Friends of Ventura Harbor to provide the opportunity for Ventura children to get to the Harbor

The Channel Islands National Park Headquarters is a great facility and resource.

Friends of Ventura Harbor, Inc. was incorporated with the California Secretary of State in January, 2020, by Dr. Vikki Brock, an international business consultant who lives at the harbor, and Jean Getchell; and it obtained 501 (c) (3) charitable status six months later.

This corporation is a California nonprofit public benefit corporation and is not organized for the private gain of any person. It is organized under the California Nonprofit Public Benefit Corporation Law for public benefit purposes. The exclusive public benefit purpose of the corporation is to operate a nonprofit organization to raise, provide, and maintain financial support for education, scientific research and development, and recreational activities at Ventura Harbor and other harbors in California for the benefit of the public; and to perform associated activities for program development and management.

The catalyst that finally nudged them into creating Friends was someone in Monterey County who used a bequest from an estate to take every eighth-grade student in the county to see “Hamilton” in San Francisco. (Yes, every eighth grader from King City to Elkhorn Slough!)

So, Jean wondered, why not do whatever we could to ensure that every eighth grader in Ventura got out to the Channel Islands to learn about its natural and cultural history?

Jean said “At the same time, we wanted to provide the opportunity for Ventura children to simply get to the Harbor. This was something that had been asked by several members of the City Council while I served as a Port Commissioner in 2018-19. So, getting children to the Harbor will be Friends’ first major undertaking. It plans to collaborate with groups that already serve children, organizations that already educate others about indigenous culture, science educators, and others.”

“We hope to work with existing entities to provide opportunities for hands-on experiences — learning to make pottery, learning about what various harbor business do, and learning about the work that is being done by the National Park Service on the islands.”

With the exception of the years she lived in Carmel (2000 – 2013), Jean has been living in Ventura since 1964. Only after she became an adult, however, did she become familiar with what the Harbor and the ocean had to offer. Visiting Santa Cruz Island with friends in the 1960s, sailing around the islands in the 1980s, scuba diving and kayaking were such wonderful experiences. “With these opportunities so close at hand, it only makes sense to try to do what’s needed for children to experience them. After all, they are the future stewards of this area.” This gives a sense of Friends’ values and what it hopes to do in the next few years. As it establishes relationships and creates cooperative work projects, there will be more to offer.”

One of their first events to reach Ventura children will be collaboration with the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Ventura to provide a great opportunity to bring its members to the Harbor for recreational and educational activities. The Channel Islands National Park Headquarters is such a great facility and resource, as is Island Packers. In addition, the harbor businesses have indicated an interest in making young people aware of their work at the harbor.

The Parade of Lights will be a great introduction between the Club Members and Friends, and a great time to enjoy the festivities of the season. Friends has chartered a bus to bring them to the Harbor and will be hosting a dinner for them at the Water’s Edge Restaurant patio.

Also serving with Jean on the Friends Board are Rebecca Bogner and Alana Meiners.

Friends may be reached at friendsofventuraharborca@gmail.com
Life is better on the water –

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