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.

Trail Mixer - Get To Know The Nature Reserve

Join us for an evening learning about The Nature Reserve at Rancho Mission Viejo! Find out how you can explore the lands and the trails that make up The Nature Reserve. Hear about The Nature Reserve’s role in local habitat conservation and how you can have a part in this effort.

  • Get local wildlife and trail information
  • Meet staff and volunteers
  • Enjoy drinks and snacks
  • Ask all your Nature Reserve questions

Presentation from 7:15 pm – 7:45 pm. Stop by for short time or stay for the entire program. Staff are available for questions before and after the presentation. All ages welcome (presentation recommended for ages 10 and up)

When: February 28, 2024, 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm
Where: Ranch Camp, Rienda
Information: Available Spaces: 13 (out of 25)
  • Adult: Free
  • Child: 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 Nature Reserve Volunteer. Learn about The Nature 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 Nature Reserve lands through conservation and education.

 Ages: Adult, 18 and up

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

When: March 9, 2024, 9:00 am – 10:30 am
Where: Ranch House in Rancho Mission Viejo
Information: Available Spaces: 11 (out of 25)
  • Volunteer: Free
RSVP

Wildflower Happy Hour

Discover California native wildflowers with botanist and author, Bob Allen. Bob will discuss common wildflowers blooming on the Nature Reserve and some of the butterflies that depend on them. Admission includes light bites, one drink ticket (beer, wine, or wildflower themed cocktail), and non-alcoholic beverages. Additional beverages available for sale.

When: March 14, 2024, 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm
Where: Canyon House
Information: Available Spaces: 48 (out of 55)
  • Adult (21 and older): $20.00
RSVP

Lunch with Laura and Leeta

Do you have questions about The Nature Reserve? Bring your own sack lunch and share a meal and conversation with Laura Coley Eisenberg and Leeta Latham from The Nature Reserve. Laura is Executive Director of Rancho Mission Viejo Land Trust and oversees the scientific management and monitoring of the habitat reserve. Leeta is Executive Director of The Reserve Connection which provides community access to the habitat reserve through events and programs.

This is an opportunity to ask questions about the habitat reserve - its history, importance, and place in local conservation efforts. You can also ask questions and get information about how you can get involved in The Nature Reserve through hikes, walks, and volunteerism.

Ages: All (recommended 8 and up)

When: March 14, 2024, 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm
Where: Ranch Camp, Rienda
Information: Available Spaces: 15
  • Adult: Free
  • Child (8 - 17): Free
RSVP

Astronomy Night

Enjoy an evening outdoors, as you gaze into the night sky, learn the constellations, and peer through the telescopes of our guest astronomers. The Nature Reserve astronomers are all volunteers who enthusiastically share their telescopes and expert sky knowledge with you. (What to bring: warm clothing, flashlight with red cellophane/lens to reduce light pollution, binoculars, optional beach chair.)

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

 

When: March 16, 2024, 8:00 pm – 10:00 pm
Where: The Richard and Donna O'Neill Conservancy
Information: Available Spaces: 0
  • Adult: $10.00
  • Child (8-17): $5.00
  • Supporter: Free
Wait List

Blooms and Butterflies Walk

Come explore the blooms and butterflies of the Nature Reserve. Join wildflower and butterfly expert Bob Allen on a beautiful spring walk. How many species will we find during our walk through the ever-changing palette of habitats and wildflowers? Learn how to recognize our common wildflowers and the butterflies who love them.

Interpretation Level: Medium
Difficulty Level: Easy-moderate
Ages: 10 and up

Please note: participants must be registered or on the wait list by 4:00 pm on Friday, March 15.

When: March 16, 2024, 9:30 am – 12:00 pm
Where: The Richard and Donna O'Neill Conservancy
Information: Available Spaces: 17 (out of 25)
  • Adult: $15.00
  • Child: $5.00
  • Supporter: Free
RSVP

Leprechaun Hunt

Bring the “wee-ones” out for a morning in pursuit of the mischievous Irish fairy - the Leprechaun. Learn about the Irish history of Rancho Mission Viejo, play games, make and take a St. Patrick's day themed craft, and go on a search for a leprechaun.

Interpretation Level: High
Difficulty Level: Easy
Ages: All. Activities geared for ages 5 - 8.

Please note: registration closes at 4:00 pm on Friday, March 15.

When: March 17, 2024, 10:00 am – 11:30 am
Where: The Nature Reserve at Rancho Mission Viejo Headquarters
Information: Available Spaces: 14 (out of 25)
  • Adult Admission: $10.00
  • Child Admission: $10.00
  • Supporter - Adult: $5.00
  • Supporter - Child: $5.00
RSVP

Sunset, Moonrise Hike

Experience life out on The Nature Reserve during that magical time of the evening where shadows become long and the sky fades from fiery orange to a soft blue. Be on the lookout for wildlife as the day comes to end and the evening just begins.

Interpretation Level: Medium
Difficulty Level: Moderate
Trail Length: 2 miles (1 mile each way)
Ages: 8 and up

When: March 25, 2024, 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Where: The Richard and Donna O'Neill Conservancy
Information: Available Spaces: 23 (out of 25)
  • Adult: $10.00
  • Child (8 - 17): $5.00
  • Supporter: Free
RSVP

Trail Mixer - Get To Know The Nature Reserve

Join us for an evening learning about The Nature Reserve at Rancho Mission Viejo! Find out how you can explore the lands and the trails that make up The Nature Reserve. Hear about The Nature Reserve’s role in local habitat conservation and how you can have a part in this effort.

  • Get local wildlife and trail information
  • Meet staff and volunteers
  • Enjoy drinks and snacks
  • Ask all your Nature Reserve questions

Presentation from 7:15 pm – 7:45 pm. Stop by for short time or stay for the entire program. Staff are available for questions before and after the presentation. All ages welcome (presentation recommended for ages 10 and up)

When: April 7, 2024, 9:00 am – 10:00 am
Where: Ranch Camp, Rienda
Information: Available Spaces: 25
  • Adult: Free
  • Child: 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 Nature Reserve Volunteer. Learn about The Nature 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 Nature Reserve lands through conservation and education.

 Ages: Adult, 18 and up

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

When: April 10, 2024, 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm
Where: Ranch House in Rancho Mission Viejo
Information: Available Spaces: 24 (out of 25)
  • Volunteer: Free
RSVP

Earth Day Stewardship Day

Volunteer to spend a few hours in beautiful surroundings helping The Nature Reserve. Join the crew dedicated to protecting our native ecosystems by restoring habitat and eliminating weeds. Volunteer efforts make an impact! (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, April 19.

When: April 20, 2024, 8:00 am – 11:00 am
Where: The Richard and Donna O'Neill Conservancy
Information: Available Spaces: 20
  • Volunteer: Free
RSVP

Astronomy Night

Enjoy an evening outdoors, as you gaze into the night sky, learn the constellations, and peer through the telescopes of our guest astronomers. The Nature Reserve astronomers are all volunteers who enthusiastically share their telescopes and expert sky knowledge with you. (What to bring: warm clothing, flashlight with red cellophane/lens to reduce light pollution, binoculars, optional beach chair.)

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

 

When: April 20, 2024, 8:30 pm – 10:30 pm
Where: The Richard and Donna O'Neill Conservancy
Information: Available Spaces: 22
  • Adult: $10.00
  • Child (8-17): $5.00
  • Supporter: Free
RSVP

Earth Day Stewardship Day

Enjoy a morning of service with The Nature Reserve staff and fellow volunteers as we beautify the grounds of our headquarters' teaching areas and gardens. Volunteer efforts make an impact! (BRING: Work gloves if you have them).

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

Please note: participants must be registered by 4:00 pm on Friday, April 19.

When: April 20, 2024, 8:00 am – 11:00 am
Where: The Nature Reserve at Rancho Mission Viejo Headquarters
Information: Available Spaces: 20 (out of 21)
  • Volunteers: Free
RSVP

Presentation: From Rancho to Reserve-The History of The Nature Reserve at Rancho Mission Viejo

Come hear how what was once known as "California's Greatest Rancho" became a habitat reserve dedicated to the conservation of native species. Learn the colorful history of Rancho Mission Viejo and the handshake that started it all. This event includes small bites and one drink ticket for your choice of our signature cocktail, beer, or wine. Additional beverages available for purchase.

Ages: 21 and up

 

When: April 25, 2024, 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm
Where: Canyon House
Information: Available Spaces: 55
  • Adult (21 and older): $20.00
RSVP

Twilight in the Trees Sunset Hike

Celebrate Arbor Day with a twilight hike through the oaks and sycamores of The Nature Reserve. Trees provide essential habitat for wildlife. They produce oxygen for the air we breathe. They give us shade and a place for kids to play.  Experience sunset among trees, enjoy their beauty and learn more about their significance.

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

Please note: participants must be registered or on the wait list by 12:00pm on Friday, April 26.

When: April 26, 2024, 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm
Where: The Richard and Donna O'Neill Conservancy
Information: Available Spaces: 25
  • Adult: $10.00
  • Child (8 - 17): $5.00
RSVP

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