Ventura Hillsides Conservancy invites volunteers to plant trees January 16 & 18

Ventura Hillsides Conservancy invites volunteers to plant trees on January 16 & 18

On Sat., Jan. 16 and Mon., Jan. 18, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the Ventura Hillsides Conservancy (VHC) will host community tree planting events at the Big Rock Preserve near Foster Park. VHC invites volunteers of all ages to join them from 9 a.m. – 12 noon along the Ventura River Parkway to help plant oaks, cottonwoods and sycamore trees on property owned and managed by VHC.

VHC, a local non-profit land trust organization, was awarded grant funding by the County of Ventura’s Resource Management Agency for the purchase and planting of 500 trees.  In late 2015, they planted the first 250 trees and in the coming months, will plant the remaining 250.  On Monday, Jan 19, VHC will plant 86 trees on what would have been Martin Luther King Jr.’s 86th birthday.

“We welcome old friends and new volunteers to help us beautify our preserve” said Derek Poultney, VHC executive director. “We are hoping to get the trees firmly established before the big rains come.”

The 17- acre Big Rock Preserve is a collection of five properties owned by VHC. The name Big Rock comes from a once-popular swimming hole on the property that was home to a large boulder before floods swept it away. Though the boulder is gone, the water remains. Due to the unique geology of the area, the Big Rock preserve is one of the only places along the Ventura River that has year-round water. The area is home to endangered steelhead trout, as well as western pond turtles, herons, deer, red-legged frogs and bobcats.

To RSVP for either tree planting event, visit and click on the Events tab. For more information, call VHC at 643-8044.

The Ventura Hillsides Conservancy is dedicated to preserving and providing access to Ventura’s hillsides and the Ventura River.  Founded in 2003, the 501(c)(3) non-profit organization is supported by over 400 members, local business and government partners.  The land trust currently owns 26 acres of land but is actively purchasing hillside property on the Walker-Hearne Ranch in east Ventura. Further information about the Conservancy is at:


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