Archives for March 12, 2019

Wildflower Season Blooms on the Irvine Ranch Natural Landmarks


Join Wildflower Activities and a Virtual Social Media Tour Exploring

“Where the Wildflowers Are” this Spring

Irvine Ranch Conservancy invites nature lovers to explore and restore the Irvine Ranch Natural Landmarks this spring season. March 20 will mark the first day of spring and wildflowers have already begun to bloom across the Landmarks. Irvine Ranch Conservancy’s ecological restoration work in key areas such as Agua Chinon and Loma Ridge, as well as year-round invasive plant removal, and the abundance of rain add to the probability that native plants like wildflowers will thrive in the spring season.  

The Irvine Ranch Natural Landmarks began blooming in February with common wildflowers noticeably abundant, especially on habitat restoration sites. First wildflower sightings have included native species ranging from the California Poppy (Eschscholzia californica) and Arroyo Lupine (Lupinus succulentus) to the California Buckwheat (Eriogonum fasciculatum) and Bush Sunflower (Encelia californica).

“Our native plants are thriving after record-breaking rain and continued progress in habitat restoration programs,” commented Dave Raetz, Irvine Ranch Conservancy Deputy Director. “I am optimistic that there will be an impressive wildflower bloom throughout the Landmarks this spring, especially in areas of degraded habitat that have been recently restored.”

The public is encouraged to get outdoors and enjoy the magic of wildflower season. With 7-day self-guided access, the City of Newport Beach’s Buck Gully Reserve and the City of Irvine’s Bommer Canyon are a great place to start your wildflower adventure. Just be sure to stay on the trails and leave the wildflowers where you find them. Irvine Ranch Conservancy also offers a full calendar of guided activities and events designed to explore the wildflowers on the open spaces this spring.

Every Wednesday and Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. join the restoration event, Dig in! Plant and Protect Wildflowers with the Native Seed Farm. Work with Irvine Ranch Conservancy volunteers to plant wildflowers and remove weeds to protect the flowers while they grow. All tools and equipment are provided for a fun outdoor experience for everyone.

Enjoy self-guided access during Wilderness Access Day: Bommer Canyon on Saturday, March 16 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. and keep an eye out for the Sticky monkeyflower (Diplacus aurantiacus), a common native wildflower seen throughout the canyon in the spring. The Mid-Week Hike: Agua Chinon and The Sinks on Wednesday, March 20 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. is another great opportunity to enjoy a refreshing hike through “Orange County’s miniature Grand Canyon” and other destinations where local wildflowers are blooming throughout.

The Native Seed Farm offers the event, Wildflowers & Pollinators on Sunday, March 24 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. This is a unique opportunity to learn about which native plants are grown at the farm and used in restoration efforts. Farm steward hosts will showcase flourishing flowers and their pollinators on a nature walk through the Native Seed Farm and participants will learn how to attract pollinators to home gardens.

Admire the landmarks’ wildflower season through Irvine Ranch Conservancy’s virtual social media tour, #WhereTheWildflowersAre, March 15 – 21. Three different wildflower species will be featured each day throughout the week, with information on the flowers and where they can be seen on the Landmarks. Join the virtual wildflower takeover by “liking” the Landmarks’ Facebook page (Facebook.com/irlandmarks), following on Twitter (@IRLandmarks), and following on Instagram (@OCMountainstoSea) for a chance to participate in a unique wildflower giveaway. When out on the land and participating in activities, bring a camera and share wildflower photos on social media with #WhereTheWildflowersAre.

Irvine Ranch Conservancy offers a full calendar of spring activities highlighting wildflower season and free, guided programs that include hiking, mountain bike rides, horseback riding, habitat restoration and special events for nature enthusiasts of all ages and fitness skill levels. All activities are free with required pre-registration, which closes at 4 p.m. the day prior to each event. For more details visit LetsGoOutside.org/activities.

Credit:
Irvine Ranch Conservancy