The folks at the California State Parks and the National Park Service really come to life in mid-summer, providing an array of great new opportunities to discover and enjoy our local parks and trails.
Perhaps one of the most under-appreciated jobs is that of a Park Ranger. These guardians of our natural terrain are trained in a broad spectrum of service, from law enforcement to fire and safety practices, environmental issues, wildlife and nooks and crannies of the local trail systems.
Right now, the Rangers at Leo Carrillo State Park are hosting guided tours, every Sunday morning at 9 a.m. and on Wednesdays and Fridays at 10 a.m., at which supervised Junior Rangers (7-12 year olds) can learn about the park and highlights of our local native culture. Wednesdays, at 8 a.m, there’s a Ranger supervised Campfire Program, a particularly enjoyable event for the whole family. All of these options, and more, are free and available just for showing up! Call (805) 488-1827 for more details.
Nearby Point Mugu State Park and Malibu State Park also offer very similar programs and events, all Ranger supervised, just waiting for you to join them.
At the same time, the National Park Service offers its own schedule of unique outdoor activities. On Sunday, July 31, there is a free Culture Workshop at the Satiwa National American Culture Center. Renowned artist Nadija Littlewarrior will teach you how to create your own distinctive Native American ornament. Call (805) 370-2301 for more info about this especially interesting event.
If you are willing to pay a small fee for a big return, the Santa Monica Mountains & Shore Malibu Family Walk offers a full week of swimming, hiking, surfing, camping and more, from Sunday July 31 to Saturday August 6. Evenings include crafts classes, professional story telling and talent shows. All hikes are under five miles and suitable for all ages. This extraordinary week of activities is offered by the Coastwalk organization (310-304-2799 or 800-550-6854).
The programs described above are only a small sampling of the many new opportunities to get acquainted with our local wildlife resources. Of course, if you’d just like to take a friendly, unsupervised hike, you are always welcome to hook-up with our informal hiking group as we explore 21 great trails – all on the Westside. We leave promptly at 6:30 p.m. for about two hours. No Rangers, no lectures. Wear boots, bring water and plan on getting at least a little dirty.Fearless readers interested in free Monday and Wednesday night hikes may call Scott Regberg at (310) 475-5735.