Placerita Nature Center brings residents in personal contact with nature. The Placerita Nature Center, which covers 350 acres, offers 12 different trails traveling over 12 miles, has been in the Santa Clarita Valley for over 60 years. The park, which opened in 1941, is accompanied with a natural history museum which features many local specimens including, snakes, opossums, hawks, and owls. While the 37 year old museum is rather humble at the moment, due to construction, all the animals are still on location.
The Center’s original museum had a wood shingle roof, and while it’s a miracle it survived the fires, it is in desperate need of renovation. “The roof constantly leaked, and the walls never had insulation. We really needed some work done,” says Placerita Nature Center Director Ian Swift.
The Center’s office, as well as all the animals, were moved into temporary bungalows. But the museum isn’t the only thing to be refurbished. While the plants are still recovering from the fires, both the picnic areas and the “Walker Cabin” are being renovated.
Swift said that the improvements made on the “Walker Cabin” are few in number. “The cabin used to belong to the Walker Family, who used to live in this canyon. Hollywood used to use it for some of their films, and it has been changed over the years, and we just want to bring it back to the way it was, to make it historically accurate.”
The Center also offers outdoor activities for every age group. Every Saturday the Center leads a hour long “Family Nature Walk”, which takes guests on a trip to see the area’s natural and cultural history.
For the ambitious, the Center invites you to become a part of their “Trail Team”, which is a group dedicated to maintaining the trails, by pulling weeds, picking up litter and repairing trail paths.
For a complete list of programs and events, go to www.placerita.org.
Nicole's pictures of the Placerita Nature Center are featured in this month's Where We Live section.