Healing Garden Dedication Ceremony at Conejo Creek Park North on November 7th

The City of Thousand Oaks, along with the Conejo Recreation and Park District and Ventura County Sheriff’s Office, will be hosting a dedication ceremony of the Healing Garden on November 7, 2019 at 3:15 p.m. at the Lakeside Pavilion at Conejo Creek North, located at 1379 E Janss Rd., Thousand Oaks. Park gates will open at 2:30 p.m. Please note that access to the park will be restricted until that time.

In response to the tragedy at the Borderline Bar and Grill in November 2018, where twelve lives were taken, the City and Conejo Recreation and Park District partnered to create a Healing Garden, a place where the community can reflect, grieve, remember, and heal.

Although Conejo Creek North Park is open during construction, public access to the park will be prohibited prior to 2:30 on November 7. The public is advised to allow ample time for parking, which will be available at Conejo Creek South with shuttles available.

Healing Garden construction updates can be found at www.crpd.org/planning/planning-documents.

What: Healing Garden dedication ceremony.

Where: Lakeside Pavilion at Conejo Creek North, 1379 E. Janss Rd., Thousand Oaks, CA 91362.

When: November 7, 2019. Gates open 2:30. Ceremony begins at 3:15.

Law Enforcement Rangers to Begin Patrols on Mountain Bikes and Horseback in the Santa Monica Mountains

Law Enforcement Rangers to Begin Patrols on Mountain Bikes and on Horseback

New Outreach Campaign Aims to Educate the Public on Trail Etiquette

Law enforcement rangers will begin patrolling the Santa Monica Mountains on mountain bikes and on horseback in an effort to educate visitors on proper trail etiquette, according to the National Park Service.

The weekly patrols, which will start October 1, will aim to dispel the confusion that can often arise on the 500 miles of multi-use trails in Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area.The trails are shared by hikers, bikers and equestrians. The 12-month educational campaign aims to clear up confusion on the trails.

“Let’s say you’re hiking on a trail and you come upon an equestrian coming up behind you and a mountain biker zooming downhill from the other direction - what is everyone supposed to do?” said Coby Bishop, Supervisory Law Enforcement Park Ranger. “Spending time in the outdoors should not be complicated and visitors are often unclear on who should yield and to whom.”

Yield means to slow down, establish communication, be prepared to stop and pass others in a safe manner, he explained.

“We will be out there in a way that makes it easy to have conversations with the public about trail etiquette and how we can all be respectful toward one another while recreating,” Bishop continued. “Visitors are not always clear on these rules of engagement and that can turn into a safety issue that could have easily been avoided.”

The most basic rule on a multi-use trail is that the equestrian, sitting atop a very large animal who can sometimes become unwieldy or startled, does not yield to anyone and always has the "right of the way."

Upon spotting a horse, hikers and bikers should immediately stop and wait on the downhill side of the trail. Communicating with the rider is important. Say hello and ask how you should proceed. To a horse, a human voice registers to them that you are OK. Horses can perceive hikers wearing tall backpacks, big hats or even trekking poles as threats.

Individuals on bikes, in turn, should always yield to hikers and equestrians. Hikers should yield to equestrians.

Other trail etiquette rules include:

Listening for cyclists, runners and equestrians approaching from behind. If one hears “on your left” from behind, they should move to the right and allow them to pass.

When hiking in a group, hike single file on narrow trails or stay to the right side on wider trails. When hiking downhill, yield to those hiking up. Obey posted rules about dogs and keep them on a short leash (6’ or less)!

If hiking with a child, hold their hand when passing. Don’t approach or pet the horse without first getting permission.

All trail users should observe the 15 mph speed limit.

Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area (SMMNRA) is the largest urban national park in the country, encompassing more than 150,000 acres of mountains and coastline in Ventura and Los Angeles counties. A unit of the National Park Service, it comprises a seamless network of local, state, and federal parks interwoven with private lands and communities. As one of only five Mediterranean ecosystems in the world, SMMNRA preserves the rich biological diversity of more than 450 animal species and 26 distinct plant communities. For more information, visit nps.gov/samo.

Camarillo Grove Park New Playground and Hiking Trail Re-Opening in Early October

New playground equipment has been ordered and will be installed in September at Camarillo Grove Park, 6968 E. Camarillo Springs Road in Camarillo. Construction is estimated to be complete in early October.

The Hill Fire of November 2018 raged through this park and destroyed the old playground, so it had to be completely removed. The fire also ravaged large sections of hiking trails and made them unsafe for the public to use. The Pleasant Valley Recreation and Park District has been working with FEMA to obtain additional funds to fix all the damage so that the entire park can be safely reopened to the public. The upper hiking trail loop has been closed for maintenance and should be re-opened by early September.

Camarillo Grove Park, a former stagecoach stop and home to the oldest tree in the district, is nestled in a rustic setting near the base of the Conejo Grade at the end of Camarillo Springs Road. The park has five areas that can be rented for groups and events ranging from 50 to 350 people, a perfect spot for weddings, birthday parties, charity events, anniversary parties, corporate and team building events, school field trips and more! Contact the District at 805-482-1996 for rental information.

Here’s a mockup of the type of playground going into Camarillo Grove Park.

Here’s a mockup of the type of playground going into Camarillo Grove Park.

First Thursdays Gourmet Food Trucks at Plaza Park in Oxnard

The first Thursday of the month is Gourmet Food Truck Night in Oxnard's Plaza Park, 519 South C Street. Each event brings 8 to 12 of the hottest trucks in the southland. The event runs from 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. with DJ entertainment, friends, and downtown restaurants and shops joining in the party with late hours and specials. Plenty of free parking on street and in public lots. More information at downtownoxnard.org/activities/food-trucks

Upcoming Dates: September 5th, October 3rd, November 7th, December 5th,

2020: January 2nd, February 6th, March 5th, April 2nd, May 7th, June 4th, July 2nd, August 6th, Sept 3rd, Oct 1st

The World's Biggest Bounce House Comes to Santa Barbara August 23-25

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The Big Bounce America, featuring the world’s largest bounce house, will be featured at Ellings Park in Santa Barbara Friday through Sunday, the weekend of August 23-25, 2019.

There are three featured attractions:

  • The World’s Biggest Bounche House is the largest bounce house in the world, featuring ball pits, climbing towers, live DJs, confetti blasts and more.

  • The Giant is a 900+ foot tall inflatable obstacle course.

  • AirSPACE is a bouncy attraction with friendly aliens, spaceships, giant planets, moon craters and more.

Three hour access tickets are available for a timed session on The World’s Biggest Bounce House and unlimited access to the other attractions at thebigbounceamerica.com/family/tickets.

Options include a Toddler Session (ages 3 and under) for $16 (Friday only), Junior Session (ages 7 and under) for $25 (Sat/Sun only), Bigger Kid Session (ages 15 and under) for $25 (Fri-Sun) and Adults Only Session (ages 16+) for $30 (Sat/Sun only).

Must wear socks at all times.

2019 Dallas Cowboys Training Camp in Oxnard in July and August

The Dallas Cowboys are heading back to River Ridge Playing Fields in Oxnard at 2101 West Vineyard Avenue (next to the Marriott Residence Inn Oxnard River Ridge) again this year for 2019 pre-season training camp!

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Admission is FREE, no tickets needed. "Cowboys on Tour" trucks, team merchandise and Hall of Fame trailers will be at the site throughout camp.

Parking lots open at noon for 3:30PM practice, with gates opening at 1:30PM, and 7AM for 10:45AM practice, with gates opening at 8:30AM.

More updates at www.visitoxnard.com/cowboys.  

2019 Schedule

  • Sat 7/27 - Opening Ceremonies 3PM; Practice at 3:30PM

  • Sun 7/28 - Practice 3:30PM

  • Mon 7/29 - Practice (Military Appreciation Day) 3:30PM

  • Tue 7/30 - Practice 10:45AM

  • Wed 7/31 - No Practice

  • Thu 8/1 - Practice 3:30PM

  • Fri 8/2 - Practice 3:30PM

  • Sat 8/3 - Practice 3:30PM

  • Sun 8/4 - Blue/White Scrimmage 3:30PM

  • Mon 8/5 - No Practice

  • Tue 8/6 - Practice (First Responders Appreciation Day) 3:30PM

  • Wed 8/7 - Practice 3:30PM

  • Thu 8/8 - Practice (Military Appreciation Day) 10:45AM

  • Fri 8/9 to Sun 8/11 - No Practice

  • Mon 8/12 - Practice 3:30PM

  • Tue 8/13 - Practice 3:30PM

  • Wed 8/14 - Practice 3:30PM

  • Thu 8/15 - No Practice

Driving Directions

Northbound on the 101 freeway from Los Angeles: Exit Oxnard Boulevard. Turn RIGHT. Make your first LEFT onto Town Center Drive. Make a LEFT onto Ventura Road. Travel 1 mile and it will be on your RIGHT before Vineyard Ave. (watch for traffic lines at the entrance to the parking lot).

Parking at River Ridge Playing Fields is $10 weekdays for small vehicles and $20 for large vehicles. Weekends are $20 for small vehicles and $40 for large weekends.

No bicycles, backpacks (small diaper bag ok), coolers, ice chests, outside food and pets. No strollers in the bleacher area. No tailgating or alcohol allowed.

Saving the White Abalone Exhibit Opens at Santa Barbara Museum Sea Center on Stearns Wharf

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Saving the White Abalone Installation Opens at Sea Center

New display offers chance to see endangered species revitalization project up close

The Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History Sea Center on Stearns Wharf recently unveiled a new installation entitled “Saving the White Abalone” that highlights its conservation work to bring the local species back from the brink of extinction.

White Abalone were the first marine invertebrates to be listed as endangered in the United States (2001). Overharvesting by humans led to the dramatic decline of the White Abalone, which now exist in such small numbers that they can no longer reproduce in the wild. Where once there were perhaps millions, several thousand White Abalone remain, and it is no longer legal to harvest them. The best hope for saving the White Abalone is to spawn them in captivity, with a long-term goal of releasing large numbers back into their native habitats.

As a member of the White Abalone Restoration Consortium (WARC), the Sea Center plays a helpful role in the recovery of this species. For the past thirteen years, the Sea Center has been home to a cohort of mature White Abalone. These endangered marine snails have participated in induced spawning events, releasing gametes that conservation scientists at partner intuitions mix with eggs to create larvae. Through coordinated induced spawning events, WARC members increase the abundance of White Abalone in captivity.

Following several successes, in 2014, the Sea Center received a cohort of young snails to rear, the progeny of captive snails. If all goes to plan, the new installation will soon host a third generation of microscopic White Abalone larvae, raised in trough enclosures like those used by commercial abalone farmers. This most recent addition gives the Sea Center a unique opportunity to illustrate the abalone life cycle and explain conservation efforts to the public.

Fostering genetic diversity among a dwindling population is a major challenge for the WARC, who have a limited number of animals to crossbreed due to the rarity of the species and restrictions on collecting wild animals, even for conservation purposes. The new generation is an exciting development for all WARC partners. Sea Center Live Collections & Husbandry Manager Thomas Wilson explains: “The most recent spawning at WARC partner UC Davis Bodega Marine Laboratory was exciting because it was the first time since the program’s inception that new genes were introduced.” The abalone larvae in the Sea Center’s new installation are the result of a cross between a wild female that conservationists were recently permitted to collect, and a captive-bred male.

The new display will educate the public by raising awareness of White Abalone’s endangered status and efforts to save them. The installation’s aim is to explain how human activities can harm—and help—endangered species.

Wilson shares, ”This new installation spans several years of work and collaboration with the WARC. It is the first time that we have ever tried to raise recently settled, juvenile white abalone, and they will need lots of attention. This is an exciting, albeit, stressful time for the Sea Center. I am hopeful that, as we move forward, we can continue to increase our participation with the WARC to save this species.”

WARC members include National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), California Department of Fish and Wildlife, UC Davis Bodega Marine Laboratory, Aquarium of the Pacific, Cabrillo Marine Aquarium, Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History Sea Center, University of California Santa Barbara and the Marine Science Institute, The Cultured Abalone, The Abalone Farm, National Park Service, UCSD – Scripps Institution of Oceanography, Occidental College, The Bay Foundation, CICESE – Ensenada Center for Scientific Research and Higher Education, and California Science Center.

The new installation can be viewed on the 2nd floor of the Sea Center which is open daily from 10:00 AM–5:00 PM. For more information visit sbnature.org/seacenter.

About the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History Sea Center

Discover the wonders of ocean life at the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History Sea Center. Located on historic Stearns Wharf, this highly interactive aquarium and marine education facility offers visitors close encounters with marine animals, and exploration of the Santa Barbara Channel on the Wet Deck. In addition to permanent exhibits, the Sea Center hosts unique events and special educational programming, including Underwater Parks Day, World Oceans Day, and its Live Dive series.

Food Truck Fridays at the Pacific View Mall Every Third Friday of the Month

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The Pacific View Mall hosts gourmet food trucks every 3rd Friday of the month in the parking lot next to Trader Joe's, along Mills Road. Hours are 5-9pm and event features over 20 food trucks, like Cousins Maine Lobster, The Underground Gourmet Food Truck, The Grilled Cheese Truck, Sweet Arleen's, Steamy Bun Truck, etc. For the specific gourmet truck lineup, visit www.shoppacificview.com. Also live entertainment!

Upcoming dates:  July 19, August 16, Sept 20, October 18,