Santa Monica Mountain National Recreation Area
Ashley Borrego is the Community Volunteer Ambassador for Santa Monica Mountains National
Recreation Area. Growing up in Huntington Park, CA; she did not know about the country’s largest urban
natural park until the pandemic.
She has always had a deep love for nature that began with family camping trips her grandparents would
take her and her sister on to visit the cool Sierra tree tops. Camping next to the cool creek that was fed
by the melting snowcaps. Sitting under crisp air that held the stars, she knew of our strong connection
Driving on the 101, she would often wonder what was across the houses, over the hill, and through the
canyons to the ocean. She began studying the California landscape with Nick Hummingbird. His online
classes connected Indigenous perspective and practices to the land as we dug into the different plant
communities and histories. Through him we learned ideas of conservation, plant communities, and
how cool and diverse California is.
She graduated from CSULB at Puvungna and earned her bachelor’s degree in Communication Studies.
Here she learned how messages on environment and access are created and intersect, looking at the
impact this has on communities. She also studied how communication theories and principals are
exemplified in real life.
Most recently she has utilized her digital and community message style to educate on native plants,
habitat for monarch butterflies, and give historically excluded folks the tools they need to be active
members of their environment.