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

SHADOW HILLS TRAVERSE, SATURDAY, APRIL 20, 9:30 AM

Roger Klemm will lead a one- to two-mile hike in the Fond Family Open Space (www.fondlandfoundation.org), at the northwest end of Verdugo Hills.  Expected noteworthy flowering plants will include Chaparral Mallow, Ericameria pinifolia (Pinebush) and Tetradymia comosa (Hairy Horsebrush).

Take Sunland Blvd. to Sunland Way, a short street between the I-5 and I-210 freeway exits, and park at the south end of Sunland Way, opposite a sign for Shadow Hills Presbyterian Church.  We will walk up Teazle Canyon on a private road to the open space entrance, and then hike up to the ridge crest and perhaps further south along the crest, depending on trail conditions.  For logistical questions, contact Bill Neill at bgneill@earthlink.net.

PLANTS AND GEOLOGY OF PLACERITA CANYON, SATURDAY, MAY 4, 9:30 AM

Docents at the Placerita Canyon Nature Center will lead a tour of the canyon’s native flora, history and geology.  Placerita Canyon is a state park managed by Los Angeles County on the north side of the San Gabriel Mountains southeast of Santa Clarita.

From the Antelope Valley Freeway/CA 14, exit at Placerita Canyon Road and drive east about 1.5 mile to the natural area entrance at 19152 Placerita Canyon Road.  Park near the parking lot’s entrance and gather at the Acorn Amphitheater by crossing a wood bridge to the canyon’s south side.  Hiking shoes are recommended for walking up the Canyon Trail that may require shallow stream crossings.  Hike will end around noon with optional bring-your-own picnic lunch at the amphitheater.  For logistical questions, contact Bill Neill at bgneill@earthlink.net.

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.

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

March 12, 2024: Historical Ecology as a Guide to the Lost and Remnant Vegetation Types of the Los Angeles Basin. By Travis Longcore

Join the Talk via Zoom at 7:00 PM

It is difficult, in the face of the near-total urbanization of the Los Angeles Basin, to imagine what diversity of habitats and vegetation thrived as part of the Indigenous landscape before Spanish contact.  Using a diverse range of tools and through interdisciplinary collaboration, the Los Angeles Landscape History project has explored and mapped this landscape, providing insight into the pre-modern functioning of the landscape and the historical distribution of plants and vegetation types.

Biography: Travis Longcore is Adjunct Professor in the Institute of the Environment and Sustainability at UCLA. He has been working on the historical ecology of southern California off-and-on since he was a graduate student at UCLA in the 1990s and has contributed to and led research efforts that cover the Ventura River, Santa Clara River and Oxnard Plan, Topanga Lagoon, Ballona Creek, Los Angeles River Watershed, San Gabriel River, San Joaquin Hills, the lagoons of northern San Diego County, and the Tijuana River and Estuary.

January 9, 2024: Creating an Ecological Stitch at the Wallis Annenberg Wildlife Crossing. By Robert Rock. (RECORDING)

View the recorded talk on YouTube

The process of creating the Wallis Annenberg Wildlife Crossing has gone far beyond the monumental infrastructure necessary to accomplish this bold vision. Hear from Robert Rock, Principal and COO at Living Habitats, who is leading the design of the crossing and collaborating with Caltrans on the engineering and construction, and Katherine Pakradouni from the SAMO Fund who manages the project’s native plant nursery. Presented from concept to the early stages of construction, learn how the team embraced a hyper-local approach to restoration through the collection and propagation of native seed and locally sourced soil biology and how this unique level of collaboration across multiple entities is helping to reinforce ecological goals for the project.

Biography: Formerly with Living Habitats in Chicago, Robert Rock recently founded Rock Design Associates LLC. He is pleased to share that he has the good fortune of continuing his work on the Wallis Annenberg Wildlife Crossing as a foundational project for his new practice. Robert brings extensive expertise realizing ambitious projects that integrate functional infrastructure with meaningful experience of landscape. His commitment to social, ecological, and aesthetic performance, along with years of working with complex institutional clients and public agencies have placed him on the forefront of design with natural and urban systems. Most notably, he has earned recognition as a pioneer in wildlife crossings, from his team’s winning entry in the 2010 ARC International Wildlife Crossing Competition to his current work on the world’s largest wildlife crossing project: the Wallis Annenberg Wildlife Crossing near Los Angeles.

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, Feb. 24 and Mar. 30 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, February 17  7am – 10am
Saturday, March 16  7am – 10am

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