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Take a hike with the American River Conservancy

The American River Conservancy has announces its spring events and hikes. All programs require pre-registration unless noted and no dogs allowed on ARC hikes. To register or for more information call (530) 621-1224 or e-mail julie@arconservancy.org.

Salmon Falls Ranch preview trail hike
March 17, April 10, April 20 & May 5 (times vary)

Join ARC staff on a preview hike of the recently acquired Salmon Falls Ranch located near the Skunk Hollow parking lot in Folsom Lake State Recreation Area. The new parcel features 757 acres of rolling grasslands, oak savannah, and seasonal streams. Enjoy sweeping views of the Folsom Lake and the Crystal Basin from hilltops along the way. Michael Dotson, ARC’s development director, and Elena DeLacy, ARC’s Conservation and Stewardship project manager, will lead several hikes throughout the Spring. Along the way, learn about ARC’s vision to connect this new section of trails with the current South Fork American River Trail. ARC is currently fundraising for the project, so donations are welcome to support the new trail. Call for meeting location (Folsom area) and to sign up. This is a fundraising hike. All donations encouraged.

Mountain bike clinic & ride
9 a.m. to noon (approx.), first Saturday of each month, March through May

These clinics are geared towards beginners, but all levels are welcome. The first part of the clinic (led by Tom Peterson; ARC supporter, trail author and bike enthusiast) will teach different maintenance and riding techniques, i.e. how to change and repair a tire, adjust spokes, correct brake tension, how to use your gears, etc. The second part will be an actual bike ride of approximately one to two hours. Ages 10 and older welcome. Call for meeting location (Cool area) and to sign up. Suggested donation is $5 for members and $10 for non-members.

Spring Wildflowers of the Foothills: slide show & presentation
6:30 to 8 p.m., Thursday, March 7

Join us on this “armchair adventure” in the comfort of the Nature Center. Joanne Geggatt and Amy Hoffman, (California Native Plant Society) members and ARC supporters, and staff will lead you through this introduction and how-to in identifying common wild flowers of the foothills and Sierra. Call for meeting location (Coloma) and to sign up. Suggested donation is $5 for members and $10 for non-members.

Wakamatsu historical tours
10 a.m. to noon Saturday, March 9, and 1 to 3 p.m. Sundays April 14 and May 5

Join ARC-trained docents for a historical tour of property recently acquired by ARC. This ranch is an interesting mosaic of springs, streams, wetlands, blue and live oak forest, sweeping vistas and prime agricultural soil. Ranch ponds and the small lake are a draw for wildlife, particularly migratory waterfowl during the winter and early spring. Along with its beauty, learn about the rich history of the Wakamatsu Tea and Silk Farm, the 1st Japanese Colony site established America in 1869. Mature children 12+ welcome. Call for meeting location (Gold Hill area) and to sign up. Cost is $5 for children 12 to 18 years old and $10 for adults.

Lake Clementine trail hike
10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday, March 9

Join Kay Osborn for a panoramic hike along the North Fork American River, among the pines, oaks and big leaf maples. We’ll pass under the Foresthill Bridge, the highest in California. Several side trails lead down to the river, the last one leading to a pool beneath North Fork Dam, for views of water cascading over the dam. This is an easy hike for age 8 and older. Rain cancels. Call for meeting location (Coloma) and to sign up. Suggested donation is $5 for members and $10 for non-members.

Hike on historical Tillotson Trail near Foresthill
9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, March 16

Historian Paul Whiting will share his abundant knowledge of the mining days and of the recently rediscovered 19th century Tillotson trail. Evan Jones, co-author of the trail guide, “Take a Hike!” has visited these hills for many years. We will visit the “lost” grave of a miner who died in 1881. Depending on time, we will visit the one remaining period bridge in the area, and other local historical sites. Local geology and biota will be discussed. Four miles, 1,500 feet elevation gain, moderately strenuous. Age 10 and older welcome. Rain or shine. Call for meeting location (Auburn) and to sign up. Suggested donation is $5 for members and $10 for non-members.

Nature journaling
10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday, March 23

This class is for those that love the outdoors and want to learn techniques of nature journaling. We will be exploring the use of pen and colored pencil to create delightful narrative pages of nature. Susan Keale has worked in the arts since college as a painter, floral designer, gallery director, and arts educator. Mature children 10 and older welcome. Call for meeting location (Coloma area) and to sign up. Materials list available at registration. Cost is $45 for members and $55 for non-members. (Sign-ups and payment due by March 18.)

KDD-A Cheesy springtime stroll at Jollity Farms
4:30 to 6 p.m., Sunday, March 24

Join us for a visit to the farm. We’ll start with a short walk to bring the goats to their barn for evening feeding and milking and a brief description of the history of Jollity Farm and cheese making. You will witness the milking machine in operation and may even try your hand at milking. There will be several cheeses available for sampling and purchase. Jollity Farm was started in 2006 as a dairy goat business and in March 2011 received its license to produce milk and make cheese. This year their hope is to begin producing enough product to sell to the larger stores. Call for meeting location (Garden Valley) and to sign up. Cost is $15 per person or $30 per family.

Olmstead Loop trail (with a focus on native plants and pollinators)
9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday, April 6

ARC volunteer Kay Osborn will lead this eight-mile hike that passes through open, rolling hills and meadows with wildflowers and two creek crossovers. Kay, a Master Gardener, will be accompanied by Julie Serences, who is an expert on bees. Both will give input and answer questions about plants and pollinators along the trail to those interested. Easy-moderate difficulty. Responsible teens welcome. Rain cancels. Call for meeting location (Cool) and to sign up. Suggested donation is $5 for members and $10 for non-members.

Hike on Windy Point trail, near Colfax
9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Sunday, April 7

History enthusiasts Paul Whiting and Evan Jones will lead this hike along a little-known spring wildflower wonderland above the scenic North Fork American River. We will visit a 1928 suspension bridge, an 1851 stagecoach road, a river picnic spot, and the historical Dinner Tree. Geology, biota, mining and railroad history of the local area will be discussed. Four-plus miles and 1,000 feet elevation gain, moderately strenuous, steep in places. Ages 10 and older welcome. Rain or shine. Call for meeting location (Auburn) and to sign up. Suggested donation is $5 for members and $10 for non-members.

Plants and birds of the Dave Moore Nature Area
10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Saturday, April 13

John Kipping, naturalist, educator, and certified arborist will lead local hike at Dave Moore Nature Center. You will learn common plants and birds along the American River. Ages 10 and older welcome. Rain cancels. John has also worked for more than 20 years in natural history education at the Randall Junior Museum, San Francisco Botanical Gardens, and the Audubon Canyon Ranch. He has led wilderness river float trips throughout the western states, New Zealand, western Canada, and Alaska. He currently is ship naturalist for Dolphin Charters during the summer in SE Alaska and British Columbia. Call for meeting location (Pilot Hill) and to sign up. Suggested donation is $5 for members and $10 for non-members.

Portraiture at the ranch with Betty Sederquist
6 p.m. (approx.) on Saturday, April 20

This one-of-a-kind, high-energy workshop takes place at Wakamatsu in Gold Hill, a few miles north of Placerville. This large ranch, on the National Register of Historic Places, was the site of the first Japanese settlement in North America, the site of a working ranch owned by the Veerkamps and today is managed by the American River Conservancy. Staying true to a western motif and to honor the ranch heritage of this beautiful site, we’ll be bringing in several models plus props and show you how to take advantage of natural lighting conditions for gorgeous portraiture. Flexibility and staying in tune with your models are keys to high-quality portraiture, and we’ll walk you through all of this. You’ll have hands-on help from Betty Sederquist and Kathy Durrett, both veteran portrait photographers and long-time instructors. Age 14 and older welcome. Lunch provided. Rain or shine. Cost is $135 for members and $150 for non-members.

KDD — Cuddly Critter Encounter
1 to 3 p.m., Saturday, April 27

Join Sunflower Sarah and her daughter Dana on an animal adventure. You will meet their common, and a few unusual, pets! In this interactive hands-on exploratory program, Sarah and Dana will share little known facts about common pets, followed by a touching/holding session. And don’t worry parents; each participant will create their own zero-maintenance Pet Rock to take home! We welcome children, pet stories, and pet pictures, but no real pets please. Call for meeting location (Coloma area) and to sign up. Donations encouraged.

Wildflower Walk on Monroe Ridge
10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Saturday, April 27

Let’s see how many wildflowers you can identify and learn about the ID characteristics of some major groups. This is a slow-paced walk of 3+ miles led by Robert Mackler, ARC volunteer and naturalist. Responsible teens+ welcome. Rain cancels. Please call for meeting location (Coloma) and to sign up. Suggested donation is $5 for members and $10 for non-members.

South Fork of the American River Trail hike 
8 a.m. to 1 p.m., Saturday, May 4

Join Tony Cervantes, ARC volunteer, and Shingle Springs Tribal TANF Program Prevention Coordinator. Tony will take you on a five-hour hike on the South Fork trail of the American River. The trail should still be green and may even still have wildflowers. This trail includes grasslands, oak woodland, chaparral and riparian habitats, a little bit of everything. We’ll share the trail with mountain bikers and equestrians, too. This hike is good for beginners and fun for everyone else with about 700 feet of vertical gain/loss; we’ll be hiking about 8-10 total miles. Ages 12 and older welcome. Rain cancels. Call for meeting location (Folsom) and to sign up. Suggested donation is $5 for members and $10 for non-members.

Fishing on the farm 
5 to 8 p.m., Tuesday, May 7

ARC is partnering with the El Dorado Chapter of Trout Unlimited for a monthly fishing night at the Wakamatsu Colony Farm in Gold Hill. Try your hand at casting techniques, catch a few bass, and enjoy the serenity of the eight-acre lake at the historic farm. Participants must have a valid CA fishing license. Adults only. Come early to get a tour of the Farm. Rain or shine. Call to sign up, time, and meeting location (Gold Hill/Placerville area). Cost is $5 for members and $10 for non-members.

A walk in a special place 
10 a.m. to noon, Saturday, May 11

Join Robert Mackler, volunteer naturalist at ARC, for a slow and short walk in the chaparral/gabbro community in Cameron Park. Chaparral is found in five countries on Earth and gabbro soils are very rare, too. We will study the plant and animal life in this special place and you are guaranteed to see several plant species that grow nowhere else on earth. Responsible teens+ welcome. Rain cancels. Please call for meeting location and to sign up. Suggested donation is $5 for members and $10 for non-members.

How to use poles for hiking and outdoor exercise 
9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Saturday, May 11

Personal power with poles! Whether you’re a complete novice or a seasoned hiker, learning how to use your whole body while hiking or walking feels good, is terrific exercise, and can maintain (and even restore) spine function. Optimal use of poles can help save your knees as well as improve endurance, balance, confidence, posture, and upper body/core strength. Our instructor, Jayah Faye Paley, creator of the award-winning training DVD: “POLES for Hiking, Trekking & Walking” has developed easy-to-learn techniques which enable pole users to avoid hand and shoulder strain and to convert effort into a fun upper body/core workout. You’ll have the option of practicing new skills you learn in the morning on a beautiful spring time hike in the afternoon at Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park. Top quality poles are provided — learn which poles fit and will best help you achieve your hiking and fitness goals. Space extremely limited. Contact ARC to sign up and for meeting location (Coloma area). Cost is $45 for members and $60 for non-members.

Bonsai Basics 
10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Sunday, May 19

Your instructor Scott Chadd, has been in bonsai since 1972. His teacher was Mr. George Yamasaki of Auburn. Scott owns and operates the Lotus Bonsai Nursery. Bonsai Basics will introduce the participants to a rudimentary understanding of the art of bonsai. There will be a combination of lecture and demonstration. Ages 7 an older welcome. Call for meeting location (Placerville/Gold Hill) and to sign up. Cost is $55 for members and $75 for non-members.

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