Families can discover Orange County's only National Natural Landmark together during the 2nd Annual OC Parks Wilderness Celebration in Black Star Canyon. The event is this Saturday, July 28, from 8:00 am to 1:00 pm, and will introduce kids and adults alike to the wide open spaces right here in Orange County.
From an easy walk along the majestic Red Rocks to games and activities that are all about the outdoors, families can hit the trails and learn about nature. At the main event site in the Black Star Staging Area, a community partner fair will feature live birds from the OC Bird of Prey Center, an all-terrain firefighting rig from Orange County Fire Authority, plus free event souvenirs and giveaways.
In the newly-renovated Baker Staging Area, kids can learn about this unique park through crafts and games provided by OC Parks, and meet real canyon critters. Special games will teach kids about tracking animals by watching the trails for scat (animal poop), as well as how to tell which birds are flying overhead by listening to their calls. Families can also participate in a scavenger hunt to learn more about canyon critters.
Also near the Baker Staging Area, a short nature walk will take kids and their parents out to spot more flora and fauna. The Wilderness Celebration is geared toward connecting people to this local natural resource, and even those who have never hiked in wilderness before can participate with the help of OC Parks staff and Irvine Ranch Conservancy docents.
The event commemorates the gift of 20,000 acres of open space to the County of Orange, and the land is part of nearly 40,000 acres of the former Irvine Ranch that have been designated as both a National and California Natural Landmark for its rare biological and geological features. The day will begin with trails opening at 8:00 am, and kids' activities kicking off at 9:30 am. Trails will be open to hikers and bikers until 1:00 pm. Participants should note that for the safety of pets and preservation of local wildlife, dogs are not allowed in the Irvine Ranch Open Space at any time.
The 2nd Annual OC Parks Wilderness Celebration is free, and pre-registration is encouraged to save time on the day of the event – adults can register up to 5 people at once through the Irvine Ranch Natural Landmarks website. Information and registration is available at www.LetsGoOutside.org/activities.