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 »

Seek the Creek

By on December 6, 2022 in News with 0 Comments
Seek the Creek

Save the date for our Community Workshops—February 23 & 25, 2023 The Ojai Valley Land Conservancy is conducting a community visioning process for the future removal and restoration of the Matilija Dam. This is an exciting project that will return the critical waterway of Matilija Creek to its original flow, providing much needed public open […]

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CREATURE FEATURE / NOVEMBER 2022

By on December 6, 2022 in Featured, News, Newsletter with 0 Comments
CREATURE FEATURE / NOVEMBER 2022

WESTERN FENCE LIZARD The western fence lizard (Sceloporus occidentalis) is one of the most common lizards found throughout the entire range of the western United States. You’ve probably spotted this species at an OVLC preserve, running across the trail or sunbathing on a rock. Often overlooked due to its prevalence in the valley, we might […]

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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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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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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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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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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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OAK RESTORATION AT THE OJAI MEADOWS PRESERVE

By on July 28, 2021 in News with 0 Comments
OAK RESTORATION AT THE OJAI MEADOWS PRESERVE

On June 20 and 21, OVLC hired The C.R.E.W. to remove 7 non-native trees at the Ojai Meadows Preserve as part of a greater conservation effort to restore oak woodlands and savannas in the Ojai Valley.

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JESSE GRANTHAM: FAREWELL TO AN OJAI LEGEND & AVIAN EXPERT

By on July 27, 2021 in News, Newsletter with 0 Comments
JESSE GRANTHAM: FAREWELL TO AN OJAI LEGEND & AVIAN EXPERT

Former Board member and dedicated OVLC volunteer Jesse Grantham and his wife Trina have moved to North Carolina to be closer to their grandchildren. Longtime Ojai residents and OVLC supporters know Jesse as the local authority on all things avian. Perry Van Houten wrote a lovely and fitting tribute to Jessie in the Ojai Valley News on April 23, 2021.

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CREATURE FEATURE / JULY 2021

By on July 22, 2021 in News, Newsletter with 0 Comments
CREATURE FEATURE / JULY 2021

OVLC has recently received some new tenants on its Ventura River Preserve. Coyotes (Canis latrans) have been seen displaying territorial behavior near some parts of the river due to a nearby den. Coyotes mate between January and March, and females usually give birth to 4-7 pups after a gestation period of 58-65 days.

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RESTORATION / JULY 2021

By on July 20, 2021 in Featured, News, Newsletter with 0 Comments
RESTORATION / JULY 2021

OVLC Restoration Field Crew has recently gained a new member, Sophie McLean, to help out with field tasks and nursery management. She has a degree in Plant Biology and is excited to exchange her knowledge with OVLC Nursery Manager, Ron Singer.

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NURSERY INTERNS

By on July 16, 2021 in News, Newsletter with 0 Comments
NURSERY INTERNS

You may have noticed some new voices on our social media the last few weeks. Thanks in-part to a generous grant from the Rotary Club of Ojai, we have two interns from Nordhoff High School: Alessandra (Ally) Lucchesi and Corallyn Moss. They will be assisting OVLC Nursery Manager, Ron Singer, in growing and caring for the thousands of plants that the OVLC uses annually in restoration projects.

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MEET LINDA WILKIN: OVLC LAND STEWARD

By on July 14, 2021 in News, Newsletter with 0 Comments
MEET LINDA WILKIN: OVLC LAND STEWARD

We are excited to formally introduce Linda, OVLC’s new Land Steward and botanist extraordinaire! Linda’s love for plants has given her a breadth of experience in farming, habitat restoration, and nursery work. These days, she is putting her experience and passion toward protecting OVLC’s open spaces. For the last eleven months, Linda has been out in the field engaging with preserve users, dealing with fires at the Ojai Meadows Preserve, fixing kiosks and trail signage, and more recently leading volunteer events.

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FROM THE DIRECTOR / JULY 2021

By on July 12, 2021 in News, Newsletter with 0 Comments
FROM THE DIRECTOR / JULY 2021

Between the year and a half of pandemic-constrained life and California’s extreme drought, one could be excused for suffering from a grim outlook. However, we at OVLC see reasons to have optimism beyond the slowly abating (at least locally) pandemic.

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Trail User Etiquette

By on May 19, 2021 in News with 0 Comments
Trail User Etiquette

Due to an increasing interest in outdoor recreation, OVLC trails are receiving more traffic than ever before. OVLC trails are primarily multi-use trails, open to equestrians, mountain bikers, and hikers/runners. Please be courteous to other users, share the trail, and follow these guidelines when you are using OVLC trails:

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Why Oak Trees?

By on May 12, 2021 in Featured, News with 0 Comments
Why Oak Trees?

Every year OVLC plants hundreds of oak trees. These oak trees help the Ojai Valley become resilient to a changing climate. The oaks we plant today start off small and fragile, but with time they will become majestic towering oaks that define Ojai’s landscapes. Restoring our lands back to oak woodlands has a myriad of benefits for our […]

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Aggressive Coyotes on OVLC Preserves

By on April 30, 2021 in News with 0 Comments
Aggressive Coyotes on OVLC Preserves

We have received multiple reports of coyotes acting extremely aggressive toward users in the vicinity of the Old Baldwin Road Trailhead and the lower Ventura River Preserve trails. In both incidents, hikers had large dogs with them and the coyotes aggressively and persistently threatened them

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WELCOME NEW BOARD MEMBERS!

By on March 31, 2021 in News, Newsletter with 0 Comments
WELCOME NEW BOARD MEMBERS!

Welcome new board members!

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CREATURE FEATURE

By on March 26, 2021 in Newsletter with 0 Comments
CREATURE FEATURE

Have you noticed all of the beautiful bluebirds flying around the Ojai Meadows Preserve? The Western Bluebird (Sialia mexicana) is one of our local residents that we are lucky to have year-round here in Ojai.

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RESTORATION / MARCH 2021

By on March 19, 2021 in Featured, News, Newsletter with 0 Comments
RESTORATION / MARCH 2021

If you walk in the Ojai Meadows Preserve, you may have noticed burned areas scattered throughout the preserve. The Ventura County Fire Department believes that each of these fires was intentionally started, and is investigating further.

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