Look what’s happening at Upper Newport Bay in summer

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

Fridays, July 12, 19, 26 and Aug. 2 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, July 12, 19, 26 and Aug. 2 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, July 14, 21, 28 and Aug. 4 from 10 a.m.-2 p.m.: Community Days

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

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. No reservations are needed.

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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