Volunteers help Ventura Hillsides Conservancy at Big Rock Preserve

Unveiling the bike rack are Christy Weir Ventura City Council, Jay Licata Aera Energy, Matt Wyatt Aera Energy, Derek Poultney Ventura Hillsides Conservancy, Michelle Newell Aera Energy and Ron Henry  Aera Energy.

On Saturday, Nov. 19, more than 20 volunteers joined the Ventura Hillsides Conservancy (VHC) at their Big Rock Nature Preserve near Foster Park to plant willow tree cuttings and unveil a bike rack that was recently installed on the property. Donated by Aera Energy, the bike rack is just one of many improvements VHC has made at Big Rock over the past year.

“We appreciate the work VHC does to protect the environment and are happy to provide this bike rack to the community,” said Michele Newell, public affairs specialist for Aera Energy. “We hope that riders pedaling along the Ventura-Ojai bike trail will stop, lock up their bikes and explore the beautiful Big Rock Nature Preserve.”

The 17- acre Big Rock Preserve is a collection of 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.

VHC has spent the past year planting more than 500 trees, clearing invasive plants and creating trails at the Big Rock Nature Preserve. The nonprofit land trust hosts volunteer work events on the third Saturday of each month. To find out about future volunteer opportunities, visit www.venturahillsides.org and click on the events tab.

The Ventura Hillsides Conservancy is dedicated to preserving and protecting Ventura’s hillsides, rivers and wildlife.  Founded in 2003, the 501(c)(3) non-profit organization is supported by over 450 members, local business, community stakeholders and government partners.  The land trust currently owns 28 acres of land along the Ventura River and is actively fundraising for hillside property on the Walker-Hearne Ranch in east Ventura. For more information about the Ventura Hillsides Conservancy, visit: www.venturahillsides.org.

About Aera Energy: Aera Energy is proud to be a respected and responsible California oil company accounting for nearly 25 percent of the state’s oil production.


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