Ventura Ranch KOA is Open While Rebuilding But With Limited Services and Amenities


The Ventura Ranch KOA in Santa Paula was significantly affected by the December 2017 Thomas Fire and was closed for awhile as a result.  However, it is now open and taking reservations, but with limited services, amenities, and activities as they continue the process of rebuilding.

All electric and water RV sites are now open and many tent sites are available. New cabins are being built, and along with the safari tents, teepees and pool, are expected to be open by the end of June. 

Learn more at

Dinosaur Fossils Exhibit at California Oil Museum in Santa Paula Sept 26 to Jan 24

Skull (Cast) of a Velociraptor (Velociraptor mongeoliensis).  Actual size of the late Cretaceous dinosaur.  Gobi Desert of Mongolia and China. 

Skull (Cast) of a Velociraptor (Velociraptor mongeoliensis).  Actual size of the late Cretaceous dinosaur.  Gobi Desert of Mongolia and China. 

Don’t miss the California Oil Museum’s newest exhibit of fearsome fossils that will take you back to when dinosaurs dominated the planet. Experience that primordial time on earth and learn how these massive beasts lived and died. Come and see actual fossils of T. Rex, Triceratops and Pterodactyls and many more! Included in the exhibit is a replica field excavation site showing how Paleontologists dig up these ancient bones. On Opening day only (September 26th) be sure to join us for exciting family fun junior paleontology activities including unearthing fossils, identifying your find, and creating a fossil cast you can take home.

The exhibit will also include a Color Your Dino station and the movie Dinosaur 13 which documents the story of “Sue”, the most complete T. Rex fossil ever found.

The California Oil Museum is located at 1001 East Main Street in Santa Paula.  Hours are Wednesday through Friday, 10am to 4pm.  Admission is FREE: Suggested donation is $4.  Digging Up The Past opens September 26th, 2015 and runs to January 24th, 2016. For more information call 805-933-0076 or visit

From Jurassic to the Cretaceous, Dinosaurs were the dominate species on Earth. It was during the Cretaceous-Paleogene extinction event that led to the demise of this diverse and amazing group of animals that are the ancestors of many animals we see today. As currently known, all dinosaurs belong to one of two major groups, the saurischians and the ornithischians. From the onset of their long evolutionary history, ornithischians and saurischians already show the features characteristic of these groups. Ornithischians, like the Edmontosaurus, Triceratops, and Stegosaurus, comprise a series of plant-eating dinosaurs such as the armored stegosaurs and ankylosaurs, the duckbills and their kin, and the horned and dome-headed dinosaurs. Saurischians include the meat-eating theropods (the renowned Tyrannosaurus and Velociraptor among them) and the plant-eating sauropodomorphs (such as the gigantic Apatosaurus). With the discovery of a large deposit of fossils in the 1990’s in China, feathered dinosaurs became much more understood. Many new species were documented and new fossil evidence shows a number of non-avian dinosaurs are now known to have been feathered, such as the Velociraptor, thrilling the scientific world. 

“Terrible Lizards” they are not—instead they represent a separate group of reptiles that did not exhibit characteristics traditionally seen as reptilian such as their posture.  Once to have thought to be sluggish and cold-blooded research has indicated that all dinosaurs were active animals with elevated metabolisms.

Since the early 19th century dinosaurs have been major attractions at museums around the world and collectors worldwide have coveted their bones.  Monstrous and fantastic, these animals have inspired the imagination of many books and films such as the well-known movie Jurassic Park.  Scientific enthusiasm has resulted in significant funding and new discoveries are regularly redefining the world of dinosaurs.

Every Picture Tells a Story Photo Exhibit at Ventura College Santa Paula Campus 8/3 to 12/18/15


Every Picture Tells a Story - From Presidents to Pop Stars
Personal Collection of Journalist Ivor Davis

August 3 - December 18, 2015
Monday- Thursday, 8 am to 8:30 pm
Ventura College Santa Paula Campus
957 Faulkner Road, Rm 106, Santa Paula, CA 93060

Reception with Ivor Davis and Book Signing
Thursday, September 24 - 6 to 8 pm


UC Cooperative Extension Response Regarding Faulkner Farm Pumpkin Patch

The following is from the University of California Cooperative Extension Agriculture and Natural Resources Ventura County issued last month in response to the Santa Paula Rotary announcement that the 2014 Faulker Farm Pumpkin Patch in Santa Paula has been cancelled. Learn more about UCCE Agriculture and Natural Resources Ventura County at

10 Facts about UC Hansen Agricultural Research and Extension Center (UC HAREC) and the Pumpkin Patch at Faulkner Farm

What is UC Hansen Agriculture Research and Extension Center?

Established in 1997 through an endowment set up by Thelma Hansen, UC HAREC is one of the University of California’s nine Research and Extension Centers. UC HAREC performs agricultural research and has crop and tree demonstration areas. Crops are also grown for farm field trips through which students learn where their food comes from, and there are demonstration gardens for students and visitors.

What is UC’s relationship to the Faulkner Farm Pumpkin Patch?

Since purchasing the property in 1997, UC allowed the Ayers’ (original owners) pumpkin patch to continue operation during its first year and then worked with Litchfield Farms from 1998 through 2005 on a pumpkin patch that included educational programs during the week for school children. In 2006, Litchfield Farms did not renew their lease and in the winter of 2007 the Rotary Club of Santa Paula submitted a proposal to run the pumpkin patch.

Will there be a Rotary Club of Santa Paula pumpkin patch at HAREC this year?

We are still waiting to hear from the Rotary Club of Santa Paula on whether or not they want to use HAREC for their pumpkin patch. They have until May 30 to decide if our facility meets their requirements and let us know.

Have we limited the pumpkin patch to one acre?

No. We are currently expanding our agricultural research and educational offerings including new partnerships with the Ventura Unified School District/Food Corps program and additional countywide academic-year school field trips, which require more acreage. This expansion limits the amount of land available to the pumpkin patch. The UC HAREC is in the process of finalizing the long-term research project requests. Once projects are awarded we may be in a position to offer additional space.

Is this the first year a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) has been requested for the pumpkin patch?

No. The University of California made Santa Paula Rotary Club aware of a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) requirement when they assumed control of the pumpkin patch in 2007 as a fundraising event for their club. The University of California reiterated the need for the club to obtain a CUP for the Rotary Club’s pumpkin patch from the County in 2010 and in 2012. We simply cannot assume all liability for their event.

What is a Conditional Use Permit (CUP)?

A conditional use permit (CUP) allows a city or county to consider special uses that may be essential or desirable to a particular community, but which are not allowed as a matter of right within a zoning district. A conditional use permit can provide flexibility within a zoning ordinance.

Are there other pumpkin patches in the county?

Yes! While we understand that many community members have long memories of the Faulkner Farm pumpkin patch, over the years Ventura County has been fortunate to add a wide variety of pumpkin patches throughout the county. Here is a 2013 list from the Conejo Valley Guide of a variety of pumpkin patches offered by our local Ventura County farmers. 2013 Pumpkin Patches in Ventura County

Agritourism can be a real boon to small farmers and can even help keep them in business during hard times, like the drought that we are currently experiencing.

My family/kids enjoyed visiting the Faulkner Farm, may we still do so?

Absolutely. In fact, on Thursday, May 8th , HAREC opened to the public all day for the CE 100 Year Celebration - Day of Science and Service.

What other events/activities are typically held at HAREC?

Check out our calendar of events for more information at

A sampling of typical events, programs and/or activities at HAREC include 4-H Youth Field Trips every Tuesday and Thursday, FoodCorps Student Farm Project, Master Gardener Workshops, Sustainability Camp for Youth and many more.

More on UC HAREC at

Santa Paula Rotary Announces Cancellation of 2014 Faulkner Farm Pumpkin Patch

The Santa Paula Rotary recently announced the cancellation of the 2014 Faulkner Farm Pumpkin Patch "due to actions taken by the University of California and the Hansen Trust Advisory Board" Approximately 20,000 people visit the patch each year.

Hay mazes at the Faulkner Farm Pumpkin Patch in a previous year.

According to the press release, the Santa Paula Pumpkin Patch Committee attempted to work with the Hansen Trust to permit the Pumpkin Patch to run for an additional transitional year while a new venue was sought. But "UC chose to discriminate against the Rotary Club by establishing new conditions and barriers which are not uniformly applied to other UC campuses and property throughout the state, or even at the Hansen Trust, making it impossible for the Rotary operated Faulkner Farm Pumpkin Patch to continue" according to the Rotary. More background on the situation at

To justify its actions, UC/Hansen Trust stated that the professional exhibits provided by the Resource Conservation District, United Water Conservation District, Limoneira, CoLab, Calavo, the Cattleman’s Association, Rincon-Vitova Insectaries, Associates Insectary, FFA petting area & Briggs 4-H seed exhibit were of poor quality and no educational value. The educational hayride script and school program, developed by Hansen Trust staff, were also deemed educationally meaningless.  Interestingly, 63% of the people visiting the Pumpkin Patch last year (a significantly higher number than the total visiting the farm for the entire remaining 11 months of the year) said they learned something new about agriculture during their visit.

To learn more, visit The Rotary Club of Santa Paula encourages the public to share your thoughts about the actions taken by UC and the Hansen Trust with Ms. Janet Napolitano, President, University of California, Office of the President, 1111 Franklin St, Oakland, CA 94607 or

"The Vernacular Bestiary" Exhibition at Santa Paula Agriculture Museum 3/1 to 6/15

The Premiere Exhibition of “The Vernacular Bestiary” and a Call for Poetry

From March 1 through June 15, 2014, the Museum of Ventura County’s Agriculture Museum in Santa Paula will present the first exhibition of “The Vernacular Bestiary: Animal Snapshots from A to Z.” This collection of anonymous amateur photographs has been collected by photographer and gallerist John Nichols over the past two decades and has never been publiclyexhibited.

Dog, from The Vernacular Bestiary, John Nichols Collection

Dog, from The Vernacular Bestiary, John Nichols Collection

The abecedarian display of creatures is comprised of photographs taken over the past 120 years.   An adjacent kids’ reading and exhibit area will encourage children and their families to read and write poems, as well as draw and display their own responses to the animal-themed exhibition. Animal poems by published poets will also be shared, in binders that can be carried around the exhibition area. 

Fish, from The Vernacular Bestiary, John Nichols Collection

Fish, from The Vernacular Bestiary, John Nichols Collection

Call for Poetry: Writers are invited to preview selections from The Vernacular Bestiary online immediately at or see the original snapshots at the Agriculture Museum, beginning on March 1.  They may submit up to three original poems of up to 25 lines each inspired by any of the snapshots. Submission implies that the poems can be used by the Agriculture Museum non-commercially to publicize the exhibit (credit will be given) and copyright reverts back to author. Poems must be submitted to by March 29. A panel of judges will select poems to be shared at the “An Afternoon of Animal Verse” to take place in April. Poets will be contacted and asked to read their selected poems at the event; poet Jackson Wheeler will read the poems of any who cannot attend.

The Museum of Ventura County Agriculture Museum is located at 926 Railroad Avenue, Santa Paula. Information about the museum can be found at or call 805.525.3100.  Museum hours: Tuesday – Sunday, 10 – 4.  For more information about the exhibition and the call for poetry, contact John Nichols at or at (805) 525-7804. 

Colt, from The Vernacular Bestiary, John Nichols Collection

Colt, from The Vernacular Bestiary, John Nichols Collection

Santa Paula Agriculture Museum Sugar Beet Exhibits March 30 to August 11

Agriculture Museum Hosts Sugar Beet Exhibits

Cultivating Oxnard Sugar Beets; Museum of Ventura County Research Library Collection The Museum of Ventura County’s Agriculture Museum will be showcasing a new exhibit, From Field to Factory, Oxnard’s Beet Generation, from March 30 to August 11, 2013. The exhibit will include never-before-exhibited photographs of the American Beet Sugar Factory in Oxnard, which was the world’s second largest beet sugar producer upon completion in 1898, and tales of the boom town that sprang up practically overnight around the factory. The photographs illustrate the rise of one of Ventura County’s most important historical crops: Sugar beets. A beet wagon fully-restored by Santa Paula resident, Richard Cummings, will be on display. Artifacts from the factory, as well as tools from of the beet trade, will also be on display.

Visitors are invited to attend the opening reception on Saturday, April 6, from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m, which will celebrate two exhibits, From Field to Factory and Farm Fresh Quilts. Event will include sweet treats, no-host bar, and beet-related contests. Admission to the reception is $5.00 for the general public and free for museum members. RSVP to 805-525-3100.

Along with the opening reception, the Agriculture Museum will host several events focused on the sugar beet industry. On Sunday, April 14, at 2:00 p.m., CSU Channel Islands Professor of History, Frank P. Barajas, Ph.D., will present Oxnard Labor History. Barajas is the author of Curious Unions: Mexican American Workers and Resistance in Oxnard, California, 1898-1961. Admission to Barajas’ lecture is $5.00 for the general public and free for museum members, and includes entrance to all Museum exhibits. RSVP to 805-525-3100.

The Museum of Ventura County’s Agriculture Museum is located in historic downtown Santa Paula at 926 Railroad Avenue. Hours are 10 a.m.– 4 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday. General admission is $4 adults, $3 seniors, $1 children ages 6-17. Free for Museum of Ventura County members and children ages 5 and younger. Paid events include free admission to the galleries, and the first Sunday of every month is free general admission to the public. For more information, go to or call (805) 525-3100.