Category Archives: Recreation and Outdoors

Audubon events

June 17:   8:30 am   Pine Mountain -Tevin Schmitt 661-904-1563 –  If you have never birded Pine Mountain now is time!  To carpool from Ventura meet at 7:15 a.m. at the Casitas Vista exit under the bridge. If you wish, you may meet the group at Pine Mountain Inn at 8:30 a.m  If for some reason weather makes Pine Mountain impassable, we will bird Wheeler Gorge as an alternate.

June 12 :   8:30 am   Emma Woods -Linda Easter  482-7537 – We will begin at the entrance to Emma Wood State Beach, searching the scrub for sparrows and warblers. The estuary is always an exciting place to bird There will be a fair amount of walking, so please dress appropriately in layers and comfortable shoes.

June 20 :  8:30 am   Ojai Meadows- Adele Fergusson   415-4304 –  This beautiful preserve is a birding hotspot and includes a restored wetland and native plantings. Target birds will include: Western Bluebirds, Sora, Belted Kingfisher,  Western Meadowlark, Merlin, Cedar Waxwing, Lark Sparrow, Lincoln’s Sparrow and White-crowned Sparrows.

June 26 :  8:30 am  Wheeler Canyon -Gary Tuttle   525-2327  – This canyon provides good birding opportunities. We will be looking for raptors, ground doves, Western Bluebirds and maybe a Hairy Woodpecker.

 July 11 :   8:30 am  Canada Larga -Adele Fergusson   415-4304- Meet near the beginning of the road off Hwy 33. We will carpool from that location as we walk and drive this long county road.

July 17  :  8:30 am  Carpinteria Salt Marsh -Linda Easter  482-7537- To car pool meet behind Carrows (on Harbor) at 8:00.  Take HWY 101 North to Carpinteria, exit Casitas Pass Rd., rt. on Carpinteria Ave. left on Linden & rt. on Sandylane Rd. to Ash. Park along Ash.


Olivas Links & Buenaventura Golf Courses celebrate Fourth Annual Player Development Month

Golf and beautiful scenery all in one.

Olivas Links, Buenaventura Golf Course, and KemperSports announced today that they will host their fourth annual Player Development Month during the month of June. The month-long celebration of golf is built to introduce and re-introduce golfers as they share their passion for the sport. To commemorate the month-long celebration, Olivas Links will offer free 15-minute lessons from staff instructors to all new golfers. In addition to the free lessons, both Olivas Links & Buenaventura Golf Course will offer a complimentary junior green fee with a paid adult green fee any day after 2pm throughout the month of June.

“As avid golfers ourselves, we are passionate about the game of golf,” said general manager Carl-Van Vallier. Player Development Month gives us the opportunity to share our love of the game and hopefully introduce the game to a generation of non-golfers.”

Olivas Links & Buenaventura Golf Course take personal pride in their mission to help grow the game and share their love of the sport with new and former golfers. Guests at Olivas Links & Buenaventura Golf Course are encouraged to use the hashtag #PDMonth to show their support of the program and their love of the game of golf.

Ventura Corporate Games

Employees competed in friendly competition in the Corporate Games. Photo by Cathy O’Brien

From March 25 to May 6, 79 businesses and over 10,000 employees throughout Ventura County, competed in 26 different sporting events, as part of a friendly competition the Corporate Games.

Employees were able to choose from a diverse array of activities including a 5K run, soccer, miniature golf, Texas Hold’em and bowling.

Participants gave countless hours of their time to projects and programs such as: The Ventura Pier Revitalization Project, Beach Clean-up, Harbor Wetlands Restoration and the Ventura County Rescue Mission, to name just a few.

Even though they  “Played for the fun of it” they also played for bragging rights! The following were the overall and team unity winners.

Overall Winners

Team Unity Winners

Division A: County of Ventura

Division A: Amgen

Division B: Oxnard Police Department

Division B: Child Development Resources (CDR)

Division C: Northrup Grumman

Division C: Advanced Motion Controls (AMC)

Division D: AECOM & Aerotek (tied)

Division D: Chiquita Fresh

Leo Robbins Sailing Center summer Sailing and Kayaking Camp

Attend the City of Ventura’s Parks Recreation and Community Partnerships (PRCP) Department, Leo Robbins Sailing Center summer Sailing and Kayaking Camp.  Each day holds a new adventure and different water activities: sailing, kayaking, SUP, beach trips, swimming and much more. Returning campers improve skill levels and take on more advanced sailing challenges. The Leo Robbins Sailing Center is located at Marina Park. Children must be between the ages of 9 – 13 years old (volunteer opportunities for 14 – 17 YO). $165 per one week session/per child.

From June 19 until August 14. For more information and to register, go to or call 658-4726.

Summerfest quickly approaching

Stop by and meet local professional athletes.

Summerfest, the free, family-friendly, healthy living event, is returning for its twelfth season on Saturday, June 3rd, from 9am to 2pm at Ventura Unified School District’s Education Service Center.

Presented by Ventura Education Partnership and Ventura Unified School District in alliance with the City of Ventura, Summerfest begins with a 3K Middle School Race and One Mile Elementary School Run. Student athletes can even get a free sports physical.

Get an autograph and take a picture with NFL linebacker Freddy Keiaho, champion long boarder Mary Osborne, pro-boxer and the real “Million Dollar Baby” Maureen Shea, marathoner Chris Frias, and All-Americans Jake Colman (football) and Paige Treloar-Ballard (water polo).

The mission of the Ventura Education Partnership (VEP), a community-based, non-profit, non-political association, is to support and enrich education in the Ventura Unified School District through community partnerships. This all-volunteer group fosters community recognition of the work of district teachers and staff and enlists the participation of parents, businesses and community members in the education of our district’s children.

Casitas Rowing makes finals in 27th annual Long Beach Invitational

Photo by Wendy Gillett

Recently Casitas Rowing made finals with every squad at the 27th annual Long Beach Invitational. The race that brought in over 24 different rowing teams from 4 different states is a challenging three day event. The Casitas Rowing kids also medaled in 3 events including a Varsity Girls boat seen here with their bronze medals. The boat included Kaylie Dawson, Jackie O’connor, Rebecca Moya, Lisa Leap and Hannah Hassien. Summer Class signups are at

Whale watch season is now underway

Enjoy watching the gentle giants of the sea and dolphins too! Photo by Doug Mangum

Winter whale watching off the beautiful Central Coast of California runs from December to mid-April. An Island Packers whale watch is a perfect way to gather with family and friends to view the Pacific Gray Whales as they migrate through the Santa Barbara Channel on the way between their feeding grounds in Alaska and their breeding grounds in Baja.

Other possible sightings include humpback or fin whales, and occasionally Orcas, all of whom visit the productive waters of the Channel to feed on rich resources found in the majestic waters.

The Half Day Whale Watch Cruise provides stunning views of the Ventura coastline or the Channel Islands, wherever the whales may be sighted.

The Island Wildlife Cruise Half Day tours the north shore of Anacapa Island where visitors will see the historic lighthouse, view the highly photographed Arch Rock, enjoy a closer look at the California sea lion, spotted harbor seals and other wildlife.

Annual mammal sightings often seen also include minke whales, and sometimes the largest animal ever on the planet the majestic blue whale. Common dolphin populations often appear on the scene to delight passengers as they frolic with the boat, and ride the bow and stern waves.

Rates for half-day trips are $38 for adults, $34 for seniors and $28 for children age 3-12.  Children 2 and under are free.

“All year long, we invite visitors to come aboard our boats for an exciting and educational Nature Discovery Tour of the Channel Islands National Park,” stated Cherryl Connally, Office Manager at Island Packers.

Island Packers is the authorized concessionaire the Channel Islands National Park, family owned since 1968.  The main office is located at 1691 Spinnaker Drive in theVentura Harbor Village.  For more information visit the user-friendly website or to book online at or call 642-1393.

Women’s teams break state record in highest academic team achievement

CCCAA recently announced its academic awards for the 2015-16 year.

The Ventura College Pirates women’s cross country, track and field, and water polo teams are recipients of the spring 2017 California Community College Athletic Association “Scholar Team” awards.  The CCCAA recently announced its academic awards for the 2015-16 year, and Ventura College is home to three of the state winners.

The women’s cross country, track and field, and water polo teams earned the highest academic team achievement given annually by the CCCAA.  Ventura College is the 31st, 32nd and 33rd recipient of the award since 1997-98, a state record. At least one Pirate team has been honored in each of the past 17 academic years.

The women’s cross country team achieved an overall GPA of 3.40 for the fall 2015 semester. The team finished sixth in the Western State Conference championships and 13th in the SoCal Regionals, qualifying for the state championships for the fifth time in six years. The award is the program’s second as they were the State Scholar Team in 2006.

The Pirates’ women’s track and field posted an overall GPA of 3.37 for the spring 2016 semester. They finished a strong third in the Western State Conference championships and sent four athletes to the CCCAA state championships, placing 12th as a team – the program’s highest point total and finish since 1997.  It is Ventura College’s first state “Scholar Team” award in track and field.

The Ventura College women’s water polo team was 17-12 in the season in 2015, finishing in third place in the WSC tournament.  The honor is the program’s fifth award, having earned the state “Scholar Team” in 1999, 2008, 2009 and 2013.

All team members must have excelled academically with a total combined GPA of 3.0 or higher and have demonstrated better than average accomplishments in intercollegiate athletic competition.  The program began in the 1994-95 school year. All of the 2015-16 “Scholar Teams” will be honored at the Celebration of Scholar Athletes Luncheon, during the 20th Annual CCCAA Convention, Wednesday, March 29, 2017, at the Hilton Concord, Concord, CA.

“A special congratulations to each of these teams for achieving such a high honor and to Head coaches Mary Giles and Tony Veney and assistant coaches Tyson Butler, Tom Lawrence (retired) and Linda Wright,” said Ventura College President Greg Gillespie.  “We would also like to thank Scott Brewer and Becky Hull for their leadership as counselors for student athletes,” stated Ventura College Dean and Athletic Director Will Cowen, president, California Community College Athletic Directors Association.


BikeVentura is having a launch party

VCCOOL, a grassroots climate change organization is launching a new initiative, BikeVentura. A launch party is planned at the Bell Arts Factory, 432 N. Ventura Ave., on Saturday, March 4th from 7-10pm. Entertainment will be provided by The Salty Suites and there will be hors d’oeuvres provided by Scratch Ventura. There will be a cash bar with beer provided by Topa Topa Brewery. All proceeds benefit BikeVentura, a 501(3C) organization. The public is welcome, please RSVP for the event on The Ventura Bike HUB’s Facebook page.

BikeVentura is a political action and advocacy initiative, tasked with coordinating with city and county government throughout Ventura County to insure bicyclist safety, bicycle-centered active transportation and road use. Readers may be familiar with The Ventura Bike Hub, another VCCOOL program, that is closely aligned with BikeVentura. “BikeVentura was created to serve the needs of our community through education, empowerment and advocacy,” said Yvonne Adan, acting Executive Director. “Through our Bike HUB, our Kids Club program or our collaboration with local government, BikeVentura brings the community together and is helping to build better bicycle culture in Ventura,” said Heidi Buccola, VCCOOL Board Member.