Environment

Scenic Los Osos spot now has free mounted binoculars to watch birds and wildlife

A rendering shows the new viewing stand outfitted with binoculars at the Sweet Springs Nature Preserve in Los Osos.
A rendering shows the new viewing stand outfitted with binoculars at the Sweet Springs Nature Preserve in Los Osos.

A new mounted viewer with binoculars has been installed on a permanent stand in Los Osos for free public bird watching and nature observation.

The community enhancement group Celebrate Los Osos has established the viewer on the wooden deck at the Sweet Springs Nature Preserve.

The site is located at the corner of Broderson and Ramona avenues. The group received a $5,000 county infrastructure grant for the project, which celebrates the life of Mimi Kalland, according to Pandora Nash-Karner of Celebrate Los Osos.

Kalland was Celebrate Los Osos’ co-president; she died in August.

The viewer has been placed in the northwest corner of the deck that borders the bay, a prime spot to view shorebirds and feeding grounds, according to Nash-Karner.

“With the addition of the use-for-free viewer, children and adults without binoculars or scopes will have the opportunity to observe and gain knowledge of our wetland wildlife up close,” Nash-Karner wrote in the grant application. “This improvement will enhance visitors’ appreciation and make their visits more memorable.”

The site is rich in local history as well; the Native American Chumash were known to use the land at Sweet Springs and evidence of their presence dates from 500 A.D. through the 1700s, Nash-Karner added.

Kalland’s name appears in a small plaque on the structure, which is 5 feet 2 inches tall.

Los Osos LH006
Pandora Nash-Karner, left, and the late Mimi Kalland, who co-founded Celebrate Los Osos. The new public viewing stand is dedicated to Kalland, who died in August. Joe Johnston jjohnston@thetribunenews.com

Kalland volunteered to help to improve Los Osos’ public spaces and conserve resources, including building a fence for the community park, repairing an iconic bear statue that had been vandalized, removing abandoned kayaks along the Cuesta Inlet, painting the Baywood Park Pier, replanting medians and more.

“It’s hard to imagine going on without her, but she would have wanted us to do so,” Nash-Karner said of Kalland. “She loved what Celebrate Los Osos stands for.”

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