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.
  • Review our age limit policy by clicking HERE.

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.

The Moon: A Look at our Nearest Neighbor in Space

In this informative presentation, volunteer astronomer, Spencer Murray, will answer questions you may have about the Moon. What is is the origin of the Moon? What causes the Moon's phases? Why don't lunar eclipses occur every month? What is the Moon's effect on our tides? Why did we send men to the Moon and what have we learned? Is there really a man in the Moon? Plus many more.

After the presentation, our telescopes will be trained on the Moon plus additional objects visible in our night sky.

(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, July 8.

When: July 9, 2016, 8:30 pm – 10:30 pm
Where: The Richard and Donna O'Neill Conservancy
Information: Available Spaces: 0
  • Adult : $10.00
  • Child: $5.00
  • Supporter: Free
Wait List

Music in the Wildlands

What music can be heard while out in nature? Join us as we listen to singing of the birds and humming of the insects.  Learn about how Native Americans used local plants like elderberry, known as the "tree of music", to create musical instruments.  Create your own take home musical instrument.

Interpretation Level: High
Difficulty Level: Low
Ages: 6 and up

Please note: participants must be registered or on the wait list by 4:00 pm on Friday, July 8.

When: July 9, 2016, 8:00 am – 10:00 am
Where: The Richard and Donna O'Neill Conservancy
Information: Available Spaces: 16 (out of 25)
  • Adult: $10.00
  • Child: $5.00
  • Supporter: Free
  • RMV Resident: Free
RSVP

Lecture: Habitat Restoration

Habitat Restoration is still a new science with much to offer and the Rancho Mission Viejo Habitat Reserve is a place where the principles of this new science are being applied across a variety of habitats.  Much of this restoration benefits the many special animals that occur within the Habitat Reserve including the California gnatcatcher.  Least Bell’s vireo has benefitted significantly by past restoration efforts which have created substantial areas of willow forest that is now occupied by this species.  Rare plants are also the subject of restoration efforts within the Habitat Reserve.

Ages: 8 and up

Participants must be registered or on the wait list by 2:00 pm, July 13.

When: July 13, 2016, 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm
Where: RMV Presentation Center
Information: Available Spaces: 24 (out of 30)

Restoration on the Reserve Walk

Join Botanist Tony Bomkamp and Executive Director Laura Coley Eisenberg for a stroll along the San Juan Creek to see examples of restored habitats on the Reserve. See if you can tell the difference between what nature made and what man made as we look at willow riparian, oak woodland and coastal sage scrub habitats. Listen carefully and you just might hear an endangered species such as Least Bell’s vireo and California gnatcatcher.

Participants will meet at the Guest House in Rancho Mission Viejo and walk to the restoration sites.

Interpretation Level: High
Difficulty Level: Moderate
Ages: 12 and up

Please note: participants must be registered by 4:00 pm on July 15.

When: July 16, 2016, 8:00 am – 10:00 am
Where: Guest House in Rancho Mission Viejo
Information: Available Spaces: 23 (out of 25)
  • Adult: $10.00
  • Child: $5.00
  • Supporter: Free
  • RMV Resident: Free
RSVP

July Bat Walk

Bats are one of the many mysteries of nature.  What kinds of bats live in Orange County? Take an evening walk with bat biologist Stephanie Remington to find out! Ms. Remington has surveyed Orange County bats in habitats ranging from suburban neighborhoods to the local wildlands. You will experience "bat detectors" which convert ultrasonic bat sounds to frequencies audible to humans, as you learn more about the natural history of local bats.

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

Please note: participants must be registered or on the wait list by 4:00 pm on Friday, July 22.

When: July 23, 2016, 7:15 pm – 9:15 pm
Where: The Richard and Donna O'Neill Conservancy
Information: Available Spaces: 16 (out of 20)
  • Adult: $15.00
  • Child: $15.00
  • Supporter: $10.00
RSVP

Call of the Wild Night Hike

Hoots, howls and other cries in the night are what we'll be listening for on this nighttime adventure on The Reserve.  Enjoy a night hike, as we learn about nocturnal animals and listen for the calls of the wild.

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 Thursday, July 28.

When: July 29, 2016, 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Where: The Richard and Donna O'Neill Conservancy
Information: Available Spaces: 0
  • Adult: $10.00
  • Child: $5.00
  • Supporter: Free
Wait List

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, August 5.

When: August 6, 2016, 8:30 pm – 10:30 pm
Where: The Richard and Donna O'Neill Conservancy
Information: Available Spaces: 19 (out of 25)
  • Adult : $10.00
  • Child: $5.00
  • Supporter: Free
RSVP

Lecture: Tarantulas and Other Many-Legged Critters of the Night

Did you know that in the evenings, male tarantulas wander around in search of food and females? They only live for about 1 year. Female tarantulas dig deep burrows in the ground and remain there, waiting for crickets and other insects to walk by and become dinner. They live for 20 years! Their relatives, the trap-door spiders, live in burrows in the ground. Some species build a hinged door over their burrow, and spring up when an insect walks across it. Black widow spiders mostly come out at night. When an insect gets stuck in its web, the spider rolls it up in silk, waits for it to quiet down, then bites and injects its venom. Soon after, the spider feeds on its dinner.

Aren’t you glad that you are too big to become dinner for a spider?!

Join us with guest speaker, Bob Allen, for an evening of photographs, stories, and specimens of tarantulas, other spiders, and night-time insects of Orange County.

Ages: 8 and up

Participants must be registered or on the wait list by 2:00 pm, August 10..

When: August 10, 2016, 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm
Where: RMV Presentation Center
Information: Available Spaces: 21 (out of 30)

Tarantulas and Other Many-Legged Critters of the Night Walk

Join guest leader, Bob Allen, to get up close and personal with tarantulas and other arthropods! We'll be on the lookout for male tarantulas making their annual late summer search for females.  We will also look for trap-door spiders and other critters of the evening.

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

Please note: participants must be registered or on the wait list by 4:00 pm on Friday, August 12.

When: August 13, 2016, 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm
Where: The Richard and Donna O'Neill Conservancy
Information: Available Spaces: 18 (out of 25)
  • Adult : $10.00
  • Child : $5.00
  • Supporter: Free
  • RMV Resident: Free
RSVP