree to store or cache their live oak acorns from season to season.

Being skillful at drilling holes is one of their gifts. Their “social networking” group tends to the acorns, moving them to the right size holes as the acorns dry out and shrink.   Another job is to protect and defend their cache from robbers like the Western Scrub Jays. They stick together as their shared survival depends on their granary’s fortunes.

Acorn Woodpeckers communicate to their tribe with loud raucous “ rachet-rachet-rachet“ calls  that sound like laughing to us humans. Also, they are noted for their  “drumming” which is a woodpecker’s way of communicating with the group.   Drumming consists of 2-20 evenly spaced taps and is often executed on specific drumming posts, typically dead limbs with good resonance. Drumming is associated with intra-specific territorial encounters and as a method to attract mates. Drumming is done by both sexes and may occur at any time of the year but is most common in spring. ( Koening, 1996)   Drumming is also done on telephone poles, buildings and other man-made structures that provide good resonance…often to the dismay of their human neighbors!

Male Acorn Woodpecker showing full wing span as he lands at the granary.

Look closely at their head colors. The Males sport a large red cap starting at the forehead with white toward the front. Females sport a smaller red cap with some black toward the top and white in front.

Male Acorn Woodpecker at the granary in Los Penasquitos Preserve. Spring 2010.


When you get to feast your eyes on one, you may agree that they look a bit like Woody the Woodpecker who was partly based on their comical facial plumage.

More photos of Acorn Woodpeckers can be seen at:

Hope you get to see these amazing birds soon! See you on the trail. ~

This article was written by Jeanie Anderson and published in this newsletter.