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Nature guide educates students on hikes at Ring Mountain

Anne Libbin leads a group of students from Mount Tamalpais School on a hike on Ring Mountain. The Tiburon resident has volunteered as a Terwillger Nature Guide since 2016, sharing her knowledge of the local flora and fauna with school kids and others. (Frank Fennema / For The Ark)

Walking around Tiburon’s Ring Mountain Preserve, it’s easy to dismiss the giant domed nests made by dusky-footed woodrats as just a pile of sticks — but not under the watch of Anne Libbin, a docent with WildCare’s Terwilliger Nature Guides who leads hikes for elementary-school kids at the open space each month, sharing her extensive knowledge of the local flora and fauna.

On the three-hour hikes, Libbin, who has volunteered as a docent with the program since 2016, points out natural features unique to Ring Mountain Preserve, like the telltale green of serpentine and blue of blueschist rock. She will also scan the trails for animal tracks and scat, which is always a crowd-pleaser with the kids.

On special occasions, after a thorough soaking from winter rain, the hikes overlap with wildflower blooms in the preserve. Libbin was selected to be one of WildCare’s wildflower docents this spring during a rare bloom of the Tiburon mariposa lily endemic to the area.

“I would be out on the weekends making sure people didn’t trample the flowers and telling them about the ones that are unique,” Libbin says. “It was great this spring because with the rain and the late winter, we had people coming out to see (the lilies) before they were even in bloom.”

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