The first public event of a new open space and land conservation group - SCV Green - is planned at 8:30 a.m. Saturday. A Witness to Wildlife event, sponsored by the Patagonia foundation, will be held and hikers of all ages are invited to participate.
"SCV Green was formed have a land trust in the Santa Clarita Valley area to help acquire lands that would create habitat linkages between important ecological areas, as well as preserve land that's necessary for larger watershed management," explained the group's Executive Director, Krista Solonowski.
"The linkages forming the South Coast Ecoregion were designed by nature," said SCV Green President Dianne Erskine-Hellrigel. "Now it's the local community's turn to decide what these places mean to us and what we want them to be in relationship to the places we live in."
The organization started out of an effort to map important habitat corridors throughout the region. They found that some sort of local nonprofit advocacy and land acquisition organization was needed and went searching for someone with experience in the field to head the group and found Solonowski, who has a background in watershed planning for the Army Corps of Engineers.
"There are still a lot of open spaces to preserve and a lot of natural places that are part of the Santa Clarita Valley community culture, as well as a pretty good interest in preserving the local identity of the area, which is why we came up with the tag line 'Preserving the nature of our community.'"
The interactive hike along the Santa Clarita Trail portion of the Pacific Coast Trail will give participants a chance to form relationships with places along the trail depending on stories they imagine.
"It's a brainstorming activity where we can begin to jog people's imagination," she said. "We will have a bunch of activities along the trail that will get people's thought processes going."
"Leaders will have participants do activities and exercises at various places along the trail that deal with wildlife issues such as stream habitat, the movement of water thru riparian area, public and private property rights and animals survival in hostile conditions, she explained. "The audience will be asked to come up with a story that seems to represent what's going on in the area from an ecological perspective."
The hike begins at the Indian Canyon Trailhead at the intersection of Indian Canyon Road and Soledad Canyon Roads in Acton. The three-hour event will take participants on a three-mile journey. Light refreshments will be provided at the end of the hike, but participants should bring sunscreen, a hat and extra water, along with wearing appropriate hiking shoes. The National Forest Service requires a $5 day pass for parking, which can be purchased at the General Store just before the Trailhead on Soledad Canyon Road.