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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 »


By on May 23, 2023 in Events, Featured with 0 Comments

Stewarding the Ventura River

Understanding Our Relationship with and Responsibility to the Land

The Ventura River and its surrounding ecosystem are valuable natural resources that provide numerous recreational opportunities while supporting a rich biodiversity of native flora and fauna. As users of this land, it is essential for us to understand and appreciate our relationship with the river and the land, and to take on the responsibility of being diligent stewards. By recognizing the value of this ecosystem and actively working towards its preservation, we can ensure its continued beauty and ecological integrity for generations to come.

Recreational Activities

  1. Hiking, Biking, Equestrian and Docent-led Nature Walks: Explore the diverse landscapes and wildlife along the Ventura River by hiking, biking, horseback riding or taking a guided nature walk with an OVLC docent. Please stay on designated trails to minimize impact and avoid disturbing sensitive habitats.
  2. Swimming: Due to the importance of minimizing human impact on the Ventura River ecosystem, there are designated swimming spots along the river. This intentional limitation helps protect sensitive habitats and reduces human impact on the watershed. It is crucial to respect this restriction and enjoy the river responsibly. By understanding and respecting the ecological needs of the Ventura River, we can actively contribute to the conservation and stewardship of this precious natural resource.

Furthermore, it is important to recognize the significant impact that building dams can have on the Ventura River and its inhabitants, particularly the steelhead trout. Dams disrupt the natural flow of the river, obstructing migratory passage for fish during their spawning journeys. This disruption can have severe consequences for the steelhead trout population and the overall health of the river ecosystem.

  1. Birdwatching and Wildlife Viewing: The Ventura River is home to a diverse array of bird species and wildlife. Bring your binoculars and observe from a distance to avoid causing unnecessary stress to the wildlife. Do not feed or approach wildlife.

Our Relationship with the Land

  1. Appreciation: Take time to appreciate the beauty and wonders of the Ventura River Preserve. Recognize the value of this natural resource and the unique experiences it offers.
  2. Education: Educate yourself about the local flora, fauna, and ecosystems of the Ventura River. Understanding the interconnectedness of the land will foster a deeper appreciation for its preservation. 

Visit our website to learn more:

  1. Respect: Show respect for the land, its inhabitants, and other visitors. Avoid damaging vegetation, disturbing wildlife, or leaving litter.

Responsibility to the Land

  1. Conservation: Practice Leave No Trace principles by minimizing your impact on the land. Pack out your trash, stay on designated trails, and avoid disrupting the natural environment. On average, a single day of volunteer trash clean up in the river bottom results in the removal of 2 tons of trash.
  2. Invasive Species Management: Learn about invasive plant species in the area and help prevent their spread. For example, Arundo donax, commonly known as giant reed, is a tall perennial cane with invasive tendencies that can negatively impact native plant species and water resources. Report any sightings to the appropriate authorities and participate in volunteer removal efforts.
  3. Support OVLC: Get involved with volunteer opportunities at OVLC to protect and restore the Ventura River Watershed. Volunteers have been working to repair and improve our trail network since the floods along with restoring native habitat, and participating in mailing parties to spread the word. Join us!

Remember, the Ventura River and its surrounding land are a shared resource. By understanding our relationship with the land and embracing our responsibility to preserve it, we can ensure its beauty and recreational opportunities endure for generations to come.

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