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Great Valley Center working with MCOE on video for child abuse protection

The Great Valley Center said it’s working with Merced County Office of Education (MCOE) to produce a video for the Child Abuse Protection Act (CAPTA) program, a federally funded project to help prevent child sexual abuse in Merced County.

All materials will be developed in Spanish as well as English. The video is targeted for completion in early 2012 and will be a tool in educating parents about child abuse prevention. Outreach to the community begins in the spring. For more information email Senior Program Manager Jami Westervelt at or (209) 522-5103 x122.

The center also said 26,350-acre San Luis Wildlife Refuge opened a new visitor center in November, featuring interactive exhibits on native and endangered animals and plants. The 1,500-square-foot facility provides visitors and students an opportunity to learn about the many species that live in the grasslands, wetlands and riparian habitats within the refuge. The center was funded with $7.2 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

Displays featured during the opening included information from almost 20 years of research by scientists at CSU Stanislaus and the San Joaquin Valley Endangered Species Recovery Program. The San Luis Wildlife Refuge is part of more than 130,000 acres of preserved wetlands in western Merced County, and is within the Pacific flyway for migrating birds. The visitor center is open daily from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and is located at 7376 S. Wolfsen Road in Los Banos.--Sun-Star staff