World Environment Day on Tuesday, June 5 is quickly approaching! This day marks the perfect opportunity to discover the many ways nature lovers can help take care of the environment. Whether a first-time visitor or longtime volunteer on the Irvine Ranch Natural Landmarks, stewardship activities give outdoor enthusiasts a chance to connect with the land while benefiting the environment. With the support of volunteers and partners, the Landmarks will continue to thrive on World Environment Day and beyond.
“Our sole purpose is connecting people to these spectacular places. Today is all about giving to the Irvine Ranch Natural Landmarks and to each other through partnership. This is the core of our mission, vision and values,” O’Connell said during the celebration dinner. “Irvine Ranch Conservancy and OC Parks volunteers contributed approximately 80,000 volunteer hours in the last year to bettering the Landmarks!”
With World Environment Day drawing near, that mission and the work of volunteers and partners remains incredibly important to the local lands. In 2017, volunteers harvested half a ton of native seed from approximately 50 species at the Native Seed Farm in Irvine. Volunteers can help contribute to the native seed harvested during the bi-weekly It’s Harvest Time! Collect Wildflower Seeds at the Native Seed Farm program. The upcoming program on Wednesday, June 6 from 8:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. offers the opportunity to harvest seeds from native spring wildflowers including California Poppies and Arroyo Lupines. Seeds harvested during this stewardship program will provide animals with food and shelter, and buffer the negative impacts of floods and wildfire.
Volunteers removed 345,947 invasive weeds and planted 13,516 native species across the Landmarks within the last year! On Saturday, June 9 from 8 a.m. – 12p.m. participants can continue helping the Conservancy restore native habitat and wildlife during the Adopt-a-Canyon: Agua Chinon Stewardship program. In addition to removing harmful invasive species and planting native plants in their place, volunteers will engage in plant identification while enjoying the outdoors.
There are currently 490 Tecate Cypress seedlings growing in Fremont Canyon thanks to Conservancy staff and volunteers. Outdoor enthusiasts can continue restoring the canyon during the Waterworks Trail Restoration: Fremont Canyon stewardship program on Tuesday, June 12 from 9 – 11 a.m. During this activity volunteers will spend their morning on the restoration site establishing important habitat for local wildlife in Fremont Canyon by removing invasive plants.
Visitors can take the first step in helping restore nearly 40,000 acres of globally important wildlands in celebration of World Environment Day and beyond. Discover how your connection with the Landmarks can not only benefit the local lands, but work as a catalyst for environmental impact on a national and global level.
Most activities on the Landmarks are free with required pre-registration, which closes at 4 p.m. the day prior to each event. Remember to wear sunscreen and don’t forget to pack water, a snack, and wear appropriate shoes. Programs are open to the public with required registration, but space is limited and early registration is recommended. For more information and to register for a program visit www.LetsGoOutisde.org/activities.