School may be out for summer, but that doesn’t mean your young ones have to stop learning. There are many programs on the Irvine Ranch Natural Landmarks that get kids excited to learn while giving them the opportunity to explore outdoors. Throughout July, adventurers as young as 9 years old can learn about a variety of nature-related careers through hands-on, interactive activities out in the open wilderness.
The J.O.Y. for Nature series takes place every Wednesday during July, and invites parents and their children to get outdoors and learn about careers in forensic science, astronomy, and pharmacy. From spotting evidence of the tiniest creatures found along the trails, to gazing out into the vast possibilities of outer space, J.O.Y. for Nature is an opportunity for teens and tweens to find new ways to connect with the rare and biologically diverse open space of Orange County.
On Wednesday, 7/13, join Animal CSI: Critter Scene Investigation to find out how forensic scientists use animal and insect clues to solve nature’s greatest mysteries. Investigative minds will enjoy an easy 2.5-mile hike that encourages visitors to inspect plant and animal evidence found along the trail such as scat, tracks, fur, or bones.
During Space Odyssey on Wednesday, 7/20, J.O.Y. for Nature extends its gaze beyond ground-dwelling plants and animals to the sky above. Young stargazers will imagine life as an astronomer and hypothesize about what lies beyond Earth. What are the environments like on other planets? What would it be like to live there? What makes a star shine? These questions and more will be discussed while enjoying a 3-mile trek that offers different views of the sky from the Irvine Open Space Preserve.
Discover basic first aid skills during Wilderness Pharmacy on Wednesday, 7/27. This informative program will share essential first aid knowledge to keep you safe while enjoying the great outdoors. Visitors will have an opportunity to identify important plants that can be used to treat injuries or help in other emergencies, along with plants such as poison oak that should be avoided. This leisurely 2.5-mile hike reveals what it takes to be a pharmacist in nature, and will test your new knowledge in a first aid skills challenge course.
J.O.Y. for Nature gives young visitors to the Landmarks a weekly source of nature-related activities this July. Keep your kids’ brains sharp and their bodies active during these informative and fun programs out on the open space. All programs are free with required registration, which closes at 4 p.m. the day prior to the event. Minors must be accompanied by a parent or adult guardian. For more details on these activities or to register, click the titles above or visit LetsGoOutside.org/activities.