Stepping into nature with Borba and Kang

by Eddie Lu

photo courtesy of

Promoting the student health and environmental improvement, Applied Environmental Science teachers Tanya Borba and Tiffany Kang are meeting their students on weekends in various locations to practice hiking.

Students in Applied Environmental Science will be doing rigorous hiking when they go to Yosemite in December, so the teachers want to make sure they are prepared. Part of the training begins with what to wear and bring.

“On a hike, make sure to bring water, a good pair of shoes and wear layers of clothing so you have the option to remove or keep clothing on depending on the situation,” said Borba.

While hiking, the students are encouraged to collect litter and carry it out for proper disposal, which is beneficial to the environment as well as its inhabitants, according to

Places that the students have hiked were Eaton Canyon and Turnbull Canyon. Eaton Canyon, which is open from sunrise to sunset, is a 190-acre nature preserve located at the base of the San Gabriel Mountains that contains hiking and equestrian trails, picnic areas, seasonal streams, rocks and minerals, various natural habitats, native plants and wildlife.

“In Eaton Canyon, you hike in a canyon and at the end, there is a small waterfall with a pool of water in front of it,” said Borba. “It’s located in Pasadena, so it’s pretty close by, and it’s a good starting ground for beginners.”

Turnbull Canyon, located in Whittier, is a 4.1-mile loop trail that offers stunning views. The canyon has a creek at the bottom that supports the area which is forested with sycamore trees. The slopes of the hills are covered with coastal sage and both non-native and native grasses. The trails open from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. daily, according to

Alumni like, Nolan Luevano, who is a substitute teacher with the district, has joined some of the hikes.

“From a teacher’s perspective, I highly recommend to the kids to go because isn’t it better to experience something you’ve never been exposed to before than to regret it later,” said Luevano. “If you are going to take this class, then go; take this class for what it is. It isn’t just textbook, test, final.”

Hiking provides a great learning experience for individuals as students are highly encouraged to unplug and immerse themselves in the outdoors. Students may learn new things that would not have been possible by staying indoors.

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