Mountains Restoration Trust Seeks Volunteers at Rancho Sierra Vista in Newbury Park

Mountains Restoration Trust (MRT) has received a $94,469 grant from the Ventura County Tree Mitigation Fund and will work closely with the National Park Service (NPS) to to revive native trees and plants at Rancho Sierra Vista in Newbury Park. Rancho Sierra Vista is part of the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area.

Elementary school students plant native plants at Rancho Sierra Vista in Newbury Park. The National Park Service and Mountains Restoration Trust are seeking volunteers to help plant nearly 5,000 native plants and trees. (Credit: National Park Service)The project encompasses 24 acres and consists of planting, monitoring and regular maintenance of 2,000 trees, including coastal live oaks, valley oaks, walnuts and sycamores. In addition, there will be 3,000 understory plants, including shrubs such as sage, bunchgrass and herbs. All plants and trees will be maintained and monitored over a 10-year period.

"This is an exciting and important restoration because we are connecting to 10 acres we planted last year in the upper reaches of Potrero Creek," said Irina Irvine, a restoration ecologist for the National Park Service. "We will be creating a functioning, self-sustaining riparian corridor which will benefit overall watershed health, reduce flashy fuel loads and provide water, forage and shelter to wildlife."

The public is invited to volunteer either a few hours or on a more long-term basis to help with planting and weeding. More information is available at www.volunteermatch.orgsearch/opp1943238.jsp.

All trees and plants will be grown locally at native plant nurseries operated by the two agencies.

Mountains Restoration Trust is a non-profit land trust dedicated to preserving natural land in the Santa Monica Mountains through restoration, education and land acquisition. Founded in 1981, MRT collaborates with government agencies in an ongoing effort to maintain a cooperative relationship between urbanization and native land. More information is available at

Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area 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 encompasses 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

The Ventura County Tree Mitigation Fund distributes funds for projects that result in the planting and maintenance of protected trees, including restoration and/or maintenance of their associated habitat. The program is administered by the Ventura County Planning Department.

City of Calabasas to Host Delegation of Special Olympics Athletes in 2015

The City of Calabasas will serve as a host city for a delegation of Special Olympics athletes before the opening of the 2015 World Games in Los Angeles.

About 7,000 participants from 170 nations will compete in more than 20 sports between July 25 and Aug. 2 next year at arenas including USC and UCLA. Among the competitions are aquatics, gymnastics, kayaking, basketball and soccer.

Calabasas will be one of 100 Southern California cities participating in a four-day pre-games celebration— hailing athletes from around the globe.

Host towns are responsible for providing accommodations, meals, activities and local transportation for the athletes and their sponsors.

Visit to find information about volunteering and  sponsorship opportunities.

Hundreds of California Conservation Corps Crew Battle Forest Fires Across the State

Hundreds of California Conservation Corps Crew Members Battle Forest Fires Across State

More than 400 young men and women of the California Conservation Corps are working 16-hour shifts supporting firefighters throughout California, according to the CCC Foundation.

At the request of CalFire and the U.S. Fire Service (USFS), 35 crews currently are assigned to eight different fires between Humboldt and Tuolumne counties. Crews typically comprise ten-to-fifteen corps members and work 14 consecutive days without a break. Most of the CCC crews are battling the fire behind the front lines of attack. They work to make sure needed supplies arrive on time, maintain the fire camps and equipment and help to ensure that the logistics chain operates smoothly. Two crews at the Corral Complex blaze in Humboldt County are firefighting units.

“We are extremely proud of these dedicated and hard-working men and women,” said Tom Riley, President of the CCC Foundation. “Many come to the Corps to plant trees, restore fish habitats and build mountain trails. Others respond to natural emergencies. All are paid minimum wage, put in long hours and often live in pretty rugged conditions. But for 37 years they’ve been coming through for California when called upon.” Crews of 18-25 year-old corps members typically are shipped to locations throughout California. For example, crews from Fresno, Monterey Bay, and Ukiah are working the huge Rim Fire in Tuolumne County at the edge of Yosemite.

In July, corps members provided 40,000 hours of fire response work from one end of California to the other, including work on major fires in Riverside and San Diego counties. At the request of CalFire and USFS, CCC crews currently are the Corral Complex Fire (Humboldt County), Butler Fire (Humboldt/Siskiyou counties), Forks Complex Fire (Humboldt/Siskiyou counties), Butler Fire (Humboldt/Siskiyou counties), Hough Complex Fire (Plumas County), Deer Fire (Tehama County), American Fire (Placer County), Fish Fire (Tulare County), and Rim Fire (Tuolumne County).

Once fire season winds down, corps members will still be hard at work. On Saturday, October 19, hundreds of corps members will join community and corporate volunteers for Volunteer

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Join the Conejo Senior Volunteer Program to Stay Active in the Local Community

Studies show that seniors who volunteer live longer, healthier and more fulfilling lives. The Conejo Senior Volunteer Program (CSVP) helps seniors stay active and involved. If you are 55 or over, you can join over 1,000 local men and women who serve as volunteers in our community.

CSVP volunteers do just about everything: They tutor students, plant gardens, serve as volunteer police and program computers. CSVP volunteers meet community needs and make a lasting difference. Your life experience is your best qualification! You’ll receive the support you need to put your know-how to work for others or learn new skills. You become part of a family of caring volunteers supporting our community.

And like most CSVP volunteers, you’ll find that by helping others you help yourself. Conejo Recreation and Park District sponsors the Conejo Senior Volunteer Program. We have been promoting volunteerism in the Conejo Valley since 1972. Call CSVP for a free brochure with exciting volunteer opportunities at (805) 381-2742, visit or in person at the Goebel Adult Community Center.

CSVP is located in the Goebel Adult Community Center at 1385 E. Janss Road, Thousand Oaks. Office Hours are Monday through Friday from 9:00am to 4:00pm.

Habitat for Humanity of Ventura County to Receive Grant From Verizon FiOS SoCal

Verizon FiOS SoCal Partnering with Habitat for Humanity to Influence Change

Habitat receiving $5,000 grant; Employees providing A Brush with Kindness!  

Verizon FiOS SoCal and local communities are teaming up to support local non-profits. In phase one of Verizon’s SoCal Experience, more than $20,000 was donated to non-profit organizations in Palm Springs, Inland Valley and Victor Valley. In phase two, Verizon is donating to another three non-profits.  Habitat for Humanity of Ventura County will receive a $5,000 grant from Verizon, and a team of Verizon employees will volunteer their time to provide a ‘hand-up’ to a family in need of home repairs.

On Friday, June 14, Verizon FiOS SoCal employees will deliver A Brush with Kindness in El Rio (Oxnard).  For this special Home Preservation, we are proud to be serving a homeowner who also happens to be a two-time Veteran.  A Brush with Kindness is a Habitat for Humanity program that helps preserve homeownership by partnering with low-income homeowners struggling to restore and maintain a safe and decent place to live.  Depending on the home’s location, some low income families may qualify for Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds to help purchase building materials.  Repairs include, but are not limited to landscaping, painting, and other minor repairs. 

About Habitat for Humanity of Ventura County

Habitat for Humanity of Ventura County is a locally-run and locally-funded affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International. Over the past 30 years, 56 new home builds have provided homeownership opportunities for families in need and hundreds of homes have been repaired, providing a safe, clean, decent living environment for lower income homeowners. The Preserve a Home program, which began with a new focus only two years, ago is being embraced by several cities and the county

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Ventura County Animal Services Introduces Animal Foster Parenting Program

Ventura County Animal Services introduces kitten and puppy foster parenting program

Ventura County Animal Services (VCAS) recently launched a new animal foster parenting program that utilizes volunteer help to care for some of the smallest and most vulnerable wards at VCAS shelters – newborn kittens and puppies.

VCAS foster parent volunteers agree to care for and feed one, two or an entire litter of kittens or puppies until the animals are old enough and large enough to be put up for adoption at VCAS shelters. 

Foster parents provide the babies with frequent feedings – either by bottle or, if old enough, with solid food - and care for them in their homes until they are at least 8 weeks old and weigh 2 lbs.

“Kittens and puppies are cute and cuddly but need a high level of care,” said Donna Gillesby, VCAS interim director. “This program is a wonderful way for volunteers to help newborn animals gain the strength and size they need to become eligible for permanent adoption.”

In the past, VCAS has only allowed VCAS staff and county employees to take home and care for tiny animals. By opening up the program to the public, VCAS hopes to lower the euthanasia rate, increase the number of animal adoptions and move one step closer to becoming a no-kill facility.

Those who sign up to become a foster parent will receive mandatory training from VCAS veterinarian, Heather Skogerson. Once trained, they will commit to providing anima

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Volunteer with the Segue Career Mentors Program in Ventura County

Do you ever remember saying "If i only knew then, what I know now."  Well many students facing challenges with school and their future could really benefit from hearing "what you know now."  Here is where you come in!

The Segue Career Mentors program invites you to participate in our campaign for student success by sharing your story, your path to the workplace, with students in local school classrooms. In just two minutes you may sign up on our website, pick a date that fits your schedule, receive a short Speaker's Guide, and make a huge impact in motivating students to strive for graduation and a successful transition into the workforce.  Give students the knowledge you wish you knew back then! Sign up at

The Community Roots Garden is a Non-Profit Volunteer Opportunity in Oxnard

The Community Roots Garden is a non-profit community garden open to the public to come and volunteer, learn, and share food together. We are a ministry of, and are located, at the North Oxnard United Methodist Church, 2300 West Gonzales Road, Oxnard.

Farming an acre with volunteers is no small feat. Many hands are needed, and we welcome yours! We invite you to come dig, weed, learn, teach, ask questions, take a shift on irrigation, bring food for potlucks, share your ideas, or donate materials or funding. You can help in whatever way you’d like. It is a rewarding project because it is tangible—you can watch it grow!—and for the simple satisfaction of working with others on something meaningful.  Working in the garden is also a fun way to complete needed community service hours.  No experience necessary. Children welcome. Se habla español.

Please bring a sunhat, sunblock, and sturdy shoes. Tools and water provided.  For more information on volunteering, call Katerina at 805-616-2326.  Visit our website at or find us on Facebook.

Play Days:  Saturdays from 9am-12pm (free meal prepared by Youth using garden harvest)  Sundays from 1-4pm (community potluck). Call for tours and info on upcoming workshops!