Look what’s happening at Upper Newport Bay in June

June at Upper Newport Bay welcomes you to the outdoors with Sow and Grow Fridays, kayaking, Community Day, Restoration in Big Canyon Restoration and Nature Journaling: Insects. Come discover this ecological reserve (coastal wetland) that spans 752 acres.

Fridays, June 21, 28 from 9 a.m.-12 p.m.: Sow and Grow Fridays

On Friday mornings, bring a friend and join Sow and Grow Fridays in Upper Newport Bay’s native plant nursery for three hours of hands-on volunteer-driven fun. Each week, you will have the opportunity to assist in seasonal activities like seed collection, sowing seed flats, transplanting seedlings, pruning, processing cuttings, composting, pot washing, weeding, and maintaining nursery space. Minimum age: 13 years old. Minors must have a legal guardian present at all times. For group requests, contact claire.phillips@newportbay.org. Although most of the work will be conducted under shade, volunteers should be prepared to stand and be exposed to changing weather for various lengths of time. Please bring sturdy closed-toe shoes, hiking or outdoor working attire, a reusable water bottle, sunscreen and a hat. Free parking and public restrooms are available on site. No experience is necessary. Training and tools will be provided. Takes place at Back Bay Science Center located at 600 Shellmaker Road, Newport Beach. Register for Sow and Grow here.

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Photos courtesy of Upper Newport Bay

Kayaking is one of the best ways to appreciate the beauty and tranquility of Upper Newport Bay

Fridays, June 22, 29 from 9 a.m.-12 p.m.: Discover Upper Newport Bay Kayak Tour

On Fridays, join a public group to kayak in the ecological reserve of Upper Newport Bay. Kayaking is one of the best ways to appreciate the beauty and tranquility of Upper Newport Bay and to see skimmers, terns and egrets flying by you. If your eyes are quick, catch a glimpse of a silver mullet (fish) jumping out of the water or a stingray gliding beneath you. Each tour is unique with startling differences in the birds and other wildlife depending on the season and the state of the tide. In summer, black skimmers and terns that come here to nest predominate. Tours are guided by certified volunteer naturalists. Ages 8+ are welcome. Takes place at Newport Aquatic Center located at 1 Whitecliffs Drive, Newport Beach. Cost: $25. Register for kayaking here.

Sundays, June 23, 30 from 10 a.m.-2 p.m.: Community Days

On Sundays, join UNB as you tour the facility, including Shellmaker trail, and the teaching lab and aquatic lab. Learn about the Back Bay Science Center’s Educational Programs and how you can get more involved. There are fun, hands-on activities for kids. Pets are not allowed due to nesting season. You can also join by bike. There are bike racks in the back of the building by the touch tanks. Please do not ride your bike on the trails on the island.

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Help protect the more than 25,000 plants from invasive flora at UNB’s Big Canyon restoration site

Thursdays, June 20, 27 from 9 a.m.-2 p.m.: Community Days

More than 25,000 plants have been installed at UNB’s Big Canyon restoration site, and they would love your help protecting the new plantings from invasive plants. Invasive plants pose a huge threat to displacing native plant communities and wildlife at the Bay, second only to habitat loss. By removing invasive weeds, you will ensure the Big Canyon project site thrives with native plants for years to come. No prior plant ID/weeding experience is necessary. Minimum age: 14 years old. Minors must have a legal guardian present at all times. If you are interested in bringing out a large group of 15 or more, contact Chris Fabela at chris.fabela@newportbay.org for more information on how to sign up. Meet at 9 a.m. at the project site entrance. Google Maps will lead you astray, so look out for the map with directions that will be included in your confirmation email. From the parking location, the project site is a short five-minute walk into the canyon. Note: There are no restrooms at this location. Be sure to bring sunscreen, a hat and plenty of water. They also recommend wearing breathable clothing that you don’t mind getting dirty. Hand tools, shovels and gloves will be provided. All volunteers not yet fully vaccinated must wear a face mask while on the project site. Face masks are optional for fully vaccinated volunteers.

Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve is located at 2301 University Drive, Newport Beach. The Peter and Mary Muth Interpretive Center is located here. For more information, call 949.923.2290, or email unbic@ocparks.com. Visit https://newportbay.org.


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