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City of San Luis Obispo
Parks & Recreation Department

 

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Department Programs : Ranger Service

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   · Volunteers NeededReservoir Canyon creek
   · Ranger-Led Hikes
   · Trail Workdays
   . Jr. Ranger Activity Camps
   · Virtual Tour

   · Living with California Mountain Lions
   · Hiking Trails/Open Space Map

The Ranger Service acts as the voice of nature, speaking to the users, and uniting them to help protect the natural resources. Through enforcement, education, maintenance, and rehabilitation of the parks, creeks, and open space, Park Rangers help the public enjoy the areas but also protect it for future generations.

Protecting open space is a job for not only the Rangers. The City encourages every user to aid in the preservation of the natural surroundings while enjoying time spent in the area. Through environmental education on Ranger-Led Hikes, after school programs, and public contacts, the community becomes more aware of their effect on the natural environment and how they can help restore it’s natural beauty.

Some simple guidelines to protect the participant and make the most of the experience are:

Use sunscreen
Stay on the trail
Wear sturdy shoes
Bring plenty of water
Follow other posted guidelines
Keep dog on leash and pick up after them

Volunteers Needed

Volunteers doing trail workAnother key element for the preservation of the open space is involvement of community groups and volunteers. Volunteers donating time, hard work, and genuine interest in caring for nature are invaluable to the care and upkeep of the 3,000 acres of open space. Volunteering is not only rewarding, but there is scarcely a better way to take part in what occurs in open space than being personally involved in the process.

Volunteers have become the focal point for the Ranger Service. With only a handful of hired staff to manage the land, it is crucial to have community service events, Trail Workdays, Volunteer Trail Lookouts hiking the trails, and groups adopting a specific open space.

Wondering what a volunteer does?  Trash pickup on trail by volunteers

  • Pick up garbage

  • Help build and maintain trails

  • Help restore native vegetation along the creek corridor

  • Build bridges, catwalks, benches and much more

If any service groups, associations, organizations, clubs, students, families, individuals, or anyone else would like to take part in the preservation of the City's open space, volunteering is encouraged.  Please call the Senior Park Ranger at (805) 781-7302 for more information.

Ranger-Led Hikes

Ranger-led hikes offer a wonderful personal tour of the City's Open Space.  It is important to follow the simple guidelines for hiking, listed above.  Anyone can schedule their own hike or join one of the following scheduled Ranger-led hikes:

Sunday, October 14 - Islay Hill Open Space - directions

Sunday, November 11 - Cerro San Luis Natural Reserve - directions

Sunday, December 9 - South Hills @ Exposition - directions

Sunday, January 13 - Bishop Peak @ Patricia- directions

Sunday, February 10 - Irish Hills at Prefumo Canyon - directions

Sunday, March 16 - Bowden Ranch - directions

Sunday, April 13 - Irish Hills @ Madonna Road - directions

Sunday May 11 - Reservoir Canyon Natural Reserve - directions

Call 781-7302 for information on upcoming hikes

All hikes start at 1:00pm. Hike duration varies with group. We ask that all participants please wear study shoes and bring plenty of water to drink. 

Want to take a hike on your own?  View our hiking trail map online for more information.  A trail map of Irish Hills Open Space is available online, you need Adobe Acrobat to view.

Trail Workdays

In partnership with SLO Stewards, monthly Trail Workdays are held in the City's Open Space.  Tools will be provided, along with some water and refreshments.  The following is a list of scheduled Trail Workdays:

Saturday, October 6 - Stenner Springs - directions

Saturday, October 20 - Cerro San Luis Natural Reserve - directions

Saturday, November 3 - Irish Hills @ Prefumo Canyon - directions

Saturday, November 17 - Cerro San Luis Natural Reserve - directions

Saturday, December 1 - Reservoir Canyon Natural Reserve- directions

Saturday, December 15 - Cerro San Luis Natural Reserve - directions

Saturday, January 12 - Cerro San Luis Natural Reserve - directions

Saturday, January 26 - Bishop Peak @ Highland - directions

Saturday, February 9 - Cerro San Luis Natural Reserve - directions

Saturday, February 23 - Irish Hills Natural Reserve- directions

 

All workdays are from 9:00am-12:00pm.  Meet at the trailhead at 9:00am. Please wear long pants and sturdy shoes. Water and snacks will be provided.

Call 781-7302 for information on upcoming trail workdays.

Junior Ranger Activity Camps

The Ranger Service is offering two Environmental Education camps this summer.  Details are as follows:

"Summer Kick-Off" Jr. Ranger Activity Camp
Taught by City of SLO Park Rangers

Kick off the summer with a week long environmental education camp designed to teach children about the many facets of San Luis Obispo's natural environment.  Kids will enjoy a bit of classroom style instruction combined with outdoor hands-on learning!  Lessons pertaining to native flora and fauna, habitat conservation, environmental ethics, and resource conservation will be taught utilizing a nearby park.  At the completion of the five day session, campers will be awarded a Jr. Ranger certificate and will be inspired to continue in their outdoor education.  Must pre-register; no on-site registrations.  Last day to register is Monday, June 11.

Class #      Title          Age     Day(s)          Time(s)        Date(s)            
1070.201    Jr. Ranger  7-11    M-F              9am - 2pm   June 18 - 22

"Summer Wrap" Jr. Ranger Activity Camp
Taught by City of SLO Park Rangers

Wrap up the summer with an educational week long environmental camp hosted by the City of SLO Ranger Service.  Immersed in the environment of San Luis Obispo learning about area ecology will be an awesome way for children to spend the end of their summer vacation.  Activities and lessons will take place both in and out of doors, and will pertain to plant and animal identification, wilderness survival, environmental etiquette, and resource conservation.  At the completion of the five day session, campers will be awarded a Jr. Ranger certificate and will be inspired to continue in their outdoor education.  Must pre-register; no on-site registrations.  Last day to register is Monday, August 6.

Class #      Title          Age     Day(s)          Time(s)        Date(s)            
1070.202    Jr. Ranger  7-11    M-F              9am - 2pm   Aug 13 - 17

People wishing to participate can register online at http://www.slocity.org/parksandrecreation/registrationmain.sdi or stop by the Parks and Recreation Office at 1341 Nipomo St.

Note: Participation in any previous Jr. Ranger Camp should not discourage the young avid outdoor enthusiast from registering.  Each camp will incorporate different themes and new activities.  Campers already awarded a Jr. Ranger certificate will be given a higher honor upon completion of their second or third Jr. Ranger course.

Camp Enrollments: minimum 5, maximum 20.
Cost: $75 for 5-day camp.  Partial scholarships are available to qualified families based on financial need using a predetermined eligibility standard.

Directions to Ranger-Led Hikes and Trail Workdays:

Bishop Peak Natural Reserve:  Please meet at the Highland Drive trailhead. To reach the trailhead, take Foothill Blvd. west and make a right onto Patricia Drive. Continue north on Patricia Drive and make a left onto Highland Drive. Highland Drive will end at the Bishop Peak trailhead.

Bishop Peak Natural Reserve - Felsman Loop:  Please meet at the Patricia Drive trailhead.  To reach the trailhead, take Foothill Blvd. west and make a right turn at Patricia Drive.  Continue north on Patricia Drive and the trailhead will be on the left just past Patricia Court.

Bowden Ranch:  Please meet at the Lizzie Court trailhead.  To reach the trailhead, turn east off of Johnson Avenue onto Lizzie Street and continue up a short ways to end of street at trailhead.

Cerro San Luis Natural Reserve:  Please meet at the Cerro San Luis Natural Reserve trailhead. To access the trailhead, turn right onto Fernandez Road just before the southbound 101 Marsh Street on-ramp.

Irish Hills Natural Reserve:  Please meet at the Prefumo Canyon trailhead.  To reach the trailhead, take Los Osos Valley Road north and turn left onto Prefumo Canyon Road.  Follow this road for 1 mile and the trailhead will be on the left after a bridge crossing.

Irish Hills Natural Reserve @ Madonna Trailhead: Please meet at the Madonna trailhead. To reach the trailhead from Highway 101, take Los Osos Valley Road north towards Los Osos. Turn left on Madonna Road. Follow the street to the end and find parking on the street, then walk up the dirt road to the trailhead.

Islay Hill Open Space:  Please meet at the trailhead.  To reach the trailhead, take Broad Street south and make a left onto Tank Farm Road.  Follow this road and make a right onto Wavertree Street.  Make a left onto Spanish Oaks Drive and then a right onto Sweetbay Lane.  Trailhead is at the end of Sweetbay Lane.

Reservoir Canyon Natural Reserve:  Please meet at the Reservoir Canyon trailhead.  To reach the trailhead, take Highway 101 north.  Go past the city limits and turn right onto Reservoir Canyon Road (second road past the City limits).  Reservoir Canyon Road will end at the trailhead.

South Hills Open Space: Please meet at the South Hills trailhead off of Woodbridge Street.  To reach the trailhead take South Street east and turn right onto Exposition Drive.  Go straight and the road will turn into Woodbridge Street.  The trailhead is on the right.

Stenner Springs Properties: Head west out of San Luis Obispo on Highway 1 towards Morro Bay.  Slightly less than a mile outside of town turn right onto Stenner Creek Road.  Follow Stenner Creek Road for about 2-1/2 miles to the end.  Meet the ranger there.

Living with California Mountain Lions

The Ranger Service would like to promote education about “Living with California Mountain Lions.”  Due to the recent sightings of mountain lions in the City’s open space, it seemed appropriate to inform the public about this species of wildlife.  Some quick tips to follow if a user encounters a mountain lion:

Do Not Hike Alone

Keep Children Close To You

Do Not Run From a Lion

Do All You Can To Appear Larger

Virtual Tour

Take a virtual tour of the Bishop Peak Nature Reserve via the Felsman Loop.....a brochure detailing the area is available as a PDF file.

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