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Mike Havstad

Babes in the Woods at Wheeler Gorge

Ojai Naturalist to Lead Children’s Program


Wednesday, June 18, 2008

If you are a mom and dad with little kids in a stroller, this is one great opportunity of connecting them with the outdoors. Wheeler Gorge Docent Barbara Baron, gentle, smiling, and enthusiastic will introduce your child to the sights, smells, sounds, touch and wonders of nature in her program Babes in the Woods.

At the end of the program you will be given a 4 page handout called Bonding Children with Nature, which will list simple thing to keep you child connected with nature at home, outdoors, at parks, beaches and the mountains. The last page is a valuable resource of references.

Barbara will meet you at the Wheeler Gorge Visitor Center gate this Saturday, June 21, at 11:00 AM. If you have older kids in your family have them attend Kim Stroud’s‘ Live Birds of Prey program held on the same day and time. Parking is free.

Gateway to the Ventura backcountry you'll find good information, books or maps and Adventures Passes for sale at Wheeler Gorge Visitor Center.
Click to enlarge photo

Ray Ford

Gateway to the Ventura backcountry you’ll find good information, books or maps and Adventures Passes for sale at Wheeler Gorge Visitor Center.

A year and a half ago Barbara Baron moved from the San Fernando Valley to Ojai. The first time I met her at the center I was impressed as she drove up in a Prius, wore an official looking uniform from her work as a volunteer and paid staffer with the Franklin Canyon Park. We talked about her 11 years and over 1,000 hours of volunteer service to the National Park Service/Mountain Recreation and Conservancy Authority. The Franklin Canyon Park is located near Beverly Hills.

During those years she offered school walks, her popular Babes in the Woods program, and unique adult programs such as her Fractals in Nature program which has been renamed Natures Math, the Wonders of Numbers in the Natural World which will be coming up on September 13.

Last year, after seeing an article about an upcoming Wheeler Gorge Docent training program in the Ojai Valley News Barbara called, attended the training and is now leading programs for this summer.

Wheeler Gorge is located 10 miles north of Ojai on Highway 33.
Click to enlarge photo

Wheeler Gorge is located 10 miles north of Ojai on Highway 33.

The Wheeler Gorge Visitor Center is located on Scenic Highway 33, a half-hour drive north of Ventura. The visitor center is operated under a special-use permit with the Los Padres Forest Association and the Los Padres National Forest.

Donations, used to pay for programs and advertising, are $3 for adults and $2 for participants ages 5 to 18; children younger than 4 are free. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. No pets allowed.

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Editor’s Note: Mike Havstad is the director of the Wheeler Gorge Visitor Center and is a Board member of Los Padres Forest Association. If you have an outdoor event you’d like publicized, an organization devoted to outdoor education you want featured or a story you’d like to share relating to the outdoors, email the Outdoor Guy at the Indy.

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