Monday, August 10, 2009

California Dreams

I took Master C. to the Oak Canyon Nature Center last week and was surprised to find it closed. The gates to the parking lot were locked but there is a pedestrian entrance which we took. A sign was posted at the Interpretive Center saying that the center would only be open on Saturdays. My daughter emailed and called to find out what was going on and was told:
Due to budget reductions the Oak Canyon Nature Center is now a passive site. This means it will continue to be open to the public for use including self-guided hikes but the interpretive center will be open only on Saturdays for visitations.
Oak Canyon is a real treasure which I have blogged about before here, here, and here, mostly talking about the native plants. I wrote a special piece from Master C.'s point of view here. But we have enjoyed going there many more times than I have written about and I am very saddened to hear that California's fiscal problems are causing the city of Anaheim to close the Interpretive Center and end the programs that have been so successful.

Besides an office, the center housed an exhibit room full of fun things including live and stuffed animals, books, puzzles and games, and much more to teach children about science, the canyon, and nature. During the winter hundreds of school children have been bussed into the canyon to go on hikes, do projects, and listen to stories. A lucky few got to pet the snakes or an opossum. I took Master C. to a series of classes for 2 to 4-year-olds this spring where we learned about butterflies, lizards, flowers, and the sun. The books will remain and I suppose the stuffed exhibits, but the live animals will be moved to new homes. And there will be no more classes during the week.

I feel so sad about this that I just wanted to post some photos from past trips to the center to show people some of the things that will be lost.

1 comment:

  1. It makes me really sad too. Hopefully one day it will open again. She did say that they were trying to hold onto two snakes, but she wasn't sure about it.