Newsletter & Events
Our Communications Committee members keeps their ears to the ground to make sure we have the best park-related events on our newsletter. For the most recent events, please open the most recent newsletter below.
If you have newsletter related questions, would like to add your event, or you are interested in joining our committee please reach out to the Communications Committee Chair, Everette Phillips at firstname.lastname@example.org.
JUNE 2019 - Summer is here!
The sun is shining, the wind is breezing, and the clouds are drifting. A sunny California summer has dawned upon us once again, well-greeted by vacationers. But with the better weather has come some unwanted visitors who just don't know when they've outstayed they're welcome -- invasive, non-native weeds are once again tainting the paint of the SoCal landscape. Some time ago, for example, we saw the bright yellow of black mustard explode across hillsides. Most recently? The hushing lavender of jacaranda trees are spurring aphid-backed sticky messes.
These eye candy plants are often polarizing, as critics note their origin and intrusive behavior while many remark about the visual beauty they bestow. However true, we want to make sure our parks provide thriving habitats for our native species. With Orange Coast River Park, you can uproot the plants that jeopardize this! The Pampas Grass Removal Project and the Invasive Species Action Week are just two programs offered in our parks in which you can help keep our lands pristine. So whip out those gardening gloves and go restoring!
MAY 2019 - April fleurs bring May scours...
From pollen allergies, that is -- all of these anemophilous plants are bringing some nasty sneezes and wheezes! Thankfully, many areas of our Orange Coast River Parks are sanctuaries for entomophilous (not wind-distributed, but pollinator-carried) plants. On them, you'll probably find the largest group of pollinators: beetles!
In fact, we've recently seen a sizable uptick in the amount of Ladybird beetles (or "ladybugs"). Which is great! Not only do these red-black beauties pollinate our flowers and vegetables, they also feed on the pests that infest gardens: aphids (ladybugs can eat 50 or more aphids in a day), mites, mealybugs, and scale insects, just to name a few.
Ladybugs also present the perfect opportunity for citizen science and exploring, right at our parks! Using this guide for reference, get outside and observe the patterns on their elytra to see what species you find. Hopefully you don't find the invasive asian lady beetle, but keep your eyes peeled (and cameras ready) for the endangered nine-spotted ladybugs!
APRIL 2019 - April fleurs!
It turns out the rains we warned you about for the past two months weren't all bad --they helped bring to us the vibrant "super bloom" that's vivified our native wildflower patches! This mass bloom has, in turn, complemented a mass boom of painted lady butterflies (Vanessa cardui), millions of which are now migrating across the California landscape!
So grab your cameras (and don your face masks if you have pollen allergies!) and head down to an Orange Coast park near you! No, we might not have too many poppies or tansies, but we do have plenty of other beautiful blossoming natives, and some dazzling pollinators to really bring the colors to life. Wherever it is you end up going, just make sure not to trample anything!
MARCH 2019 - Beware the slides of March!
No, seriously -- the recent storms have spurred on a number of rockslides and mud flow incidents, posing a significant threat to residents (human or otherwise!) living near hilly areas. Because of the recent erosion surrounding the bluff trails, and the forecast for more storms to come, we've closed the bluff trail between Pacific Avenue and the stairs leading up to Talbert Park.
If you were planning on getting active and going mad for March, fear not! There will be plenty of other outdoor interactive events and volunteer opportunities around town this month, and the bird walk at San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary next Sunday will take place as usual. If you've got the heart and might, we'd love your help removing invasive pampas grass at Talbert Regional Park!
FEBRUARY 2019 - Happy February!
Take your Valentine on a romantic walk within Orange Coast River Park
With the recent downpour to reel in the New Year, your showy island snapdragons (Gambelia speciosa) might be even more overgrown this February than any other February -- so get out your pruners! These hummingbird-attracting native flowers might be the perfect gift for your loved one this Valentine's.
This month, we also have World Wetlands Day to celebrate. Take a trip down to Fairview Park and enjoy a nature walk amongst other native plants, as well as the biologists that maintain them. No, you probably won't see lovebirds and white doves, but if you're lucky, you just might catch a glimpse of a Fairview Red Tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis) as it soars over, foraging for voles and mice. Keep our bird checklist with you to see what else you can find!
JANUARY 2019 - Happy New Year!
Ring in the new year with tons of new events from Costa Mesa and Fairview Park
We're very lucky to not have to deal with an icy winter like in the picture above, because that means we can enjoy Costa Mesa's wonderful events held at Fairview Park in the upcoming months. These include a tour of the vernal pools, a world wetlands tour, and World Wildlife Day. Read more about the featured events below under "Special Events".
If you can't make these dates, feel free to stop by Fairview Park and enjoy the vernal pools and wetlands on your own time. Did you know that vernal pools are fairly rare in Southern California? This is because of the specific geological conditions required to form these pools and due to intensive human development of coastal areas. Seize the opportunity to see these special vernal pools and where these wildlife and plants in these waters, such as fairy shrimp, vernal barley, and Douglas' silver puffs, live. Learn more about Fairview Park's vernal pools in this PDF download here.
DECEMBER 2018 - Happy Holidays!
OCRP wishes you all a festive and happy holiday season.
December is a great month to take some extra time to spend with your loved ones. Because of the cooler weather, it is the perfect time of year to play some active outdoor games and sports. There are water fountains in North Talbert, but we recommend bringing some hot cocoa too! Here are some of our favorite games:
Games that need very little (or no) equipment:
Tag (no equipment)
Red light, green light (no equipment)
Freeze tag (no equipment)
Limbo (use someone's jacket as the bar)
Twister (twister mat, easily foldable)
Jump rope - or if you're skilled, Double Dutch! (1 or 2 ropes)
Frisbee or ultimate frisbee (frisbee)
Games that need some equipment:
Potato sack race
Some people aren't as fortunate as others. If you're looking to give back this year and get into the holiday spirit with your community, we invite you to walk/run with use at Santa Clause for a Cause, which is being held at Huntington Beach State Park. Donations raised from the event will be used to buy gifts for those who cannot afford them.