Earl J Koobs Nature Area: A Veteran’s Day Tradition

Carmichael’s Special Place To Celebrate Those Who Served

A Idea, A Teacher, Students & A Dream To Honor Veterans
This information is in regards to Veteran’s Day, honoring all Veterans, especially those on our Vietnam Memorial in the Earl J. Koobs Nature Area. The memorial and nature area are located in Carmichael, between San Juan Central (Previously Garfield Elementary) and the La Sierra Community Center on 5325 Engle Road.

There will be an observance November 11th with colors presented @ 11AM.

How the Ear J. Koobs Area Came To Be – The Short Story

The Earl J. Koobs Nature Area all started with a teacher’s off-hand suggestion and high school students’ endearing perseverance to purchase about 4 1/2 acres in Carmichael as a nature and environmental studies area in 1971. Even Governor Reagan and President Nixon donated to the students’ cause. A California ecology grant helped pay the balance. The area was later named for Mr. Koobs, the biology teacher who planted seeds of an idea.

Note: He is now called “Ranger Jack”, but is still very involved.

You may find our Vietnam Memorial especially intriguing. In 1973, while many were still in disbelief of America’s losses, the nature area’s symbol became a memorial to 14 students from La Sierra High School who died for our country. This is the first known Vietnam Memorial in California, was made in metal shop by students remembering their own classmates.

There is not much more history available until the 80’s. In 1988, the nature area was almost sold for lack of use and interest. The community of Garfield Elementary, as “Save Our Soil” rallied and again saved this precious resource by establishing an educational trust; it will always be here for future generational sharing, learning about nature…and so much more!

There was a very special re-dedication Nov 10, 1988 of the La Sierra High School Memorial that included featured speaker B.T. Collins. Just mentioning his name in this community brings forth welling of respect. Families of boys lost still speak with tear-filled eyes of gratitude for their own not forgotten by a great man.

Subsequent Days of Remembrance were mostly limited to Garfield Elementary classes visiting the memorial. Teaching can go both ways as students bring up family members, friends, those known and not forgotten. The Nature Area Committee realized the need to reach out further and was fortunate to find seven out of fourteen families and many former students for our “Day to Honor and Remember”.

Those found met more when they attended, along with a variety of Veterans, families, and friends with stories to share. This interaction and expressed community interest encouraged the Nature Area Committee to continue. The observance has become tradition now, with this being our 12th consecutive year honoring Veterans on the eleventh month, eleventh day and eleventh hour. (See invitation).

We also now observe Memorial Day as a time to remember those who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our country. Planning, preparations, and ceremony are by the Nature Area Committee, Kiwanis Club of Carmichael, La Sierra graduates, Local Scouts/Venture crew, Veterans themselves , and others of our community. Color Guard will be by local Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and Venture Crew.

We welcome you to join us. Gates to the area will be open from 10:00am to 2:00pm and Color Guard Ceremony will be at 11:00am.

Linda E. Jones, Chairperson
Earl J. Koobs Nature Area Committee
E-mail: jones.lindaer@comcast.net