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POSTPONED: Spring Equinox Nature Hike & Native Plant Sale

March 21, 2020 @ 9:00 am - 1:00 pm


Photo of Taft Gardens by Godfred Tong


UPDATE (March 16): Given the rapidly tightening restrictions on small events and considering that I am in the age group asked by the governor yesterday to self-isolate I called a local physician this morning who advised that I postpone Saturday’s event. So, in an abundance of caution, that is what I am doing. Personally, I feel we could pull it off safely under normal flu season conditions but this is not such a time. For your own health and safety, please continue to consult current California Department of Health Guidelines for preventing the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

I will be re-scheduling this event when the future is more certain. In the meantime, I am contacting those already signed up and leaving the event info below for those who would like to sign up for the re-schedule which will follow pretty much the same itinerary. Thanks, Lanny.

Now that Mother Nature has had three winters worth of rain with which to recover from the 2017 fire, we’re going back to this amazing private property for a private tour of the Taft Gardens & Nature Preserve, operated by the Conservation Endowment Fund (CEF) in the mountains above Lake Casitas west of Ojai.

This rare and special place has no public trails connecting it to the outside world. The land includes plants and features beyond what we usually encounter on my outings, including the world renowned, Mediterranean-climate, Taft Botanical Garden. We’ll see an unparalleled collection of Australian and South African plants. A docent will be present to share some of the rare exotic plants found in the garden. Of course, we’ll also take a walk on the adjacent Nature Preserve to identify and learn about the diverse edible and medicinal native plants of the area.

We will meet at Maricopa Plaza in Ojai between 8:15 and 8:30 a.m. for a caravan to the property. The travel time from the caravan meeting place to the trailhead will be 20-30 minutes. Directions will be given to those coming from Santa Barbara who wish to meet us at the Gardens. Beginning at 9 a.m., total walking distance will be approximately 1.5 miles including gradual elevation gain.

Immediately following the walk, from 12:30 to 1:00 p.m., native and medicinal plant grower Nathan Whitman will host a private sale of selected plants. Registrants will have the opportunity to order in advance. The list of native and other medicinal plants available at direct-from-grower prices includes White Sage, Milkweed, Dudleya, California Buckwheat, Echinacea, St. John’s Wort, Yerba Mate, Tea Tree, Spearmint, Peppermint, Catnip, Ashwaganda and more.

Lunch will not be provided but participants are invited to stay and enjoy their sack lunch or snacks in a beautiful setting after the tour.

Light rain will not cancel, heavy rain will. Registrants will be updated. No dogs or smoking, please.

The cost is $25 for adults, $20 for seniors 62-up, and $15 for students 13-17. Kids 5-12 can attend free, one per adult, pending request and approval. An additional $10 donation per person is requested by CEF and strongly encouraged by me. There is a donation box at the start of the tour where cash or checks can be deposited. CEF survives on donations to support the operations and upkeep of the garden and open space.

Please use the REGISTER HERE button at top or bottom of this page to be added to the list to be contacted when this event is re-scheduled.




March 21, 2020
9:00 am - 1:00 pm


Lanny Kaufer
View Organizer Website


Maricopa Plaza for caravan to trailhead
1207 Maricopa Hwy.
Ojai, CA 93023 United States
+ Google Map

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