Ikes’ Lasting Legacy
Fullerton Chapter past president Bob Green came to a meeting of the League’s California Division 5 years ago with a proposal: Rebuild the amphitheater at Tucker Wildlife Sanctuary.
The 12-acre Tucker Wildlife Sanctuary was originally owned by Ben and Dorothy Tucker (who is credited with inventing the hummingbird feeder). The Tuckers deeded the land to the Audubon Society in 1939 with express instructions that it be used as a wildlife sanctuary, and ownership was later passed to Cal State Fullerton. The sanctuary includes hiking trails and two ponds and is home to at least 144 species of birds.
Bob Green had spearheaded construction of the sanctuary’s original amphitheater in 1970, which was built from donated telephone poles and graded by hand. Time and floods from Modjeska Creek, which flows just yards away from the amphitheater, took their toll. By 2005, the amphitheater was essentially gone. The California Division’s Board of Directors voted to contribute to rebuilding the amphitheater, as did the League’s Orange Chapter and the IWLA Endowment.
With generous amounts of time and perseverance, Jon Hastings (past president of the League’s Orange Chapter) organized construction of the amphitheater with help from Tucker Wildlife Sanctuary Director Karon Cornell. Architect Charles Terry donated his time and costs to draw up construction plans. “There were plenty of bumps in the road obtaining permits for the project,” says IWLA California Division President Pete Hillebrecht, “but Jon and Karon pursued and politicked, and permits were finally issued. Some materials were donated, a local construction company was granted the contract — and the rest is history.”
The amphitheater was dedicated last
September and is now in use by thousands of
school children, says Hillebrecht. “The
children use this area to listen to teachers,
instructors, and guides talk about the
Cleveland National Forest ecosystem and, more
importantly, conservation of the