Madrona Marsh Preserve
City of Torrance
Community Services Dept.
Tracy Drake became the Manager and Naturalist of the Madrona Marsh Preserve and Nature Center in January 2002. Tracy is very passionate about her job and enjoys it every day. Through her work at the Preserve, she tries to provide through various programs and tours, ranging from scientific to artistic, an opportunity to visitors of all ages to explore and learn about the Madrona Marsh Preserve.
Tracy is an employee of the City and provides the day-to-day operations management of the Preserve.
Tracy became interested in nature while growing up in the Monterey Hills region of Los Angeles where she spent many hours observing and interacting with the regions plants and animals. This helped her learn some really important lessons. One lesson that she continues to teach in her programs is that it is really important to realize how we are connected to everything in nature. She believes that once this is learned, then one can see how much one affects the natural world through their thoughts, actions, opinions and decisions.
After graduating from California State University of Long Beach in 1987 with a Bachelor’s degree in Recreation, Tracy served as an instructor and within a few years became Principal at one of Orange County’s seven outdoor science schools located in the San Bernardino Mountains. Her school hosted more than one hundred students weekly and was administered by a staff of thirty-two. During this time she began honing her leadership and management skills.
Tracy earned a Master’s degree in Outdoor Resource Management with an emphasis on Environmental Education from Indiana University after she left the outdoor science schools. Next, she worked for the California State Parks as an Interpreter and then in the horticulture field until accepting the position at the Madrona Marsh Preserve and Nature Center.
Tracy was elected to a post on the 2005 Board of Directors of the Palos Verdes/South Bay Audubon Society where she is still an active member. She is a member of the National Association of (nature and cultural) Interpreters, and has received several awards of excellence from local organizations as well as from the City of Torrance.