The Los Angeles/Santa Monica Mountains chapter hosts lectures, presentations, meetups, and other events from time to time throughout the year. All are welcome!

Click on each event below for more information.

Hikes & Field trips

MRCA BIG TUJUNGA WASH RESERVE, SATURDAY, MAY 18, 9:30 AM

This outing led by Roger Klemm will tour the xeric portion of Big Tujunga Wash where groundwater is deeper than tree roots, located between wetter, wooded areas about 4 miles apart, upstream and downstream.  We will view dry wash vegetation in flood channels north of the Sunland-Tujunga community, managed since 2011 by the Mountains Recreation & Conservation Authority.  We hope to see vigorously blooming native shrubs after a wet winter.

Meet near picnic tables in Oro Vista Park, at the corner of Oro Vista Avenue and Grove Street.  From the I-210 freeway exit at Sunland Blvd., go 3/4 mile east to Oro Vista Ave., then 3/4 miles north to the park.  Bring water, hat, walking shoes and appropriate clothing.  Contact Bill Neill at bgneill@earthlink.net for more information.

UPRIGHT MILKVETCH RARE PLANT WALK, MONDAY, MAY 27, 2024, 8:00 AM

Celebrate 50 years of the CNPS Rare Plant Inventory with a visit to the largest population of the Southern California endemic Astragalus brauntonii, a beautiful vetch with some unusual characteristics!

Meet at the Trailer Canyon Trailhead in Santa Yñez Canyon (Palisades Highlands), opposite 1798 Michael Lane.  From there, we’ll carpool up to a second trailhead where parking is limited.  Our hike will ascend to Temescal Ridge, partly on a paved trail and then a short spur trail to the fireroad; the main patch of milkvetch is about a half-mile and 200’ up from the trailhead.  We’ll then continue another half-mile up the ridge, before descending 2.5 miles into the canyon, among a bunch of other nice native plants and some of the Astragalus that has spread since the 2020 fire. (Participants who want a shorter walk have the option of skipping the second half of the hike.)

It’s likely to be warm(!), so bring water, sun protection, and good shoes.  For questions contact David Strauch at <strauch@hawaii.edu>.

HABITAT RESTORATION PROJECT AT CIENEGA SPRINGS ECOLOGICAL RESERVE, SATURDAY, JUNE 1, 9:30 AM

Located next to the Santa Clara River floodplain near Fillmore, Cienega Springs Ecological Reserve is a 283-acre property of former farmland, now owned by CA Dept. Fish & Wildlife and undergoing conversion to riparian habitat by the Santa Clara River Conservancy (SCRC) and UC Santa Barbara.  Our 2-hour tour will be guided by Ron Merkord, SCRC President, assisted by a staff biologist, and will discuss invasive plant removal, hydrological modifications, dispersal of native seeds, propagation and planting of native shrubs and trees from an on-site nursery.

From highway 126, turn south at Fish Hatchery Road, about one-half mile east of Fillmore City Limits, and park near the kiosk after crossing railroad tracks but before entering the fish hatchery.

Our tour will include a one-mile walk on level paths to the Santa Clara River channel, with stops at wildlife viewing stations and the native plant nursery.  Afterwards, you can have picnic lunch at shaded tables and/or visit the fish hatchery that closes at 2 PM.  For logistical questions, contact Bill Neill at bgneill@earthlink.net.

Tuesday Evening Talks

May 14, 2024: Tree and Shrub Associations by Foraging Birds in Southern California Black Walnut Woodlands. By Natasha Khanna-Dang

Join the Talk via Zoom at 7:00 PM

Inspired by local community efforts in Northeast Los Angeles to use tree protection ordinances as a means of halting development projects, I will share about my research which was inspired and informed by local efforts to conserve habitat and address gentrification in Northeast Los Angeles. I conducted a bird foraging study to quantify the ecological significance of key tree and shrub species in Southern California black walnut woodland habitat. I studied plant community composition, and the role plants play within food webs for avifauna. Ongoing housing development trends in Los Angeles County continues to impact black walnut woodland while also fueling gentrification. My research will contribute to understanding what value these woodlands provide to the larger ecosystem, how to improve biodiversity conservation in fragmented urban green spaces and discuss how conservation science can better inform local stewardship efforts.

Biography:
Natasha is pursuing her Master of Science degree in Environmental Science at California State University, Los Angeles. Natasha also works as a graduate research assistant in the Wood Lab of Urban and Avian Ecology at Cal State LA which involves managing a large-scale food web study to critically evaluate the role of native and nonnative plants in structuring urban food webs, composed of plants, insects, and birds, in Los Angeles County.

Restoration Activities

For Restoration and Conservation Activities, please contact leaders for current information. Rain cancels.

N/E/X/T Garden, Pacific Palisades

Volunteer days: Last Saturday of every month

Last Saturday, April 27, May 25, June 29, 9am-4pm

The Native Plant Garden in the City of L.A.’s Temescal Canyon Park

The Native/Environmental/Xeriscape/Temescal/Garden (N/E/X/T/Garden) shows visitors how diverse native and drought-tolerant plants can be grown organically, with minimal inputs, working beautifully in balance with nature. The 3/4 acre garden attracts wildlife, including native butterflies, bees, hummingbirds, and songbirds while using only one-tenth of the water consumed by the equivalent area of adjacent lawn.

You can help to improve the N/E/X/T/Garden by volunteering for an hour (or two, or three) to help weed, water, and plant this unique westside native plant garden. Please bring drinking water, sun protection, and perhaps your favorite gardening hand tools (though we have some to share).

700 Temescal Canyon Road, Pacific Palisades, CA 90272

Just a few steps east of ~700 Temescal Canyon Road, Pacific Palisades, 90272 (between the PCH & Sunset, below Bowdoin Street).

Confirm ahead of time with Michael Terry at michaelgterry@hotmail.com

Westwood Greenway, West Los Angeles

Defending the native plants at the Westwood Greenway from the invading weeds is an ongoing job! Please join us on the 2nd Saturday and 4th Sunday of the month, 9-11 am weather permitting.  Gloves and weeding tools are a must.  No restrooms on site. More information, including a map, at https://westwoodgreenway.org or email president@westwoodgreenway.org

Sepulveda Basin Wildlife Reserve, Van Nuys

Sepulveda Basin Wildlife Reserve
Van Nuys

Tuesdays and Thursdays, Dawn-9:30 am
Saturday, May 18 7am – 10am
Saturday, June 22 7am – 10am

Help remove non-native plants.
To sign up and get meeting place details, contact George Waddell at moiraw@earthlink.net.