Calendar

Programs are open to the general public, groups, & Reserve supporters.

All events specify a minimum age for participation.

  • Eight (8) is the minimum age for most Reserve events.
  • Some events require participants to be ages 12 & up.
  • FAMILY events welcome children aged 6 & up.
  • Refer to specific event listing for details.
  • Be sure to review our age limit policy.

Pre-registration required for all programs.

  • Contact us for large groups or to arrange a special group outing.
  • Your registration enables us to contact you about program changes or cancellations. Please see our policy on Cancellations and Refunds.
  • All visitors to The Reserve must present a signed release waiver upon entry to the property. Families may submit a single form, as long as all entrants are identified on the form. Waivers are also available at the event.

Monday Trail Clearing and Weeding

Join us at the Reserve Headquarters to remove non-native weeds and clear away brush.  We'll also be building trails and restoring teaching areas to be used for school and community education programs.

Interpretation Level: Low
Difficulty Level: Moderate
Ages: 10 and up

Please note: participants must be registered by 4:00 pm on Sunday, December 4.

When: December 5, 2016, 7:30 am – 9:30 am
Where: The Reserve at Rancho Mission Viejo Headquarters
Information: Available Spaces: Unlimited
  • Volunteers: Free
RSVP

Saturday Trail Clearing and Weeding

Volunteer to spend a few hours in beautiful surroundings helping make The Reserve trails accessible to our visitors. Join the crew dedicated to protecting our native ecosystems by maintaining trails and eliminating weeds. Volunteer efforts make an impact! Drinks and snacks provided. (BRING: Work gloves if you have them).

Interpretation Level: Low
Difficulty Level: Moderate
Ages: 10 and up

Please note: participants must be registered by 4:00 pm on Friday, December 8.

When: December 10, 2016, 8:00 am – 11:30 am
Where: The Richard and Donna O'Neill Conservancy
Information: Available Spaces: Unlimited
  • Volunteers: Free
RSVP

Mistletoe and Winter Plant Walk

Join us for a Saturday morning walk. We will be on the lookout for mistletoe and seasonal fruit such as the "holly berry," beloved by birds. We will be walking on the Shady Canyon trail and learning about some of the native plants and animals of The Reserve. It will be a great morning to savor the smells, sights, sounds and breathtaking beauty of December in the wildlands. You will have the opportunity to decorate and take home your own mistletoe!

Interpretation Level: Moderate
Difficulty Level: Moderate
Ages: 8 and up

Please note: participants must be registered or on the wait list by 4:00 pm on Friday, December 9.

When: December 10, 2016, 9:00 am – 11:00 am
Where: The Richard and Donna O'Neill Conservancy
Information: Available Spaces: 9 (out of 25)
  • Adult: $10.00
  • Child: $5.00
  • Supporter: Free
RSVP

Holiday Nature Crafting

Enjoy a cool, winter morning creating treasured keepsakes and personalized gifts made from natural and recycled materials.

Ages:  All

When: December 11, 2016, 9:00 am – 11:00 am
Where: The Reserve at Rancho Mission Viejo Headquarters
Information: Available Spaces: 18 (out of 30)
  • General: $5.00
RSVP

Start the Year Off Right Hike

Start the new year with a winter morning nature hike. As you traverse trails with a naturalist as your guide, you can observe shades of winter color while listening for native bird calls. Come enjoy the company of fellow hiking enthusiasts, take in the fragrant aroma of dampened sage and breathe in cool winter air.

Interpretation Level: Minimal
Difficulty Level: Moderate
Ages: 10 and up

Please note: participants must be registered or on the wait list by 4:00 pm on Friday, January 6.

When: January 7, 2017, 7:30 am – 10:00 am
Where: The Richard and Donna O'Neill Conservancy
Information: Available Spaces: 21 (out of 25)
  • Adult: $10.00
  • Child: $5.00
  • Supporter: Free
RSVP

Volunteer Orientation and Training

Please join us for Volunteer Orientation and Training!

This fun and informational orientation is the first step in joining us as an official Reserve Volunteer. Learn about The Reserve's history, philosophy and mission, as well as skills for working with the public. Meet other volunteers and learn how you can help preserve Reserve lands through conservation and education.

CERTIFIED RESERVE VOLUNTEER PROGRAM:
This training is the first step in becoming a Certified Reserve Volunteer.  Certified Reserve Volunteers are specially trained volunteers that lead and co-lead Reserve programs.

 Ages: Adult, 18 and older

Thank you for expressing interest in volunteering for The Reserve at Rancho Mission Viejo.

When: January 11, 2017, 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Where: The Reserve at Rancho Mission Viejo Headquarters
Information: Available Spaces: 5 (out of 10)
  • Volunteer: Free
RSVP

Saturday Trail Clearing and Weeding

Volunteer to spend a few hours in beautiful surroundings helping make The Reserve trails accessible to our visitors. Join the crew dedicated to protecting our native ecosystems by maintaining trails and eliminating weeds. Volunteer efforts make an impact! Drinks and snacks provided. (BRING: Work gloves if you have them).

Interpretation Level: Low
Difficulty Level: Moderate
Ages: 10 and up

Participants must be registered by 4:00pm on January 13.

When: January 14, 2017, 8:00 am – 11:30 am
Where: Ladera Open Space - East
Information: Available Spaces: Unlimited
  • Volunteers: Free
RSVP

Lecture: Fun with Fungi

Explore the fascinating world of wild mushrooms with amateur mycologist Joanne Schwartz. We will learn about finding and identifying fungi in Southern California and beyond, as well as about their place in nature. We will also hear some tales of Fungal Folklore. Joanne will bring her collection of mushroom hunting gear and ID resources and mushrooms too, if they are fruiting locally.

Can you touch them or taste them? Does picking them hurt the fungus? How large is a fungus and where do they grow? What happens to the fungus when we do not see mushrooms fruiting? Are there carnivorous fungi? What roles do they play in our environment (in association with trees, roses, orchids, voles, deer and more) and in human culture? Why are only a few species available as food in stores?

For more information on Joanne please click HERE.

Ages: 8 and up

Participants must be registered or on the wait list by 4:00 pm, January 16th.

When: January 17, 2017, 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm
Where: Guest House in Rancho Mission Viejo
Information: Available Spaces: 23 (out of 30)

Fun Finding Fungi Mushroom Walk

What are Mushrooms and Why Do We Care?

Why do they grow with Oaks?

Can I Touch Them? Can I Pick Them? Can I Eat Them?

How to Find, Photograph, and Identify Fungi.

Explore the fascinating world of wild mushrooms with amateur mycologist Joanne Schwartz. If we are fortunate and get rain, we might find a wide range of fungal forms and species.
Bring your camera and a small tripod, if you want.

Interpretation Level: High
Difficulty Level: Easy
Ages: 8 and up

Please note: participants must be registered or on the wait list by 4:00 pm on Friday, January 20.

When: January 21, 2017, 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
Where: The Richard and Donna O'Neill Conservancy
Information: Available Spaces: 20 (out of 25)
  • Adult: $10.00
  • Child: $5.00
  • Supporter: Free
RSVP

Astronomy Night

Orange County Stars

Visitors traveling to sparsely populated areas are usually delighted to discover how many more stars are visible than at home. If you’ve not yet caught a glimpse of the Milky Way, come out to The Reserve for Astronomy Night where you can still view many more celestial phenomena than elsewhere in urbanized Orange County!

Enjoy an evening outdoors, as you gaze into the heavens, learn the constellations, and peer through the telescopes of our volunteer astronomers.  Reserve astronomers are all volunteers who enthusiastically share their telescopes and expert sky knowledge with you. (BRING: Warm clothing, Red cellophaned flashlight, binoculars, optional beach chair.)

Interpretation Level: High
Difficulty Level: Easy
Ages: 8 and up

Please note: participants must be registered or on the wait list by 4:00 pm on Friday, January 27th.

When: January 28, 2017, 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Where: The Richard and Donna O'Neill Conservancy
Information: Available Spaces: 0
  • Adult: $10.00
  • Child: $5.00
  • Supporter: Free
Wait List

Fun Finding Fungi Mushroom Walk

What are Mushrooms and Why Do We Care?

Why do they grow with Oaks?

Can I Touch Them? Can I Pick Them? Can I Eat Them?

How to Find, Photograph, and Identify Fungi.

Explore the fascinating world of wild mushrooms with amateur mycologist Joanne Schwartz. If we are fortunate and get rain, we might find a wide range of fungal forms and species.
Bring your camera if you want.

Interpretation Level: High
Difficulty Level: Easy
Ages: 8 and up

Please note: participants must be registered or on the wait list by 4:00 pm on Friday, February 17th.

When: February 18, 2017, 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
Where: The Richard and Donna O'Neill Conservancy
Information: Available Spaces: 20
  • Adult: $10.00
  • Child: $5.00
  • Supporter: Free
RSVP

Astronomy Night

Orange County Stars

Visitors traveling to sparsely populated areas are usually delighted to discover how many more stars are visible than at home. If you’ve not yet caught a glimpse of the Milky Way, come out to The Reserve for Astronomy Night where you can still view many more celestial phenomena than elsewhere in urbanized Orange County!

Enjoy an evening outdoors, as you gaze into the heavens, learn the constellations, and peer through the telescopes of our volunteer astronomers.  Reserve astronomers are all volunteers who enthusiastically share their telescopes and expert sky knowledge with you. (BRING: Warm clothing, Red cellophaned flashlight, binoculars, optional beach chair.)

Interpretation Level: High
Difficulty Level: Easy
Ages: 8 and up

Please note: participants must be registered or on the wait list by 4:00 pm on Friday, February 24th.

When: February 25, 2017, 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm
Where: The Richard and Donna O'Neill Conservancy
Information: Available Spaces: 23 (out of 25)
  • Adult: $10.00
  • Child: $5.00
  • Supporter: Free
RSVP

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