Meet Docents of the Quarter Carol Rayes and Jayne Lesley, residents of Cardiff and Solana Beach, respectively. Carol and Jayne are both graduates of the docent class of 2008, and have volunteered numerous hours leading walks. They also serve on the Education Committee, providing advice and oversight to the Education Program. Although they both tend to keep a low profile publicly, they are behind the scenes worker bees, and are experts when it comes to turning school children onto nature, opening their worlds to the treasures of the lagoon.

Jayne Lesley

“I actually enjoy all age groups,” noted Jayne Lesley, “they all ask different questions...and you never quite know what is going to grab their attention, which makes leading the walks interesting, and of course, also challenging.”

Although Jayne has become more involved in the Conservancy since she retired after a 30 year career as an immunology/cancer researcher at Salk Institute in 2002, Jayne has been a supporter of the lagoon and the Conservancy in a multitude of ways for decades. Dating back to the 1970s, Jayne helped gather petitions to prevent the lagoon from being developed. She helped raise money for the purchase of Holmwood Canyon, and was a participant in the original 10–year bird survey of the lagoon conducted from 1973–1983.

An excellent birder and teacher of birding, Jayne continues to conduct bird surveys in San Elijo Lagoon, and has recently started surveying San Dieguito River Park as well. In her spare time, when she’s not leading a walk or conducting a bird survey, Jayne enjoys trail riding and camping with her horse.

Carol Rayes

When Carol Rayes isn’t jetting across the globe, either for her 30+ year career as a flight attendant or for leisure, she squeezes in as many walks as she can, and prefers the little tykes with their abundant energy and inquisitive minds.

“I was shocked to learn that the average child is spending eight hours per day plugged into a computer, iPod, or some other electronic device,” Carol said, “and I decided it was time to help them get "unplugged.” Carol adds that “becoming a docent seemed like a great way to both help this generation of nature-deprived kids, as well as satisfy my own curious mind about all the interesting plants I encountered while hiking the lagoon.”

Keeping calm and cool with a rowdy group of kids might throw off some folks, but this does not seem to intimidate Carol. When asked what her secret is, she smiles, noting that having been a camp counselor and swim instructor in her younger years probably provided for excellent training.


Docent of the Quarter
Monthly Meetings

  Western Scrub Jay