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.

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, June 3.

When: June 4, 2016, 8:45 pm – 10:45 pm
Where: The Richard and Donna O'Neill Conservancy
Information: Available Spaces: 13 (out of 25)
  • Adult : $10.00
  • Child: $5.00
  • Supporter: Free
RSVP

Monday Trail Clearing and Weeding

Join Reserve staff for a Monday morning maintaining our trails!

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

Please note: participants must be registered by 4:00 pm on June 5.

When: June 6, 2016, 7:30 am – 9:30 am
Where: The Richard and Donna O'Neill Conservancy
Information: Available Spaces: Unlimited
  • Volunteers: Free
RSVP

Saturday Trail Work

Volunteer to spend a few hours in beautiful surroundings helping protect our native ecosystems by maintaining trails. Volunteer efforts make an impact! Drinks and snacks provided. (BRING: Work gloves if you have them).

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

Please note: participants must be registered by 4:00 pm on June 10.

When: June 11, 2016, 8:00 am – 11:30 am
Where: Ladera Open Space - East
Information: Available Spaces: Unlimited
  • Volunteers: Free
RSVP

Lecture: What's Killing our Trees?!

Millions of California’s trees are dying, having effects on our regional and local envirnoment. Join The Reserve as we team up with biologist Lauren Singleton to gain a better understanding of pests like the Golden Spotted Oak Borer Beetle (GSOB) and Polyphagous Shot Hole Borer (PSHB); and their effects on California oak populations. The Reserve's Executive Director, Laura Coley Eisenberg, will also give insight into The Reserve’s efforts to save our oak trees from GSOB, PSHB, and other harmful pests.  Learn simple measures that you can take to help protect and preserve our majestic trees.

Ages: 8 and up

Participants must be registered or on the wait list by 2:00 pm, June 15.

When: June 15, 2016, 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm
Where: RMV Presentation Center
Information: Available Spaces: 27 (out of 30)

June 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 Saturday, June 17.

When: June 18, 2016, 7:15 pm – 9:15 pm
Where: The Richard and Donna O'Neill Conservancy
Information: Available Spaces: 11 (out of 20)
  • Adult : $15.00
  • Child: $15.00
  • Supporter: $10.00
RSVP

Volunteer Orientation and Basic 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: June 18, 2016, 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
Where: RMV Presentation Center
Information: Available Spaces: 19 (out of 25)
  • Volunteer: Free
RSVP

Getting Ready for Summer Family Event

Discover how to make the most of your summertime as we share our favorite trail side games, crafts and activities. Bake a sweet, summer treat in your own solar oven and swap your family’s favorite campfire recipe. Explore the beauty of summer on a nature walk through oak woodlands as we get ready for summer!

Interpretation Level: Medium
Difficulty Level: Easy
Ages: 6 and up

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

When: June 18, 2016, 9:00 am – 11:30 am
Where: The Richard and Donna O'Neill Conservancy
Information: Available Spaces: 21 (out of 25)
  • Adult Admission: $10.00
  • Child Admission: $5.00
  • Supporter: Free
RSVP

Father's Day Hike

Take Father’s Day out on the trail this year with a two mile hike through oak woodlands and sage scrub. Make some memories by spending time together in nature.

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

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

When: June 19, 2016, 9:00 am – 11:00 am
Where: The Richard and Donna O'Neill Conservancy
Information: Available Spaces: 25
  • Adult: $10.00
  • Child: $5.00
  • Supporter: Free
  • RMV Resident: Free
RSVP

Bird Safari

Would you like to learn to identify some of our local feathered friends? Are you ready to start your “life list?” Enjoy a spring morning with docent and bird expert Gary Meredith while quietly combing The Reserve for our resident and migrant birds.

This is a birding 101 event and will partially take place alongside a private road over looking oak groves , grasslands and more.  Participants will initially drive on the road from site to site to look and listen for a variety of birds and later take a stroll to view other birds on our trails.

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

Please note: participants must be registered or on the wait list by 4:00 pm on Friday, June 24, 2016 .

When: June 25, 2016, 8:00 am – 11:00 am
Where: The Richard and Donna O'Neill Conservancy
Information: Available Spaces: 10 (out of 15)
  • Adult: $10.00
  • Child: $5.00
  • Supporter: Free
  • RMV Resident: Free
RSVP

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: 22 (out of 25)
  • Adult : $10.00
  • Child: $5.00
  • Supporter: Free
RSVP

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: 23 (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: 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: 24 (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: 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 nighttime adventure, 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: 13 (out of 25)
  • Adult: $10.00
  • Child: $5.00
  • Supporter: Free
RSVP