Here's the lineup of summer programs planned at the Wheeler Gorge Visitor Center in Ojai in 2017. $3 for adults; $2 for age 5-12. Under 5 are free.
May 20 – 11:00am – Luzonica Birds of the World - Join Erin Koski, Director of Luzonica, as they share their love and conservation of all bird species. Luzonica will bring a variety of birds to share and show outside of the Visitor Center.
May 27 – 11:00am – Nature Walk with Julie Tumamait - Chumash Elder Julie Tumamait will teach and show local plants around Wheeler Gorge Campground. She will explain how to use native plants for food, medicine and with Chumash games.
June 10 – 11:00am – Hiking: Be Prepared - Dr. James Caballero will draw from over 20 years of local hiking to talk about practical hiking tips. These tips will help to keep you safe while on the trails and what to look for on the trails. Whether you are a seasoned hiker or new to the trails, you will benefit from the knowledge gained.
June 17 – 11:00am – Humane Society Surprise Program - Dawn Riley, Education Department of the Ventura County Human Society, will share her insight and experiences in this surprise presentation. She talk could cover a pesky cat or dog or maybe even a cockroach. Dawn is full of surprises and these programs are loved by all who attend.
June 24 – 11:00am – REI Takes the Mystery Out of…. - REI specialists will take the mystery out of backpacking in California’s Central Coast as we share our knowledge on how to enjoy this activity with your family. REI will cover backpacking essentials, including choosing a pack or child carrier, selecting proper clothing and the right footwear and food solutions for different age groups. No experience necessary.
July 1 – 11:00am – Reptiles with Southwestern Herpetological - Southwestern Herpetological Society will present live and impressive lizards and snakes and give advice on reptiles as pets along with being able to answer any questions you might have about reptiles.
July 8 – 11:00am – Saving the California Condor - What issues face this most endangered species and can they truly be returned to the wild to live on their own? A presentation and items displayed by members of the Friends of the California Condor.
July 15 – 11:00am – Volcanoes in Story and Science - Learn from gifted storyteller Richard Wade, scientist, artist and educator, the science of how volcanoes erupt and grow. He will also entertain children and adults with legends and lore. Volunteers make a model volcano erupt! Get a free piece of lava.
July 22 – 10:30am – Trees Are Tremendous - Discover the native and non-native trees that live in Wheeler Gorge on this short and very educational walk led by Los Padres National Forest Botanist Lloyd Simpson. The walk begins at the Visitor Center and continues into and around the campground before finished back at the Visitor Center. This is a Cub Scout Required Program.
July 22 – 1:00pm – Into the Woods - Gordie Hemphill, LPFA Ojai Chapter President, leads a program that covers forest trees and plants and how mankind and animals use them. See how mankind and animals depend on them. Reservations required (Wheeler@LPForest.org)
July 29 – 11:00am – Humane Society Surprise Program #2 - Dawn Riley, Education Department of the Ventura County Human Society, will share her second surprise presentation featuring our domesticated friends.
August 5 – 11:00am – Last Days of the Dinosaurs - Richard Wade, scientist, artist and educator will present a hands-on, fun-filled presentation about how dinosaurs lived and died, even the sounds they made. Hold a real meteorite and replicas of fossils. Appropriate for all ages.
August 12 – 11:00am – Earth Rocks! Geology - Discover from Jennifer Flittie how volcanoes, mountains, caves and geysers are formed. Learn how rocks and minerals are used in metal, glass, jewelry, and in building homes. Make a Moh’s scale of hardness kit. Start a rock and mineral kit. Reservations required (Wheeler@LPForest.org)
August 12 – 1:00pm – Into the Wild (Naturalists) - Join Alexa Hohensee as she covers in this program respecting and protecting wildlife in our local forest. You will also learn about birds and their flyways, venomous snakes, poisonous plants and how to identify them. You will learn about food chains and ecosystems and how humans have changed the balance of nature. *Reservations required, $3.00 fee to cover material costs. Reservations required Wheeler@LPForest.org)
August 19 – 11:00am – Strange & Exotic Critters - This hands-on experience lets you meet some unusual animals up-close and personal. Learn about the benefits of having pets, some special considerations for living with animals and meet some amazing ambassadors including the softest bunny ever, a hairless guinea pig, a boa constrictor, tarantula and a miniature chicken.
August 26 – 11:00am – Wonderful World of Bees - Scientists estimate that one-third of the world’s food crops and four-fifths of its flowering plants depend on some form of insect pollination, mainly by bees. Yet honeybees are native bees around the globe are declining in numbers. Discover the fascinating world of bees and its impact on the ecosystem. Join University of California entomologist Anna D. Howell in a talk about the wonderful world of bees.
September 2 – 11:00am – Amazing World of Bears - Kelley Swedlow, Wheeler Gorge Docent, will present information about our brown and black bears, and the many other types of bears found around the world.
September 9 – 11:00am – Rescuing Ocean Animals - Wildlife rescuer Ron Barrett, with the Channel Island Marine and Wildlife Institute, will present information and insights on sea lions, seals, otters and other animals found sick or injured. What you should do and not do when you find an animal stranded on the beach?
September 16 – 11:00am – Reptiles with Southwestern Herpetological - Southwestern Herpetological Society will present live and impressive lizards and snakes and give advice on reptiles as pets along with being able to answer any questions you might have about reptiles.
September 23 – 11:00am – Storytelling of the Chumash with Julie Tumamait - Chumash Elder Julie Tumamait will share stories of death and resurrection, stories still alive today with lessons reinforced by a look in the night skies or a walk in the wilderness. Particular sharing will be The Story of Anucwa and The Boys Who Turned to Geese. Hear stories of woodpecker, blue jay, coyote and others. Learn to look at plants and stones in different ways. Julie is an amazing and engaging storyteller.