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UCLA biologists lead springtime nature walk

On Saturday, March 15, UCLA La Kretz Center for California Conservation Science League members and UCLA faculty and graduate students came together to experience an unforgettable day in the beautiful Santa Monica Mountains. La Kretz League members receive invitations to annual activities and events and encouraged to meet and interact with the center’s broad group of faculty and student affiliates.Hike2

The day began with a nature hike on the Peter Strauss Ranch Trail, led by Center Director Brad Shaffer, Professor Phil Rundel, Public Outreach Coordinator Gary Bucciarelli, and graduate students from the university. The first part of the hike included amazing views of Lake Enchanto Dam, the rustic ranch house, and the green pastures of the picnic grounds. From birding, to identifying butterfly species, to spotting the best rocks to flip when salamander hunting, League members enjoyed a unique hike that showcased the biodiversity of the Santa Monica Mountains.

After everyone filled up on natural history information, it was time to fill up on food. The group left Peter Strauss Ranch to reconvene at the La Kretz Center Field Station. Everyone enjoyed a delicious BBQ, complete with tantalizing appetizers provided by the local restaurant and brewery Wolf Creek, and mouth-watering burgers grilled up by Field Station Manager, Phil Spinks. Refreshments and dessert provided by Wolf Creek helped everyone cool off and enjoy the rest of the evening with lively talk and laughter.

hike3 We’d like to thank everyone who made this event possible, and especially the League members whose donations provide funding to help protect, conserve, and preserve the precious biological resources that exist in California, with a local focus on the Santa Monica Mountains.

To become a member of the La Kretz League and be invited to similar events, click here.