Monday, July 1, 2013

Third Annual OC Parks Wilderness Celebration

Here is a press release regarding the upcoming annual Wilderness Celebration on Saturday July 13, 2013 from the folks at OC Parks and the Irvine Ranch Conservancy.  Looks to be a fun event!
Family-Friendly Activities and Trails at Wilderness Celebration
July 13 event features nature walks, animals and activities for all ages.

Description:  Description:

Left: Children will learn about locally-native animals through activities and games, as well as get the opportunity to hold some canyon critters.
Right: Families can enjoy an easy walk to the Red Rocks, a historic rock formation in Black Star Canyon.

ORANGE COUNTY, Calif. (July 1, 2013) ­ Families can discover Orange County's only National Natural Landmark together during the Third Annual OC Parks Wilderness Celebration in Black Star Canyon. The event takes place Saturday, July 13, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., and will introduce children and adults alike to the wide open spaces right here in Orange County with all kinds of family activities.

From meeting local live animals to games and activities that are all about the outdoors or taking an easy walk along the majestic Red Rocks, families can learn about nature while having fun. The Wilderness Celebration is geared toward connecting people to this local natural resource, and even those who have never hiked in wilderness before can participate with the help of OC Parks staff and Irvine Ranch Conservancy docents.

At the main event site in the Black Star Staging Area, a community partner fair will feature an all-terrain firefighting rig and Ready, Set, Go! display from Orange County Fire Authority, plus free event souvenirs and giveaways.

In the Baker Staging Area, children can learn about this unique wildland area through crafts and games provided by OC Parks, and meet real canyon critters including hawks and owls. Special games will teach all about tracking animals by watching the trails for scat (animal poop), as well as how to tell which birds are flying overhead by listening to their calls. Families can also participate in a scavenger hunt to learn more about canyon critters. Also near the Baker Staging Area, a short nature walk will take children and their parents out to spot more flora and fauna.

The annual event commemorates the gift of 20,000 acres of open space to the County of Orange, and the land is part of nearly 40,000 acres of the former Irvine Ranch that have been designated as both a National and California Natural Landmark for its rare biological and geological features. The day will begin with trails opening at 8 a.m., and kids' activities kicking off at 9:30 a.m. Trails will be open to hikers and bikers until 1 p.m. Participants should note that for the safety of pets and preservation of local wildlife, dogs are not allowed in the Irvine Ranch Open Space at any time.

The Third Annual OC Parks Wilderness Celebration is free, and pre-registration is encouraged to save time on the day of the event ­ adults can register up to five people at once through the Irvine Ranch Natural Landmarks website. Information and registration is available at

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