Early Wildflowers in Riverside County 

May Indicate Big Blooms to Come

March 5, 2019 – Jurupa Valley, CA –Riverside County Regional Park and Open-Space District (RivCoParks) anticipates a remarkable spring bloom of wildflowers throughout the County. Early blooms of California poppies (Eschscholzia californica) have already been spotted on hillsides in Temescal Valley, Lake Elsinore, and at Harford Springs Reserve in Perris, CA, among other locations. The spectacular, yet unpredictable “super bloom” seasons result in beautiful landscapes that attract visitors to outdoor areas that boast a variety of wildflowers.  In Riverside

County, common flowers visitors might expect to see include California poppies, common fiddleneck, California bluebells, lupin and popcorn flowers. While outdoor enthusiasts enjoy hiking and taking pictures in these areas, visitors should be aware of conservation area restrictions and safety factors.

While it is impossible to predict exactly where a high rate of blooms will occur this spring, a few RivCoParks managed locations have been prone to such displays in the past. For all locations, visitors should park in safe and legal locations, remain on identified trails, refrain from walking off trail and trampling flowers, and use provided trash cans or take your trash with you when you leave the area.

One popular past location to view nature’s beautiful display of flowers is located off of Interstate 15 in the corridor between Lake Elsinore and Temescal Valley. The best spot to view flowers in this area is from Walker Canyon Road. Please abide by all parking signs and restrictions.

Wildflower season causes one of the most dangerous driving conditions along the Interstate 15 corridor. Use caution when driving through these areas as traffic can suddenly stop while drivers are paying attention to the flower covered hillsides. Do not park on the freeway to view the flowers. It is both dangerous and illegal.

Other potential locations for wildflower blooms this spring include:

Harford Spring Reserve, 21470 Gavilan Road, Perris, CA

Santa Rosa Plateau Ecological Reserve, 39400 Clinton Keith Road, Murrieta, CA 92562

Box Springs Mountain Reserve, 3699 Box Springs Mountain Road, Moreno Valley, CA 92557

Hidden Valley Wildlife Area, 11401, Arlington Avenue, Riverside, CA 92505

Information about each location, including rules can be found at https://www.rivcoparks.org/openspace/. RivCoParks encourages visitors to recreate responsibly and enjoy outdoor activities such as wildflower viewing. Below are some additional tips for making your visit to wildflower locations pleasurable while respecting the spaces for others to enjoy after you:

Stay on established trails and do not trample vegetation.

Each open-space area is unique. Remain on trails, park legally in lots and on roadsides when safe.

Many of these areas are protected for rare, threatened, and endangered plants and animals. Irresponsible access to these areas is not only perilous to the protected species, in many cases it is illegal and could result in citations or fines.

Picking flowers is prohibited. Taking pictures from a safe distance, including selfies, is legal.

Use provided trash cans or receptacles when available. If none are provided, take your trash with you when you leave to help keep the area safe and enjoyable for others.

Research where dogs are permitted and be sure to keep your dog on a leash and in your control at all times. Do not leave dogs unattended, including in your vehicles as temperatures can become dangerous.

Beware of rattlesnakes. The warming spring weather that brings forth wildflowers, also spurs activity in reptiles. Rattlesnakes (Riverside County’s only potentially dangerous snake) are only aggressive when threatened. Be vigilant. If one is spotted, give it a wide birth. Rattlesnakes are an important member of the natural ecosystem and are protected from harm on County owned lands.

Drones are prohibited except by special permit. Off-highway recreation vehicles (OHV) are prohibited.

Remember to check weather conditions and plan for your visit accordingly, packing plenty of water and sunscreen.

Areas that are highly impacted by visitors are subject to closure based upon site conditions. Please check the RivCoParks website for information prior to your visit. RivCoParks offers a variety of recreation, nature and historical sites for guest to enjoy the outdoors and unique aspects of Riverside County. The full listing of locations for camping, hiking, picnicking, and interpretive programs for children and adults is provided at www.rivcoparks.org.

Grab Your Flashlight & Sleeping Bag!

Family Campout Weekend is Coming

March 5, 2019 – RivCoParks has a new family event you don’t want to miss – the Family Campout Weekend.   Just in time for school spring break and what promises to be an incredible spring superbloom!  The Family Campout Weekend takes place March 15-17, 2019 at the scenic Mayflower Park located along the clear blue Colorado River in Blythe, California.

The Family Campout Weekend offers big outdoor fun at a small price.  The fees are only $50 for Friday and Saturday night camping (nonhookup sites for RVs and tent camping only).  You may also opt to come for one evening only (Saturday night only $30).  The weekend will include a special Youth Fishing Workshop presented by California Fish and Wildlife, a Family Bird Watch and Nature Hike, and a traditional evening by the campfire complete with delicious s’mores.  If you or your children are new to camping, this is a perfect opportunity to come enjoy nature and create some forever memories.

Mayflower Regional Park is situated alongside the Colorado River in Blythe, California, only 25 miles west of Quartzsite Arizona.  There are numerous water and land activities at Mayflower Park which is particularly accommodating for fishing, hiking, picnicking and BBQing.  Visitors will also enjoy magnificent views of open fields and willowing trees which dot the impressive Colorado River.

Camping space is limited, if you are interested please call to reserve a spot today for the Family Campout Weekend by calling 1-800-234-PARKS.

Notice Inviting Public Comment

March 4, 2019 – The Riverside County Regional Park and Open-Space District is developing an application for grant funds from the State of California, Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Division. If successful, these grant funds will be utilized to conduct restoration activities at Kabian Reserve. The public is invited to review and comment on the preliminary application package. The preliminary grant application will be available on the OHMVR website beginning March 5, 2019. The public comment period for grant applications ends May 6, 2019.

Grant applications can be found by going to the California State Parks website at: http://ohv.parks.ca.gov. Click on the Off-Highway Vehicle tab, then the Grants tab. A link to the On-Line Grant Application (OLGA) can be found in the middle of the page. Once at the OLGA site, the menu on the left contains Public Review Instructions and Reviewing Preliminary Applications information.

For information or questions related to the applications, contact Contracts and Grants Analyst Jeanne McLeod at: (951) 955-3819.

Kids Get Hooked On Fishing

…and casting, knot-tying, ecology & more!

February 14, 2019 – Riverside, CA –RivCoParks will be holding a series of free youth fishing clinics for kids ages 3-15 years old.  The clinics are designed for all levels of youth fishing starting with beginners on up.  Parents and guardians are encouraged to help, but fishing at the event is for the kids.  To make it super fun, we stock the lakes the day prior so kids will have a good chance of catching a fish.

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife provides instruction, loaner gear, and bait for those who need it.  The first clinic was held on January 19, 2018 at Rancho Jurupa Regional Park, attracting nearly 400 kids who got a chance to experience fishing or expand their fishing prowess and techniques. The Fishing Clinics feature learning stations on Bait, Tackle, Knot Tying, and Casting, along with Ecology, Watershed, Rules, Regulations, and Ethics.  RivCoParks has three more clinics planned for this spring!

Here is the remaining schedule of youth fishing clinics:

February 23, 2019 – Lake Cahuilla Veterans Regional Park, 58075 Jefferson Street, La Quinta, CA 92253

March 16, 2019 – Mayflower Regional Park, 4980 Colorado River Road, Blythe, CA 92225

March 23, 2019 – Lake Skinner Recreational Area, 37701 Warren Road, Winchester, CA 92596

Knee-High Naturalists

Outdoor Educational Program for children ages 1-5 years

February 13, 2019 – Riverside, CA –RivCoParks presents a special outdoor education opportunity – the “Knee-High Naturalists.”  This is a bi-weekly program for young children ages 1-5, and their care givers. This program is a perfect opportunity to bond, explore, and make discoveries about the wonders of nature. Each class takes a hands-on approach to learning including, activities, hikes, music, arts, crafts, and games.

Registration is now open for the March 4, 2019 to April 25, 2019 sessions.  Pre-registration is required, and the fee is $75 for the full 8 week course, or $5 per class.

Children ages 1-3 years may attend the “Caterpillar Class” and children ages 3-5 years may attend the “Butterfly Class.”  Courses are age appropriate and will cover subjects such as gardening, animal types (land and water), weather, and Earth Day!

For information on how to enroll in the “Knee High Naturalists” program, please call (951) 785-7452 or e-mail: swhitcher@rivco.org

Wonders of the Watershed – Saturday, Jan. 19, 2019

Meet Critters & Creatures at Hidden Valley Nature Center

January 16, 2019 – Riverside, CA –RivCoParks presents the “Wonders of the Watershed” event on Saturday, January 19, 2019 from 10 am – 2 pm at the Hidden Valley Nature Center located at 11401 Arlington Avenue, Riverside, CA 92505. Parking is only $5.00 and the event is free to attend.

This is a family fun event and will focus on natural homes of wildlife that surround the Santa Ana River Watershed. There will be activities for the kids, games, live animals and a special presentation from the Aquarium of the Pacific.

Hidden Valley Wildlife Area is located along the Santa Ana River, east of Norco. It is set on 1500 scenic acres and has access to 25 miles of hiking and equestrian trails. Within it you can find various live animals, such as rabbits, snakes, turtles, and toads.  Visitors can enjoy the beautiful views of the river or the bluff overlooking the Santa Ana River bottom.

For more information on this special Wonders of the Watershed event, please call (951) 785-7452 or e-mail: swhitcher@rivcor.org.