To Our Ojai Community:

Thank you for your patience and understanding as we recover from the damage from the Thomas Fire on our trails. In the coming months trails will likely open and close depending on rain and changing trail conditions. Click here for current information and trail notifications »

Nathan Wickstrum

FALL NATIVE PLANT SALE 2022 – PLANT LIST

By on December 1, 2022 in News with 0 Comments

Need help identifying the native plants you purchased at the plant sale? View the pdf below to identify your natives.

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FAREWELL, ALE! ALESSANDRA LUCCHESI — OVLC NURSERY INTERN

By on December 1, 2022 in Featured, News, Newsletter with 0 Comments
FAREWELL, ALE! ALESSANDRA LUCCHESI — OVLC NURSERY INTERN

OVLC thanks Alessandra (aka Ale) for her many years of hard work in the nursery. She effervesces a love for her community and the land. There is a certain kind of lifestyle in nursery work, in which the rhythms of one’s life sync to that of nature. It is a lifestyle that requires patience, and a kind of passion that transcends the classic summer internship. Ale embodied this completely.

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RESTORATION / NOVEMBER 2022

By on November 29, 2022 in Featured, News, Newsletter with 0 Comments
RESTORATION / NOVEMBER 2022

In recognition of her critical role in the Ojai Valley Land Conservancy’s growth and success, Vivon Crawford has been named Restoration Program Director. We welcomed Vivon as Restoration Program Manager just over a year ago in August 2021. During her time as Restoration Program Manager, Vivon reignited our restoration programs, developed new initiatives, and oversaw staff growth. In just one year, Vivon has secured $1 million in grant funding for climate resilience. Funded projects include the removal of giant reed (Arundo donax) from the Ventura River Watershed, a continuation of oak woodland restoration at the Ojai Meadows Preserve and Ventura River Preserve, and upgrading our nursery to meet the growing needs for native plants in the Ojai Valley. 

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STEWARDSHIP / NOVEMBER 2022 

By on November 26, 2022 in Featured, News, Newsletter with 0 Comments
STEWARDSHIP / NOVEMBER 2022 

Well-versed volunteers have been invaluable at Valley View Preserve over the past few months. A substantial amount of work has been underway on the network of trails at the preserve, and all of this incredible work has been made possible thanks to our Volunteer Crew Leaders. Earlier this year, Volunteer Crew Leaders led our trail reroutes on Luci’s Trail, and are spearheading projects on Foothill Trail. 

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FROM THE DIRECTOR / NOVEMBER 2022

By on November 22, 2022 in Featured, News, Newsletter with 0 Comments
FROM THE DIRECTOR / NOVEMBER 2022

Having spent my professional career in conservation nonprofits, I was deeply moved and encouraged by the Chouinard family’s recent decision to dedicate nearly all of their wealth from Patagonia to conservation and climate advocacy. The stunning news broke in September that the family was giving their company shares to two separate entities: the Patagonia Purpose Trust and the Holdfast Collective. Together, this represents a truly unprecedented commitment to the company’s mission of being in “business to save our home planet.” 

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2022 FISCAL YEAR ANNUAL REPORT

By on November 22, 2022 in Featured, News, Newsletter with 0 Comments
2022 FISCAL YEAR ANNUAL REPORT

Fiscal year 2022 (July 2021-June 2022) proved to be an eventful year for OVLC that can best be summarized as building our resilience at an organizational and community level. Thanks to our generous supporters, OVLC has been able to grow our programs and conservation aspirations for the Ojai Valley. The fading of the Covid pandemic has provided opportunities to start getting together again. We see the few events of last year as being prologue to a much more active schedule moving ahead.

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NURSERY UPGRADES

By on November 21, 2022 in Featured, News, Newsletter with 0 Comments
NURSERY UPGRADES

OVLC is expanding and upgrading its Native Plant Nursery at the Ojai Meadows Preserve. Built in 2007 to support restoration efforts at the Ojai Meadows Preserve, the nursery was originally intended to be temporary. However, over the past 15 years the number of OVLC restoration projects and community plant sales have increased. The need for native plants as a means to restore our local ecosystems in the face of climate change is greater now than ever before.

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SUMMER FUN FOR INTERNS!

By on November 18, 2022 in News, Newsletter with 0 Comments
SUMMER FUN FOR INTERNS!

This summer, OVLC had four interns from two different programs working in our Restoration Program alongside our Field Crew! Lauren and Ruby, our interns from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Watershed Stewards Program (an AmeriCorps program) are both early career biologists in the Santa Barbara/Ventura region. Eric and Rosemary were our interns from the University of California, Santa Barbara. Eric is a graduate student at the Bren School of Environmental Science and Rosemary is an undergraduate in geography as part of the Mantell Student Mentorship in Environmental JusticeOur rockstar interns spent the summer hiking on OVLC trails performing plant surveys, conducting field monitoring, processing native seeds, helping with our Rewild Ojai nursery expansion, and of course, weeding, watering, and mulching!

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Native Plant Month

By on October 31, 2022 in Events, Featured, News with 0 Comments
Native Plant Month

This November, OVLC is celebrating Native Plant Month to highlight the vital role native plants play in our local ecosystems and community. The Ojai Valley is currently experiencing landscape-scale shifts in our oak woodlands, chaparral, riparian, and agricultural lands. While climate change is a global issue, climate resilience requires a local strategy; and restoring ecosystem functions of native habitats will support the system’s ability to rebound from these extreme climate events.
Join us this month for any and all of the following events as we discuss the importance of native plants and how they benefit our local ecosystems and help strengthen our community’s resilience to climate change.

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All About Ojai: Rick Ridgeway, Life Lived Wild

By on September 21, 2022 in All About Ojai, Events, Featured with 0 Comments
All About Ojai: Rick Ridgeway, Life Lived Wild

Join us Friday, October 14 from 5—9 pm at the historic Ventura River Steelhead Preserve for an evening with legendary mountaineer and author, Rick Ridgeway, as he discusses the adventures from his latest book Life Lived Wild.

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OJAI SADDLE TRAILS / JUNE 2022

By on July 29, 2022 in Featured, News, Newsletter with 0 Comments
OJAI SADDLE TRAILS / JUNE 2022

Starting in 2017, OVLC has managed the Ojai Saddle Trails which are located on Krishnamurti Foundation of America (KFA) lands, just south of OVLC’s Ojai Meadows Preserve. This partnership has been widely celebrated as a boon for the valley: providing the public with access to additional open space and improved access to the Ojai Meadows Preserve. The KFA allowed public access to a critical trail connection between the Ojai Meadows Preserve and the Ojai Valley Bike Path, and through a beautiful oak woodland at the top of the saddle. In exchange, OVLC was able to provide its wealth of land management experience, care for the trails, perform fire clearance work, and manage use on the land. 

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CALOCHORTUS ALBUS — FAIRY LANTERN

By on July 27, 2022 in Featured, News, Newsletter with 0 Comments
CALOCHORTUS ALBUS — FAIRY LANTERN

Sometimes we who walk on two feet forget that the ground beneath us is as alive as we are. It is indeed an expansive land, and when the temperature and water is just right, glad expressions of bulbs below show us the soil’s library. This year I got to witness Calochortus albus, with given names of globe lily or fairy lantern, come to life. In mid-spring, Calochortus albus dripped beneath oak woodland’s dappled light. The flower itself is unlike its gleaming Calochortus sisters (mariposa lily and late-flowered mariposa lily). Shy—a glowing white—the petals twist in three to hold the developing stamen and pistil. They hold close and blush towards the ground. 

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FROM THE FIELD / JUNE 2022

By on July 25, 2022 in Featured, News, Newsletter with 0 Comments
FROM THE FIELD / JUNE 2022

Holy cow! There are cattle on the Venture River Preserve! No – they aren’t supposed to be there; rather they should be next door on Los Padres National Forest (LPNF) lands

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VOLUNTEER PROFILE / JUNE 2022

By on July 22, 2022 in Featured, News, Newsletter with 0 Comments
VOLUNTEER PROFILE / JUNE 2022

Anthony Avildsen started volunteering in the midst of Covid. Over the past year and a half, he has logged more than 160 hours of volunteer work and recently became one of our Volunteer Trail Crew Leads. We are proud to highlight Anthony’s contributions to the OVLC, in an interview he had with Land Steward, Linda Wilkin

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CREATURE FEATURE / JUNE 2022

By on July 18, 2022 in Featured, News, Newsletter with 0 Comments
CREATURE FEATURE / JUNE 2022

This spring, we received several reports of western pond turtle (Actinemys marmorata) sightings on the trails at the Ventura River Preserve. While western pond turtles are typically found in a variety of freshwater resources, they also rely on suitable terrestrial habitat to search for food, find a mate, lay their eggs, and find a better place to live. The western pond turtle spends upwards of 200 days out of water, and recent studies have even found that they can live out of water for almost 400 days. This is a remarkable feat, but troubling when considering that the western pond turtle is fasting when out of water. This is due to the fact that the western pond turtle must ingest its prey in water because it cannot swallow air. As the climate changes, and prolonged drought coupled with rising temperatures becomes the norm, western pond turtle populations in Ojai are likely to decline.

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National Trails Day® 2022

By on July 14, 2022 in Featured, News, Newsletter with 0 Comments
National Trails Day® 2022

National Trails Day was a success! This year 55 volunteers joined OVLC on National Trails Day in partnership with the American
Hiking Society. Our volunteers worked on five different projects, and clocked in 179 hours of work for the day! We are incredibly
grateful for the support of the community and our wonderful volunteers. We intend to protect and restore the open space of
the Ojai Valley forever, and this goal is only made possible with the support of the community. Thank you!

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Mountainfilm on Tour 2022 Virtual Auction & Raffle

By on July 12, 2022 in News with 0 Comments
Mountainfilm on Tour 2022 Virtual Auction & Raffle

In conjunction with Mountainfilm on Tour, we are hosting a virtual auction that closes on Monday, September 19 at 10 am. The auction is open to the public (no Mountainfilm on Tour ticket purchase required) and features a six-night stay at a 15th-century Tuscan hilltop house, a tour of the Jack and Laura Dangermond Preserve led by OVLC’s Executive Director, Tom Maloney, a tour of the world-renowned Turtle Conservancy, a Fletcher Chouinard Designs surfboard and a whole lot more!

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WELCOME NEW STAFF MEMBERS / JUNE 2022

By on July 11, 2022 in Featured, News, Newsletter with 0 Comments
WELCOME NEW STAFF MEMBERS / JUNE 2022

Join us as we welcome new OVLC staff members Christine Gau and Jonathan LaPearl.

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FROM THE DIRECTOR / JUNE 2022

By on July 7, 2022 in Featured, News, Newsletter with 1 Comment
FROM THE DIRECTOR / JUNE 2022

There is a long-standing undercurrent of tension between long-time residents, newcomers, and visitors in Ojai. As a newcomer myself (my wife and I moved to Ojai over two years ago), I have perceived the “oh, you’re a newcomer” perspective. The exurban migration that has occurred over the last several years in Ojai, and other beautiful rural places, has noticeably exacerbated these tensions. As is often the case, these issues often flare up on social media much more forcefully than they ever would in person.

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Mountainfilm on Tour 2022

By on June 14, 2022 in Events, Featured, News
Mountainfilm on Tour 2022

Join us for our 8th annual Mountainfilm on Tour on Saturday, September 17, or make it a weekend and also join us for Under the Open Sky, a special farm-to-table dinner on Friday, September 16

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A Benefit Concert for OVLC

By on April 21, 2022 in Events, Featured, News
A Benefit Concert for OVLC

Greatful Shred, a benefit concert for the Ojai Valley Land Conservancy is coming to Ojai this summer. Saturday, July 30 and Sunday, July 31 mark your calendars and prepare to rock out at the Libbey Bowl to the vibes of the Dead. Tickets go on sale April 22, 2022. Save the date and stay amped!

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Grateful Shred Info

By on June 6, 2022 in Events, Featured, News
Grateful Shred Info

Greatful Shred, a benefit concert for the Ojai Valley Land Conservancy is coming to Ojai this summer. Saturday, July 30 and Sunday, July 31 mark your calendars and prepare to rock out at the Libbey Bowl to the vibes of the Dead. Tickets go on sale April 22, 2022. Save the date and stay amped!

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National Trails Day: 30th Anniversary

By on May 17, 2022 in Events, Featured, News, Volunteers with 0 Comments
National Trails Day: 30th Anniversary

Saturday, June 4, 2022 marks the 30th anniversary of the American Hiking Society’s National Trails Day! In celebration, OVLC is hosting a number of volunteer opportunities including good old trail maintenance, trail cleanup, and some trail restoration work too. Projects will run 9am-12pm and range from easily accessible and not physically demanding to requiring a […]

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Art in Nature’s Wonderland

By on March 31, 2022 in Events, Featured, News with 2 Comments
Art in Nature’s Wonderland

The Ojai Valley Land Conservancy and Ojai Studio Artists invite you to experience Art in Nature’s Wonderland. Come and enjoy dinner, cocktails, art installations, silent auction, raffle, handcrafted party favors, and the music of Amanda McBroom, Alan Thornhill and Laura Walters. Be surprised and amazed by the art hidden in nature as you wander through the preserve and dance under the stars

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Stewardship Hike with Brendan Taylor

By on March 31, 2022 in Events, Featured, News with 0 Comments
Stewardship Hike with Brendan Taylor

Take advantage of this opportunity to hike with our Director of Field Programs, Brendan Taylor. The hike will be roughly 5.5 miles long and includes hiking a trail that is in the works to become an official OVLC trail in the near future. On this hike, Brendan will discuss the planning process that goes into making a trail official, along with answering any questions you might have about land management, stewardship, and preserve use. All you need to bring is your curiosity, water, hiking shoes, and sunscreen.

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Rattlesnake Avoidance Training for Dogs 2022

By on March 30, 2022 in Events, Featured with 0 Comments
Rattlesnake Avoidance Training for Dogs 2022

Snake season is all-year-round in Ojai! The Ojai Valley Land Conservancy is hosting a rattlesnake avoidance training clinic for dogs so you can take your dog outdoors with peace of mind.

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Herpetofauna of the Ojai Valley

By on March 29, 2022 in All About Ojai, Events
Herpetofauna of the Ojai Valley

The Ojai Valley Land Conservancy and the Turtle Conservancy are offering a field trip to introduce participants to the reptiles and amphibians of the Valley. Dr. Chris Evelyn, from the Vertebrate Zoology Museum at UC Santa Barbara, will lead this introduction to the frogs, salamanders, lizards, snakes, and turtles of the Valley. This trip is a mix of presentation and field exploration.

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Fall Native Plant Sale 2022

By on November 8, 2022 in Events, Featured, News with 0 Comments
Fall Native Plant Sale 2022

Inspired by Native Plant Month? Come to our Fall Native Plant Sale and buy plants for your yard!
We will be selling some of our favorite drought-tolerant plants and a variety of wildflower seeds for you to grow at home in your garden. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to bring the beauty of the preserves to your yard. By joining our Rewild Ojai effort you are helping increase biodiversity and strengthening our community’s resilience to climate change. We look forwarding to seeing you at the sale!

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Spring Native Plant Sale 2022

By on March 29, 2022 in Events, Featured, News with 1 Comment
Spring Native Plant Sale 2022

This year’s Spring Native Plant Sale is being hosted in person on April 23 from 9 am to 12 pm at our Ojai Meadows Preserve Native Plant Nursery. We will be selling some of our favorite drought tolerant plants and a variety of wildflower seeds for you to grow at home in your garden. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to bring the beauty of the preserves to your yard. We look forwarding to seeing you there!

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CREATURE FEATURE: February 2022

By on March 29, 2022 in Featured, News, Newsletter with 0 Comments
CREATURE FEATURE: February 2022

A member of the flycatcher family, the Cassin’s kingbird (Tyrannus vociferans) feeds primarily on flying insects! They can often be spotted perched atop trees or on wires looking over open spaces in search of their next meal.

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Special Use Permit

Special Use Permit

Want to use an OVLC Preserve for special use like a photography shoot, leading a guided hike, or teaching a class? Apply today for a Special Use Permit

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GREEN VALLEY PROJECT — STUDENTS HELP WITH RESTORATION AT THE OJAI MEADOWS PRESERVE

By on March 22, 2022 in Featured, News, Newsletter with 0 Comments
GREEN VALLEY PROJECT — STUDENTS HELP WITH RESTORATION AT THE OJAI MEADOWS PRESERVE

Thanks to support from the Green Valley Project, OVLC has hosted several hands-on habitat restoration events at the Ojai Meadows Preserve with environmental science students from Nordhoff High School.

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MANZANITA WINTER POLLEN

By on March 15, 2022 in Featured, News, Newsletter with 0 Comments
MANZANITA WINTER POLLEN

Look closely at the decisions they make, as the careful branches twist among paths—unseen made known. The orange branches and peeling bark tell a tale millions of years old

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FROM THE FIELD / FEBRUARY 2022

By on March 8, 2022 in Featured, News, Newsletter with 0 Comments
FROM THE FIELD / FEBRUARY 2022

Back in July 2021, the OVLC removed several non-native red gum trees (Eucalyptus camaldulensis) from the Ojai Meadows Preserves. We also removed a Peruvian pepper tree (Schinus molle), a Chinese pistache (Pistacia chinensis), and a Mexican fan palm (Washingtonia robusta). We made the difficult decision to remove these non-native trees as part of a larger effort to restore the preserve and help make our community more resilient in the long term.

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FROM THE DIRECTOR / February 2022

By on February 28, 2022 in Featured, News, Newsletter with 0 Comments
FROM THE DIRECTOR / February 2022

I was deeply saddened to learn of the passing of E.O. Wilson on December 26, 2021 at the ripe old age of 92 years. I feel blessed to have had the opportunity to interact with Ed occasionally over the years.

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PRESERVING PARKWAY: NEW LAND ACQUISITION OF 28 ACRES

By on February 25, 2022 in Featured, News, Newsletter with 0 Comments
PRESERVING PARKWAY: NEW LAND ACQUISITION OF 28 ACRES

This past November, the Ojai Valley Land Conservancy (OVLC) joined in partnership with The Trust for Public Land (TPL) to announce the acquisition of 28 acres located just upstream from the confluence of the Ventura River and Cañada Larga Creek. The property, officially named the Parkway Preserve, will protect and restore critical wildlife habitat along the Ventura River, provide opportunities to mitigate stormwater flooding, and provide neighboring communities with increased access to open space along the Ventura River.

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CREATURE FEATURE

By on November 30, 2021 in Featured, News, Newsletter with 0 Comments
CREATURE FEATURE

Beep! Beep! You might know the greater roadrunner (Geococcyx californianus) from the classic Looney Tunes cartoon and how the character Road Runner always seems to run faster than Wile E. Coyote; but this isn’t the case in real life. In fact, coyotes can run up to 43 miles per hour, while the greater roadrunner clocks in at a top speed of 26 miles per hour.

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VOLUNTEER PROFILE: STUART NIEBEL — OVLC DOCENT

By on November 23, 2021 in Featured, News, Newsletter with 0 Comments
VOLUNTEER PROFILE: STUART NIEBEL — OVLC DOCENT

Stuart Niebel has been an Ojai Valley Land Conservancy (OVLC) docent since 2012, and has led dozens of tours on our preserves, including guiding hundreds of local school children. We hope you will consider becoming a docent too. Don’t worry if you think you don’t have the knowledge base – Stuart has created extensive docent manuals for the Valley View Preserve, Ventura River Preserve, and Ojai Meadows Preserve! We are proud to highlight Stuart’s contributions to the OVLC, in an interview he had with Land Steward, Linda Wilkin.

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NEW BENCHES AT THE VENTURA RIVER PRESERVE

NEW BENCHES AT THE VENTURA RIVER PRESERVE

If you have visited the Ventura River Preserve in the last couple months, you may have noticed some new and enticing places to sit. Specifically, some fine, hand-crafted redwood benches. We’re at long last replacing benches lost in the Thomas Fire and installing new memorial benches too.

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New Acquisition: Parkway Preserve

By on November 18, 2021 in News with 1 Comment
New Acquisition: Parkway Preserve

The Trust for Public Land and the Ojai Valley Land Conservancy announced today the protection of 28 acres adjacent to the Ventura River, preserving critical wildlife habitat and land for outdoor recreational use for the community of Ventura.

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2021 FISCAL YEAR* ANNUAL REPORT

By on November 18, 2021 in News with 0 Comments
2021 FISCAL YEAR* ANNUAL REPORT

June 30, 2021 marked the end of our first full fiscal year since we changed our fiscal year to start in July. OVLC also restructured our accounting and simplified our chart of accounts. As a result, the staff and board have a deeper understanding of the role that each program plays in OVLC’s financial condition. In particular, these changes provide comprehensive insights into the costs of stewarding the preserves, and help OVLC plan for new acquisitions and budget for preserve improvements.

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TRAMPLE TRAILS: HELP US PROTECT THESE LANDS FOR YOU

By on November 16, 2021 in Featured, News, Newsletter with 0 Comments
TRAMPLE TRAILS: HELP US PROTECT THESE LANDS FOR YOU

There are more and more unsanctioned trample trails popping up all over OVLC preserves, and they are a problem. Some of these trails (like the trample trail pictured to the right) are clearly there because trail users just have to know what is around the bend. You are not a cat. Do not let curiosity overwhelm your faculties. In this regard, we want to assure you, OVLC is not hiding a secret oasis or Garden of Eden. If there is a beautiful spot or stellar vista, we already guide you there!

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THE SEED COLLECTOR

By on November 11, 2021 in Featured, News, Newsletter with 0 Comments
THE SEED COLLECTOR

There are many lessons learned when the days are spent with plant and animal folk—a literacy of some ancient hum that this unseasoned human must learn. On the fall day before rain this early October—unbeknownst to me—the acorns were ready.

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WELCOME NEW STAFF MEMBERS / NOVEMBER 2021

By on November 9, 2021 in Featured, News, Newsletter with 0 Comments
WELCOME NEW STAFF MEMBERS / NOVEMBER 2021

Our OVLC family is growing! We’re excited to announce three new staff members: Vivon Crawford, Adam Morrison, and Lisa Nix.

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FROM THE DIRECTOR / NOVEMBER 2021

By on November 3, 2021 in Featured, News, Newsletter with 0 Comments
FROM THE DIRECTOR / NOVEMBER 2021

Local conservation organizations like OVLC struggle with how to address the global phenomenon of climate change. What can a small group do to ameliorate threats that affect the very things that we are trying to save but are governed by global scale factors? The discussion can focus on mitigation versus adaptation and resilience. Mitigation comes in the form of investing in forests and other natural systems that effectively store carbon for hundreds of years. Adaptation and resilience measures seek to protect and enhance the local ecosystems in response to anticipated changes. Sometimes, the best approach is both.

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Fall Native Plant Sale 2021

By on October 15, 2021 in Events, Featured, News with 0 Comments
Fall Native Plant Sale 2021

This year’s Fall Native Plant Sale is being hosted in-person on October 30 from 9am to 12pm at our Ojai Meadows Preserve Native Plant Nursery. We will be selling some of our favorite drought tolerant plants and a variety of wildflower seeds collected from the preserves for you to grow at home in your garden. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to bring the beauty of the preserves to your yard!

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UNDER THE OPEN SKY – PADDLE RAISE

By on September 27, 2021 in Events with 0 Comments
UNDER THE OPEN SKY – PADDLE RAISE

Thank you for attending our Mountainfilm on Tour and Under the Open Sky at the Ventura River Steelhead Preserve. Friday night’s paddle raise was wildly successful and we are incredibly grateful for your support. If you didn’t have a chance to donate during the paddle raise, you can help us continue to protect and restore the lands we all love by using the donate box below:

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Temporary Forest Closure & What This Means For OVLC Adopted Trails

By on September 1, 2021 in News with 0 Comments
Temporary Forest Closure & What This Means For OVLC Adopted Trails

Forest Service trails adopted by OVLC will be closed effective 8/31/21 at 11:59 p.m. More than 6,800 wildfires have burned a total of 1.7 million acres across all jurisdictions in California, and the National Wildfire Preparedness Level (PL) has been at PL5 since July 14, 2021; only the third time in the past 20 years […]

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VOLUNTEER PROFILE

By on August 10, 2021 in News, Newsletter with 0 Comments
VOLUNTEER PROFILE

Dave Fleischman started volunteering for OVLC two years ago. Today, he has increased his volunteer involvement with the organization by taking on maintenance of volunteer tools and becoming a volunteer trail crew leader. OVLC Land Steward, Linda Wilkin, sat down with Dave to talk about his time working on trails and volunteering with OVLC. Here’s what Dave had to say:

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WELCOME NEW BOARD MEMBERS

By on August 3, 2021 in News, Newsletter with 0 Comments
WELCOME NEW BOARD MEMBERS

OVLC welcomes new board members Fiona Hutton and Cari Shore!

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