From hiking and mountain biking to horseback riding and habitat restoration, the Irvine Ranch Natural Landmarks offer visitors of all ages and interests the opportunity to connect with the wildlands in various ways. Nature lovers can discover the beauty of the Landmarks through outdoor volunteer activities and stewardship programs, offered regularly throughout the Landmarks. Stewardship programs allow the community to become an ambassador of the land, while helping restore natural habitat and replenishing native species on the open spaces.
- Those looking to roll up their sleeves can join Irvine Ranch Conservancy staff during the Waterworks Trail Restoration: Fremont Canyon program on Tuesday, September 4 from 9 – 11 a.m. During this stewardship activity, volunteers will help maintain the land along the Waterworks Trail in OC Parks’ Fremont Canyon Nature Preserve. This valuable work includes the removal of invasive weeds which helps to restore habitat for local wildlife. Volunteers may even be treated to a peaceful 2-mile nature walk through the canyon, if time permits.
- During the It’s Harvest Time! Collect Wildflower Seeds at the Native Seed Farm activity on Wednesday, September 12 from 8:30 – 11:30 a.m., visitors will get a behind-the-scenes look at how the Native Seed Farm runs while harvesting seeds from summer wildflowers like Yellow Pincushion and California Wishbone Bush. Native seeds harvested by volunteers ages eight and up will be used throughout the Irvine Ranch Natural Landmarks in habitat restoration projects, providing native wildlife with food and shelter.
- Volunteers who enjoy gardening can continue their stewardship journey with the Native Plant Nursery at Quail Hill (Waterworks Trail Project) activity on Thursday, September 13 from 9 – 10:30 a.m. Little ones from the age of six to experienced gardeners can enjoy this volunteer opportunity while preparing native plants for planting alongside the Waterworks Trail! From planting seeds, to watering native species and weeding, volunteers can experience the joys of gardening during this stewardship program.
- Non-native plants like the invasive artichoke thistle can inhibit native plants from thriving in open spaces and degrade habitat for wildlife. The Pulling Together at Quail Hill program on Thursday, September 20 from 8:30 – 11:30 a.m. invites volunteers to help keep Quail Hill’s habitat healthy by weeding out invasive plants.
Absolutely no prior volunteer experience is needed for all of the stewardship programs offered on Irvine Ranch Natural Landmarks. Training, tools, and gloves will be provided to ensure each volunteer’s safety and comfort. For more information about the various different volunteer opportunities offered on the Landmarks visit www.LetsGoOutside.org/volunteer and www.LetsGoOutisde.org/activities.