The activities below are offered by a variety of organizations and their dedicated volunteers. All programs are FREE unless noted below. Programs led by IRC-Certified Volunteers require pre-registration, which closes at 4 p.m. on the day prior to the event. No walk-up registrations will be permitted for these events. For policies of other organizations, please use the sign-up information provided. For mobility device policies click here.
Note: Minors must be accompanied by a parent or guardian for these events. For programs requiring online registration, each adult and child must be registered.
Friday, March 7, 2014
Cancelled due to lack of particpation
Sahara mustard is a nasty exotic that has invaded thousands of acres across southern California and is just beginning to encroach upon the Irvine Ranch. Now is the time to act! During the last couple years volunteers have been staying on top of small populations to prevent it from spreading. Your help is needed to pull Sahara mustard so we can keep this weed from infesting our beautiful wild lands! All training will be provided. We sure hope you can join us!
Please join the Irvine Ranch Conservancy to help restore habitat in the Gully! Participants will engage in a range of activities from collecting and sowing seed, planting native plant, and removing weeds. Participants will also enjoy off-trail access and a healthy workout–all while helping improve their native community! Training, tools, gloves, and chaps will be provided to help protect you from potential encounters with poison oak, bees, and rattlesnakes. Note that this event is held on the first Friday of each month.
Led by Laguna Canyon Foundation in partnership with OC Parks. Join us on a wonderful morning walk to Orange County’s only natural lake while learning about our native California plant life. This 2-mile leisurely hike will be led by Laguna Canyon Foundation volunteer naturalists. Ages 8 and up. Laguna Coast Wilderness Park, Little Sycamore Canyon Staging Area/Nix Nature Center (west side of Laguna Canyon Rd/SR-133, approximately 3.5 miles south of I-5/405). For questions call: 949-497-8324. Parking: $3. Donation: $2/person.
Online reservations required: www.lagunacanyon.org/activities.html
Saturday, March 8, 2014
Explore the beautiful Weir Canyon and surrounding hills on this cardio hike. Along the trail, you’ll pass through coastal sage scrub, grasslands, and oak woodlands. Multiple steep climbs and descents are included. Enjoy views of Saddleback Peak and the Cleveland National Forest along the way.
Remember, this cardio hike is much faster than a walk. You must be able to hike at a average an average pace of 3.5 mph to 4 mph uphill and the entire time without stopping. Please make sure you are in excellent physical condition!
The title says it all. This is your chance to venture deep in the Irvine backcountry. Join us for a challenging and beautiful adventure.
Hike distance is up to 14 miles and is designed for advanced hikers. Participants must be physically fit and have distance hiking experience. Singletrack trails, steep climbs and descents are numerous. Over 2400 feet of accumulated climbing elevation on this route.
The route on this hike occasionally will feature hiking to the sea and back, beginning in Bommer, the hike will head into Crystal Cove State Park, then pass through Laguna Coast Wilderness Park before returning to the Irvine preserve.
Bring plenty of water, 70 oz. minimum, and a light trail snack. All participants must carry their own water! Please come prepared with a pack, sturdy closed-toe hiking shoes or boots, sunscreen, first aid, and all other supplies to keep you safe and healthy on the trail for the half-day of being out in the wilderness area. Under-prepared participants may be denied access to the event! All children under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.
Led by Laguna Canyon Foundation in partnership with OC Parks. Learn to identify native plants with Laguna Canyon Foundation volunteer naturalist Nadine Nordstrom (author of the South Coast Wilderness Plant Identification Guide) on this moderate but very fast-paced, steep and rocky, 3.5-mile hike (600-ft. elevation gain). For ages 12 and up. Laguna Coast Wilderness Park, Willow Canyon Staging Area (20101 Laguna Canyon Road, just south of El Toro Road intersection). For questions call: 949-497-8324. Parking: $3. Donation: $2/person. Online reservations required: www.lagunacanyon.org/activities.html.
Cancelled Due to drought conditions and plants not growing due to lack of water. The rain event 2/27-3/2 will certainly put the project back in shape. Please refer to future restoration events as we will need your help!
Since last winter, with help from volunteers, Irvine Ranch Conservancy has seeded and planted over 60 acres of native habitat in Bee Flat Canyon. Most seed used in Bee Flat was grown right here on the IRC native seed farm! Seeds and plants are beginning to grow but aggressive weeds like black mustard threaten to overtake the plantings. Volunteers are needed to help pull weeds so that our young native plants have room to survive. All tools and training, including plant identification, will be provided. There is a lot of area to cover so your assistance is greatly appreciated. Hope you can join us!
Led by Newport Bay Conservancy. Meet at the Vista Point lookout at the corner of Eastbluff Drive and Back Bay Drive where you will join a Naturalist who will lead you on a tour between outdoor classrooms featuring Birds, Plants, Marine Life, Geology and Native Americans set up along Back Bay Drive.
Tours depart from the lookout at 9:00, 9:30 and 10:00 AM. Bring sun protection and binoculars if you have them. There is no charge for the program, but reservations are requested. Please call 949-923-2269 for more information and to RSVP.
Take a walk through the renovated 12-acre Historic District at Crystal Cove State Park. Learn about the colorful past of the Cove and hear about the different uses for each cottage. Park at the Los Trancos parking lot, then cross at the intersection and walk across the marked pathways towards the historic district to the first cottage #34 on top of the hill. There is a $15 day-use parking fee.
Led by the Newport Aquatic Center in partnership with the Newport Bay Conservancy. One of the best ways to appreciate Upper Newport Bay is to get out on the water. Kayaking in the Newport Beach Back Bay is fun and easy. Come out for a two hour guided kayak tour of the Back Bay in the heart of Newport Beach every Saturday and Sunday morning year-round.
Learn about some of the fun and interesting animals that live in Crystal Cove State Park at the Education Commons in the Historic District with Crystal Cove State Park Ranger Jenn. Park in the Los Trancos lot (PCH inland at stoplight Los Trancos then walk through the tunnel or take the shuttle). $15 day use fee.
Enjoy nature with friends and family in Round Canyon. We will hike along a fairly flat trail as we watch for Red-tailed hawks and mule deer.
The hike will average 2-3 miles round trip at an easy pace with a medium level of interpretation. This program is for participants who would like a slower paced level hike. Wear comfortable clothes and sturdy shoes, and bring water for the hike. Be ready to enjoy the sounds and smells of the early evening.
Sunday, March 9, 2014
Led by Sea & Sage Audubon Society in partnership with the Irvine Ranch Water District, this free monthly bird walk is a great way to learn more about the wonderful world of birds. Discover a diversity of birds with expert birders like Chris Obaditch as you explore the freshwater ponds, San Diego Creek, butterfly garden, and riparian areas of the beautiful 300 acre San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary in Irvine. You will look for wintering ducks and shorebirds in the shallow ponds, watch egrets and herons stalking the edges of the deep ponds, and look up for raptors such as Osprey, Red-tailed Hawk, Northern Harrier, and White-tailed Kite. Winter specialties include American White Pelican, White-crowned Sparrow, Cedar Waxwing, and maybe a Vermillion Flycatcher. The walk is about 1 to 1.5 miles long, and you will learn about migration, adaptations, camouflage, feeding, preening, nesting, and what you can do to help local birds. Open to all ages who are interested in bird-watching; children under 11 must be accompanied by an adult. Dress warmly for a winter walk around open water. Please contact for further information or directions www.seaandsageaudubon.org or the Audubon House Volunteer at 949-261-7963. There is no registration required.
Join us for a docent-led mountain bike ride through the Irvine Open Space Preserve. This moderate-paced mountain bike loop begins at the Bommer Canyon Trailhead. We will head out through the Bommer Meadow and move along the Shady Canyon Bikeway to Quail Hill. The route then traverses the Quail Trail, Serrano and Hogback Ridges, and ends with a descent along the Ridge Route. On days when the ride begins at Quail Hill, the ride will begin on the Quail Trail and end on the Shady Canyon bikeway.
Views of the picturesque hills of the City of Irvine Open Space abound throughout. Riders will move along a combination of bikeway, ranch roads and an intermediate level single track trail with several steep climbs and descents. Over 2100 feet of accumulated climbing elevation is experienced on this route.
Please join in and help Irvine Ranch Conservancy Land Stewards with manual removal of invasive plants in beautiful Weir Canyon . We will be working in the riparian areas and this activity will require strength and bending over to remove larger tree/plant growth. Thank you!
Winter is a wonderful time to learn about our local nature. Join a park naturalist on a 2-mile easy family nature walk at Crystal Cove State Park to learn about the plants and animals living in the park. Meet at the Berns Amphitheatre (PCH inland at stoplight School-State Park). $15 day-use parking fee.
Join Preserve staff and other volunteers in enhancing the Bay’s habitat for local wildlife. Activities may include non-native plant removal, planting natives, watering, trash cleanup and Butterfly Garden maintenance.
No experience is necessary; water, snacks and tools are provided. Space is limited and pre-registration is required. Please phone (949) 923-2275, or e-mail email@example.com to register or receive monthly email notifications. Minors aged 16 and younger must have legal guardian present at all times Rain cancels.
Visit a Show and Share Exhibit and discover mysterious clues animals leave behind. Free crafts and games! 30 minute Nature Walk tracking animals will follow. O’Neill Regional Park, 30892 Trabuco Canyon Road, Trabuco Canyon, 92678. Meet at the Nature Center. For questions call (949)923-2260
Event: Free Parking: $5.00 http://ocparks.com/parks/oneill/events