Through the month of October, Ventura Land Trust will celebrate its first annual OAKtober with a series of events that acknowledge and celebrate Ventura County’s oak trees and ecosystems.
Oaks are the foundation of several major ecosystems in Ventura County. Each oak is central to home to a hundred interdependent plant and animal species. Trees work for us by cleaning air and water, sequestering atmospheric carbon, buffering climate extremes, and reducing energy usage. Oaks reduce flooding and support our native wildlife. Oaks, and trees in general, provide important benefits that provide the foundation for our individual and planetary health.
VLT and event partners will drive awareness of the value of oaks across California, while developing a community network to support these important oak ecosystems. Scheduled events include:
On October 2, OAKtober featured Once Upon a Watershed Program Director Dr. David White and Melina Watts, Author of Tree.
Guests met at the Harmon Canyon Preserve trailhead and walked a short distance to an oak grove with trees that are over 300 years old. Dr. David White spoke about the central role of oaks in the ecosystem in Harmon Canyon Preserve and gave tips on how to grow an acorn into a sprout help the young tree to mature. Writer Melina Watts read from her 2017 novel Tree, the story of a California live oak from the point of view of the tree.
On October 30, from 9-10:30am, in partnership with Los Padres ForestWatch, LPFW Conservation Director Bryant Baker, known on Instagram as @bryanttheshrublander, will lead a presentation on Harmon Canyon Preserve’s signature oak woodlands. This presentation will delve into the habitat, biology, and natural history of oak woodlands in Ventura County’s hills and the Los Padres National Forest. Guests will meet at the Harmon Canyon Preserve trailhead and walk a short distance to a Harmon Canyon oak grove to see and learn about the trees up close. Location: 7511 Foothill Road, Ventura.
Other events will be announced as they are scheduled. Guests are encouraged to RSVP for OAKtober events at www.venturalandtrust.org/events. Space is limited. Find more OAKtober resources at www.venturalandtrust.org/oaktober.
The mission of Ventura Land Trust is to permanently protect the land, water, wildlife and scenic beauty of the Ventura region for current and future generations. Founded in 2003, Ventura Land Trust believes that preserving open space and providing public access enhances the economy, quality of life, and public well-being of Ventura and surrounding communities.
The organization currently owns and manages land along the Ventura River and in the Ventura hillsides, including the 2,100-acre Harmon Canyon Preserve, opened in June 2020. Harmon Canyon Preserve is Ventura’s first large-scale nature preserve. All preserves are open to the public daily from dawn to dusk for free. Ventura Land Trust received accreditation by the Land Trust Alliance in 2019. Learn more and become a member at www.venturalandtrust.org.