8th Grade Difference Maker

Our Difference Makers Series at Berkeley Hall is designed to help our students think of ways they can actively engage in community service and support causes that matter to them personally. I wanted to share the recent work of one of our current 8th grade students, Jackson Garland, who spoke this week at a Los Angeles County Supervisors’ hearing.
Jackson has been working with the Ballona Institute to protect wetland in Marina del Rey. Jackson wrote and delivered an impassioned speech in support of the local wildlife and in opposition to the proposed development of a large hotel on land that was formerly designated as a public park. Click here for a copy of Jackson’s speech.


Hi, my name is Jackson Garland, I am 13 years old. I have lived in Marina Del Rey my entire life.

Our house is on the canal (just one block from this proposed development). I observe and think about the wildlife. I love watching Great Blue Heron walk along the canal. The Great Blue Heron live and breed in old growth trees. They also need marsh to be able to hunt on.

To quote an article about Great Blue Herons, “they need meadows for foraging and nesting.” The last meadow in Marina Del Rey is located at the Marina Marsh. To take this land away could mean losing this species to our area.

It’s like the tale of Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax. Where will these birds go? (Jackson held up a picture from The Lorax of birds flying away).

I think about what the future holds for my generation.

There is the threat of climate crisis because of human action. What will life be like when I’m your age? Will there be any undeveloped land to enjoy? Will there be any wildlife to see?

When Dr. Seuss wrote The Lorax, it was his personal favorite. He once explained… ”It came out of my being angry.” He said, “I was out to attack what I think are evil things, and let the chips fall where they might.”

Someday, I hope to be in a position of power to do the right thing.

I urge you to please protect this land for future generations. Please save the Marina Marsh.
Located in Los Angeles, CA, Berkeley Hall School is a private, coeducational school for students in preschool through grade 8. Rigorous academics in a supportive atmosphere and grounded character development allow students to become fearless scholars and conscientious citizens - gain a love of learning, leadership with social responsibility, creativity with moral integrity, and self-esteem with compassion for others and the environment.