Category: Explore

Happy Birthday John Muir

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ProjectrefinedLife.com

Happy Birthday to John Muir, writer, naturalist, and advocate of U.S. forest conservation.He founded and was the first president of the Sierra Club and helped establish Sequoia and Yosemite National Parks as well as help to protect the Petrified Forest and Grand Canyon.

In celebration of his birthday – “John Muir Day” is each April 21st  a day to recognize that our well being, our survival depends on the conservation of an ecologically sound natural environment. Take this day to inspire others and carry on the movement created John Muir.

If you have any plans of going the the San Francisco area – don’t miss out on visiting the Muir Woods. It is amazingly beautiful and the trails are surrounded by trees and a beautiful stream. Put this Family Friendly hike on your “must do” list.

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ProjectRefinedLife.com

If you’ve ever thought of Hiking the John Muir Trail, The Pacific Crest Trail Association website has everything you need to know from planning, to permits, transportation to where to get more supplies while on your journey.

John Muir Trail

Happy Hiking my fellow nature lovers!

 

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Get in the Dirt!

Get in the Dirt this weekend and test your hiking or trail running abilities with this fun event that takes place on the dirt trails.

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ProjectRefinedLife.com

Rock it Racing OC is hosting an event on Friday evening at one of my of favorite hiking spots – the beautiful Peters Canyon Regional Park! This 10K trail run or hike begins at 5:00 pm. You must be able to maintain an 18 minute per pace.

It’s not too late to REGISTER online today or register on the day of the event. Prizes for the top 3 overall in the 10K race will receive Road Runner Sports gift cards ($100 1st, $60 2nd, $30 3rd). Awards will be handed out at 6:30 pm.

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ProjectRefinedLife.com

There will be awesome custom race medal for all participants, high quality t-shirt, post-race snacks – however Your preferred shirt size cannot be guaranteed for registrations after 4/1/16. Race bib and shirt pick up for registered runners will be available on race day or on Thursday April 21st 4:00 – 8:00 PM at Road Runner Sports in Laguna Hills.

Image Courtesy of rockitracingoc.com
Image Courtesy of rockitracingoc.com
  • When: Friday, April 22, 2016, Check in for registered runners begins at 4:00 pm. The10K begins promptly at 5:00 pm
  • Where: Peters Canyon Regional Park.    8548 E. Canyon View Ave., Orange, CA  92869.   Race starts in the main parking area for Peters Canyon Regional Park on the Lake View Trail.
  • Cost: Registration Fee is $45.00, Parking:  ALL PARTICIPANTS MUST PARK IN OR AROUND THE CHAPMAN HILLS ELEMENTARY SCHOOL PARKING LOT on 170 Aspen St., Orange, CA.  This is about a half mile away from the park.  There is not parking in the residential areas around Peters Canyon.  There is very limited parking in the Peters Canyon main lot, and we are not allowed to use much space there. 

NOTE:  Race may be rescheduled due to rain or muddy conditions, per OC Parks, and up to the discretion of OC Parks leadership and Peters Canyon Rangers.  If this happens, we will notify participants prior to race day.

Click here to REGISTER NOW

See the COURSE MAP here

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Ocean Institute Earth Day 2016

image courtesy of Ocean Institute facebook page
image courtesy of Ocean Institute facebook page

Celebrate Earth Day 2016 with the Ocean Institute in Dana Point. They have some fantastic earth based activities planned including:

– Native Plant Garden Tours
– Build your own Butterfly Garden
– Lily Lab: Flower Dissection
– Special Presentations

There will be a Native “Buy One Give One” Plant Sale. A Tree of Life Native Plant Expert will help you pick out the perfect plant for your garden. When you purchase a plant, you purchase one for the Ocean Institute!

ProjectRefinedLife.com
ProjectRefinedLife.com

Bring your E-Waste to the “E-Waste Recycling Event” with Data DeCom Inc. Drop off your e-waste at the Ocean Institute from 10 am to 3 pm on Saturday, April 23. All proceeds from the donated e-waste benefit the Ocean Institute.

Items accepted include:

  •  Computer towers
  •  Laptops
  •  Monitors
  •  Keyboards
  •  Mouse
  •  Printers
  •  Copiers
  •  Fax machines
  •  Toner Ink Cartridges
  •  Hard Drives
  •  Cell Phones
  •  I-pods and I-pads
  •  Microwaves
  •  Batteries
  •  Calculators
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ProjectRefinedLife.com
  • Where: The Ocean Institute, 24200 Dana Point Harbor Dr., Dana Point, CA 92629 
  • When: Saturday, April 23, 2016 from 10:00 am – 3:00 pm
  • Cost: Adults (13-54): $10.00, Seniors (55+) & Youth (2-12): $7.50, Members & children under 2: FREE
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Weekend Hikes

WeekendHikesHit the Trail this weekend with one of these guided hikes provided by our Orange County Parks. The guided hikes are free, just pay for parking and get know some new trails!

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Cardio Hike: Limestone Canyon and The Sinks – Irvine Ranch Open Space
Explore beautiful Limestone Canyon, coastal sage scrub, grasslands, and oak woodlands during a challenging, fast-paced cardio hike.

  • Pre-registration is required.
  • Driving directions will be provided after registration.
  • For more activities in Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve, click here.


Online Registration

Date:  4/16/2016
Time:  8:00 AM – 11:00 AM
Keep It Wild Volunteer Day – Laguna Coast Wilderness Park
Come on out and help restore the wild lands we so enjoy! There’s no better way to start a Saturday morning than by joining OC Parks and Laguna Canyon Foundation staff in an invigorating project of non-native plant removal and/or planting native plants. Help us make a healthier environment for the native wildlife and for ourselves.

  • Little Sycamore Canyon Staging Area/Nix Nature Center (west side of Laguna Canyon Rd/SR-133, approximately 3.5 miles south of I-5/405).
  • For questions, call (949) 497-8324 Mon-Fri & (949) 923-2235 Sat/Sun.
  • Parking: Free for Keep it Wild volunteers!
  • Please sign-up online using link below.


Online Registration

Date:  4/16/2016
Time:  8:00 AM – 11:00 AM
Explore the Bay Family Hike – Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve
An easy hike for families of all ages to learn more about Upper Newport Bay and enjoy its trails. 

  • Hike will be on paved and dirt trails
  • Bring sun protection and water
  • Meet on the patio of the Muth Interpretive Center
  • No fee or pre-registration required
Date:  4/16/2016
Time:  10:30 AM – 11:30 AM
California Native Plant Hike – Laguna Coast Wilderness Park
Learn about the seasonal life of California Native Plants with Laguna Canyon Foundation volunteer naturalist on this enjoyable 2.5 mile hike (45-ft elevation gain) over moderately uneven terrain.

  • Laguna Coast Wilderness Park, James Dilley Preserve (405 South to 133 south to stoplight at 73 turn-off; make a U-turn, go 1 block. Dilley is on the right).
  • For questions call: 949-497-8324 Mon-Fri & 949-923-2235 Sat/Sun.
  • Parking: $3 per vehicle.
  • Please sign-up online using link below.


Online Registration

Date:  4/16/2016
Time:  8:30 AM – 11:30 AM

 

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Beginning Fitness Hike in Weir Canyon – Irvine Ranch Open Space
Join a fitness-focused 5-mile hike over mainly level trails passing through coastal sage scrub, grasslands, and oak woodlands.

  • Pre-registration is required.
  • Driving directions will be provided after registration.
  • For more activities in Weir Canyon Nature Preserve, click here.


Online Registration

Date:  4/17/2016
Time:  7:00 AM – 9:00 AM
Guided Nature Hike – Ronald W. Caspers Wilderness Park
Join the Park Ranger for a one mile nature hike in the beautiful Bell Canyon area of Caspers Wilderness Park. Hike lasts approximately one hour and is suitable for all ages.

  • Contact park office for hike updates.
  • Parking: $5 per vehicle (day use fee).
  • Meet at the Old Corral Day Use Area.
Date:  4/17/2016
Time:  8:00 AM – 9:15 AM
Meditating in Nature – Laguna Coast Wilderness Park
Relax in nature this spring with park staff and Laguna Canyon Foundation volunteers.  Enjoy a short walking meditation (1/2 mile), breathing and energization exercises, and sitting meditation.

  • Bring a blanket, pillow, and clothing in layers in case the evening is cool.
  • No experience necessary.
  • Ages 16 and up.
  • Laguna Coast Wilderness Park, Little Sycamore Canyon Staging Area/Nix Nature Center (west side of Laguna Canyon Rd/SR-133, approximately 3.5 miles south of I-5/405).
  • For questions, call (949) 497-8324 Mon-Fri & (949) 923-2235 Sat/Sun.
  • Parking: $3 per vehicle.
  • Please sign-up online using link below.


Online Registration

Date:  4/17/2016
Time:  5:45 PM – 7:15 PM
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Earth Day at Bolsa Chica

Image courtesy of bolsachicalandtrust Facebook page
Image courtesy of bolsachicalandtrust Facebook page

The Bolsa Chica Earth Day Festival offers free family fun for everyone! Visitors will have the opportunity to touch live snakes, count migrating birds, learn about pollution, test the water, and much more! Alongside a multitude of educational activity booths, the festival will also include a jump tent, food sales, and guided tours of the reserve!

Join in for the unveiling of the Bolsa Chica app (available on iOS)! Have all you ever wanted to know about Bolsa Chica in your pocket! This app is host to information about Bolsa Chica’s natural flora and fauna, from the iconic Great Blue Heron to the vibrant Pink Sand Verbena; this app has it all!

  • When: Saturday, April 16, 2016 from 10:00 am – 3:00 pm 
  • Where: Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve, 3842 Warner Ave, Huntington Beach, CA 
  • Cost: Free
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KelpFest 2016

Image courtesy of Kelpfest.org
Image courtesy of Kelpfest.org

More than 20 years ago the kelp forests of Orange County disappeared due primarily to overfishing and pollution, In 2002 marine biologist Nancy Caruso of Get Inspired! started a project which would eventually restore this once lush forests.

In 2002 with what came to be 5000 volunteers, Caruso and her volunteers began restoring the kelp forests in Newport and Laguna Beach. By 2010, the kelp had reached historic densities and the animals were starting to return to the area.

KelpFest

In celebration of this event, KelpFest was created to celebrate the return of the kelp forests and to honor the thousands of people who helped to restore them. The 7th annual KelpFest, will be on April 17th, 2016 this year on Main Beach in Laguna Beach from 9am-3pm.

kelpFest1

There will be many like-minded environmental organizations with exhibits at the event to help educate the participants and help to nurture an appreciation for giant kelp forests. Other activities throughout the day include live painting , a life size interactive kelp forest model, live performances, guided tide pool tours, a swim to the kelp forest, talk to a real mermaid, beach clean up, as well as lots of arts and crafts for kids.

Schedule of events:

  • 9:00am Kelpfest begins
  • 9:00-10:00 Kelp forest comes to life as we construct one for visitors to walk through
  • 10:00am Musical performances begin

All Day

  • Live kelp forest paintings and raffle
  • Docent led tide pool tours
  • Arts and crafts for kids
  • Live musical performances
  • Mermaid!

Get the kids ready for the event by downloading a FREE Gaby Garibladi coloring book here!

  • When: Saturday, April 17, 2016 from 9:00 am – 3:00 pm
  • Where: Laguna Beach – Main Beach
  • Cost: FREE
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Grow Your Own-Spring Festival

On this day, last year, we attended the Ecology Center’s – Grow Your Own – Earth Day Celebration. The Grow Your Own event is an annual tradition to celebrate an abundant earth and vibrant communities.

ProjectRefinedLife.com
ProjectRefinedLife.com

This year the “Grow Your Own – Spring Festival” will be held on Saturday, April 16, 2016,

ProjectRefinedLife.com
ProjectRefinedLife.com

The event was filled with earth friendly crafts for the kids and plenty of giveaways for the adults.

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We enjoyed live music and yummy samples from food and drink vendors.

EcologyCenterEarthDay4The family friendly festival was a celebration of all things green!

ProjectRefinedLife.com
ProjectRefinedLife.com

My girls loved petting the chickens and learned so much about them, they now want chickens.

ProjectRefinedLife.com
ProjectRefinedLife.com

I don’t know if it’s on the agenda this year but kids loved making Tee-pee’s.

ProjectRefinedLife.com
ProjectRefinedLife.com

The celebration consists of harvesting, gardening, and a more abundant future.

ProjectRefinedLife.com
ProjectRefinedLife.com

This year, they are excited to include opportunities to learn garden skills and have your questions answered by The Ecology Center’s own experts. We had a fantastic time last year.

EcologyCenterEarthDay4

The great news is the Admission is FREE at this year’s Grow Your Own! Spring Festival.

Activities include:

  • DIY stations: terrarium building, easy pickling, and more!
  • Hands-on garden skill demonstrations by TEC experts
  • Ask an Eco-Designer & Ask a Grow Your Own! Teacher booths
  • Organic seedling sale
  • Wildcraft Lab for kids
  • Live music & dance
  • Delicious local, handmade food
  • Bike Valet – arrive on two wheels and we’ll have a safe place to stash your bike!
  • Visits with The Ecology Center chickens
  • Organic strawberry picking at South Coast Farms (our next door neighbors)
  • Voucher to redeem a FREE rain barrel for San Juan Capistrano residents and new/renewed family members of The Ecology Center
  • Giveaways from our partners Chipotle, KIA Motors, SDG&E, and EcoScraps
  • Special offers on The Ecology Center events, workshops, and more!
ProjectRefinedLife.com
ProjectRefinedLife.com

Bring your family, friends, neighbors, and garden questions for a special gathering celebrating the season when the garden truly comes alive!

  • When: Saturday, April 16, 2016
  • Where: The Ecology Center, 32701 Alipaz St., San Juan Capistrano, 92675
  • Cost: FREE

For advance FREE Tickets & Info, click here.

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National Park Week

ProjectRefinedLife.com
ProjectRefinedLife.com

National Park Week is coming up! Find your Park for FREE April 16 to 24, 2016.  Explore trails, open spaces, at one of your national parks!

The National Park Service is once again partnering with the National Park Foundation, the official charity of America’s national parks, to present National Park Week, a presidentially proclaimed celebration of our national heritage.

Sequoia National Park
Sequoia National Park

Here are some highlights during National Park Week:

  • April 16–24: Visit for free!

    Throughout National Park Week in 2016, every national park will give you free admission!

  • April 16: National Junior Ranger Day

    Explore, Learn, Protect! Kids can take part in fun programs and earn a junior ranger badge or become a Centennial Junior Ranger.

  • April 22: Earth Day

    On Earth Day, if you want to roll up your sleeves and pitch in with a project, look for a park where you can help out.

  • April 23: National Park Instameet

    Join an InstaMeet in a park. Gather in a designated place at a specific time to take photos and short videos to post on Instagram (and other social media) with the same hashtag: #FindYourParkInstaMeet, #FindYourPark, #EncuentraTuParque, #NPS100

  • April 24: Park Rx Day

    Parks will host fun recreational activities that encourage healthy lifestyles and promote physical and mental well being. (Looking to host your own event? Download A Guide to Planning Your Own National Park Rx Day Celebration [561KB PDF]).

ProjectRefinedLife.com
ProjectRefinedLife.com

Don’t forget to check out www.nationalparkweek.org. There you can share your national park photos, videos, and tips. While you’re there, learn all about the ways you can help support your national parks all year round.

Try something new this year. Find your park!
Ranger showing girl insect in creek
Image courtesy of nps.gov

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The Mysterious World of O’Neill Park

PRL-animal tracks

When you visit a nature park have you ever wondered “Where are all the wild animals in the park?”

ProjectRefinedLife.com
ProjectRefinedLife.com

Find out when you Explore the Mysterious World of O’Neill Regional Park on Sunday, April 10, 2016 from 9:00 am – 10:30 am.

ProjectRefinedLife.com
ProjectRefinedLife.com

Visit a Show and Share Exhibit located next to the O’Neill Park Nature Center and discover mysterious clues animals leave behind.

  • Make a Wild Animal Track Mold!

  • Enjoy Nature Crafts and Games!

O’Neill Regional Park is located at 30892 Trabuco Canyon Road, Trabuco Canyon, CA 92678.

Contact (949) 923-2260, with any questions.

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Hikes & Bikes

Peter & Mary Muth Interpretive Center, Newport Beach, CA
Peter & Mary Muth Interpretive Center, Newport Beach, CA

The weather is GORGEOUS this weekend. No Excuses….get out there this weekend. Here’s a list of guided hikes provided FREE compliments of Orange County Parks, just cover the parking fee.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

First Saturday of the Month Morning Hike To The Redwood Grove – Carbon Canyon Regional Park
Join OC Parks’ trained staff on the first Saturday of the month for an easy 1.1-mile early morning interpretive hike to the park’s Coastal Redwood grove. You will use your 5 senses to engage with nature as you stroll to the Redwoods. You will also have an opportunity to learn about our native plants along the trail. The hike begins at 8:30 a.m. from the park’s Nature Center.


Participants should remember water, sunscreen, hat and hiking shoes.

  • All ages (small children may have to be carried).
  • Meet at Nature Center located at east end of park.
  • Cost: FREE!
  • Registration: call (714) 973-3160 or email carboncanyon@ocparks.com
  • Parking: $5 per vehicle
  • Rain will cancel hike.
Date: 4/2/2016
Time: 8:30 AM – 10:00 AM
Explore the Bay Family Hike – Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve
An easy hike for families of all ages to learn more about Upper Newport Bay and enjoy its trails.

  • Hike will be on paved and dirt trails
  • Bring sun protection and water
  • Meet on the patio of the Muth Interpretive Center
  • No fee or pre-registration required
Date: 4/2/2016
Time: 10:30 AM – 11:30 AM
Family Hike – Laguna Coast Wilderness Park

Come and enjoy an easy, 2.5-mile family hike over moderate but uneven terrain (45-ft. elevation gain). Starting at the James Dilley Preserve we will hike one of the most diverse areas of the park to Barbara’s Lake and back. Hike is led by Laguna Canyon Foundation naturalist volunteers.

  • Laguna Coast Wilderness Park, James Dilley Preserve (I-5 or 405 south to 133 south to stoplight at 73 toll road; make a U-turn, go 1 block.
  • Dilley is on the right).
  • For questions call: 949-497-8324
  • Parking: $3 per vehicle
  • Follow link below to pre-register

Online Registrtion

Date: 4/2/2016
Time: 3:00 PM – 5:00 PM

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Guided Nature Hike – Ronald W. Caspers Wilderness Park
Join the Park Ranger for a one mile nature hike in the beautiful Bell Canyon area of Caspers Wilderness Park. Hike lasts approximately one hour and is suitable for all ages.

  • Contact park office for hike updates.
  • Parking: $5 per vehicle (day use fee).
  • Meet at the Old Corral Day Use Area.
Date:  4/3/2016
Time:  8:00 AM – 9:15 AM
Intermediate Mountain Bike Ride from Irvine to Limestone Canyon – Irvine Ranch Open Space
Enjoy a docent-led mountain bike ride starting on paved Hicks Haul Road trail and continuing through Limestone Canyon, including a stop to visit The Sinks, Orange County’s “mini Grand Canyon.”

  • Pre-registration is required.
  • Driving directions will be provided after registration.
  • For more activities in Limestone Canyon Nature Preserve, click here.


Online Registration

Date:  4/3/2016
Time:  8:00 AM – 11:30 AM
Sunday Family Fun Hike – Aliso & Wood Canyons Park
When was the last time you took the family out to hike for pure enjoyment? On this excursion, we’ll focus on fun facts, nature themed games, and wildlife habits while answering questions from your little ones.

  • Aliso & Wood Canyons Wilderness Park, Canyon View Staging Area (from southbound Aliso Creek Road, turn right on Glenwood [turns into Pacific Park] and right on Canyon Vistas. Meet at the entrance to Canyon View Park).
  • For questions, call (949) 497-8324 Mon-Fri & (949) 923-2200 Sat/Sun.
  • This is a 2-mile (150-ft. elevation gain) hike.
  • For ages 7 and up.
  • Parking: Free.
  • Please sign-up online using link below.


Sign-up link

Date:  4/3/2016
Time:  9:00 AM – 11:00 AM
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