Supporters braved the elements this past weekend to celebrate ESLT’s community at Benton Hot Springs Ranch. The wind was howling and snow fell, but all in attendance banded together and enjoyed the opportunity to spent time with one another on a beautiful piece of preserved land.

Participants enjoyed a wide range of activities. On Saturday afternoon, around 40 people headed down through the canyon trail on the conservation easement to view birds, get their feet wet, look at plants, watch the storm come in, and learn about the natural history which makes this property so special. Eastern Sierra artists were scattered around Benton Hot Springs capturing beautiful landscapes and objects of interests. Attendees had fun wandering around the various plein air locations to view artists’ creations. The eclectic “Dysceltics” band drew everyone in for appetizers and a member appreciation gathering, followed by dinner and a campfire circle.
The next morning, birders “enjoyed” not much better weather for an early morning birding tour, followed by breakfast. The famous Benton Hot Springs hot tubs provided much needed heat therapy for those of us who were cold!

Our members, supporters and volunteers really demonstrated their dedication to preserving the working landscapes of the Eastern Sierra and had a lot of fun. We are thankful to everyone who attended the event; without supporters our organization would be neither as robust, nor as able to fulfill our mission.

We would like to thank, first and foremost, Bill and Diane Bramlette, the gracious hosts of the Community Celebration event at Benton Hot Springs Ranch. This event would not have been possible without the generous support from the Sierra Nevada Conservancy and MacFarlane Foundation. Our volunteer base was instrumental in pulling this event off: thank you to everyone who helped lead an activity, flip burgers, or take down the equipment on Sunday. Thank you to the artists, chefs, traffic directors, and extra hands for working together to make this event one of celebration and cooperation.

ESLT looks forward to more events like this one in the years to come. Perhaps with a bit less wind and snow next time!