Featured Stories

Go for a hike (and more) with the American River Conservancy

By February 15, 2011

Wakamatsu/Gold Hill walk and historic tours
First & third Saturdays in March, April & May 10 a.m. to noon

Join ARC trained docents for a firsthand look at the 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 is 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 first Japanese Colony site established in America in 1869. Contact ARC to sign up and for meeting location (Gold Hill area). Donations towards the Wakamatsu project encouraged.

Table Mountain & Oroville Wildlife Area hikes
Sunday, March 6, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. (approx.)

This trip will include two hikes led by Tom Petersen. The first, will be to Table Mountain Ecological Reserve, where you will experience its unique geology, vernal pools, waterfalls, wildflowers and wildlife. The second, will be the 11,869 acre Wildlife Area in Oroville. It is primarily riparian woodland habitat along the Feather River and grasslands around the Thermalito Afterbay. Wildlife species seen in the area include coyote, badger, fox, bobcat, porcupine, osprey, white-tailed kite, egrets, woodpeckers, and warblers. Contact ARC to sign up and for meeting location (Cool area). Fees: $50/members, $75/non-members. Transportation provided.

Defining Trekking in Patagonia (Adventure series I)
Thursday, March 10, 7 to 8:30 p.m.

Experience the region where penguins nest, condors soar, and glaciers thrive.  Join Molly Hucklebridge on a photographic journey through Patagonia, the southern tip of Argentina and Chile.  See how areas are preserved in this dynamic place and feel inspired to make your own trek — at any age or ability level! Molly is the Environmental Education Specialist at the American River Conservancy.  She has enjoyed expeditions throughout North, Central, and South America, but still considers the Sierra Nevada her favorite place to roam. Contact ARC to sign up and for meeting location (Coloma area). Suggested donation: $5/members, $10/non-members.

Petroglyphs of the Middle Fork of the American River
Friday, March 18, 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.

This presentation focuses on the petroglyphs in the Middle Fork of the American River area, the research background, and research Nolan Smith has carried out in the last 15+ years.  He has been an archaeologist on the Tahoe National Forest for over 30 years. He has a B.A. in both Anthropology and History from CSU, Stanislaus, and graduate work at CSU, Chico. Contact ARC to sign up and for meeting location (Coloma area). Suggested donation: $5/members, $10/non-members

Greywater & Rainwater Harvesting workshop and tour
Saturday, March 19, 1 to 3:30 p.m.

Greywater — “wastewater” from showers, tubs, sinks and washing machines — can be safely and elegantly reused for landscape irrigation. This workshop will begin with a quick overview of residential greywater irrigation systems, followed by a hands-on tour of a recently installed “branched drain” shower system irrigating four newly-planted fruit trees. The presenter, Scott Cushman, lives in Oakland where he is starting a greywater installation business, Meridian 101, and spending his spare time renovating a 90-year-old craftsman bungalow.  The workshop will take place at his parents’ house on the banks of the South Fork of the American River, where he recently installed a greywater system (with some impressive digging help from his parents). Suggested donations: $5/members, $10/non-members. Please call to sign up and for meeting location (Lotus area).

So. Fork Trail-Hike
Sundays, March 20 & April 3, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Join one of ARC’s newest hike leaders, Tony Cervantes, with the Shingle Springs Tribal TANF program. Tony will take you on a 4-hour hike on the So. Fork trail. The trail should be lush and green and we may even begin to see 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. 10+ welcome. The difficulty of this hike is moderate with about 700 feet of vertical gain/loss. Steady rain cancels. Contact ARC to sign up and for meeting location (Folsom Lake/Salmon Falls area). Suggested donation: $5/members, $10/non-members.

Indian/Indigenous Use of Plant
Tuesday, March 22, 6:30 to 8 p.m.

Learn about native California plants which maintained healthy populations of indigenous peoples for 10,000 years. Foods, medicinal, and material uses will be covered with emphasis on basketry materials. John Kipping, a naturalist, arborist, river guide and licensed skipper, enjoys sharing his knowledge of native plants. Ages 12+ welcome.  Suggested donations: $5/members, $10/non-members. Please call to sign up and for meeting location (Coloma area).

Kanaka Valley Exploration-Hike
Saturday, March 26, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. (approx.)

Join Tom Petersen on this exploration of recent ARC protected BLM property off Green Valley Road in El Dorado Hills. You will explore old ranch roads and primitive paths and some grassland cross-country. This valley is full of wildflowers and fungi depending of course on the weather. This is a fairly easy 6-mile hike on rolling hills and rocky terrain. Rain or shine. Contact ARC to sign up and for meeting location (Carpooling from Coloma area). Suggested donation: $5/members, $10/non-members.

KDD – El Dorado Trail – Family Dog Hike
Sunday, March 27, 1 to 4 p.m. (approx.)

Pack up the kids and dogs…This trail is a true gem in El Dorado.  Part of the Rails to Trails program, this route climbs very gently up from Placerville to near Camino.  Keith Atwater, past ARC board member & volunteer, will lead you up this trail that’s about 6 miles round trip. Hikers can turn around at any point they choose. This hike is unique in that Keith is allowing dogs. He will give a brief talk on “dog etiquette” on the trail before you begin. All ages welcome, strollers ok. Contact ARC to sign up and for meeting location (Placerville area). Suggested donation: $5/members, $10/non-members

Spring Flowers- Photo Workshop with Betty Sederquist
Saturday, April 2, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (approx.)

Spring Flowers in the Coloma Valley. In this photo workshop, Betty Sederquist will give a few pointers on how to take great flower photos, whether they’re far away or close. Depending on how spring progresses, we might enjoy such subjects as the Monroe Orchard or the beautiful flowers along High Street. With luck, the poppies on Mt. Murphy might be in bloom, in which case we’ll walk across the river to the entry point on Bayne Road and then to the lower stretches of the hillside. A simple lunch of sandwich fixings, chips and fruit along with water is included in this all-day event. After a morning orientation, a quick look at gear and lunch, we’ll spend the afternoon photographing, capped at the end of the day by looking at one another’s LCD screens for kudos and tips to make your work better. Betty Sederquist has been an adjunct instructor of photography at Folsom Lake College for almost 20 years. She is widely published in magazines, textbooks and online. She leads photo tours to Alaska and to Ecuador and brings a sense of gentle fun to her workshops and classes. Rain or shine. Mature 14+ welcome. Contact ARC to sign up and for meeting location (Coloma area). Fees: $95/members, $120/non-members collected at sign-up.

Vernal Pool fields of gold – walk
Saturday, April 9, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Join us for a leisurely walk through fields of flowers!  Experience the gorgeous rings of flowers that result from the unique vernal pool ecosystem. Only 10% of California’s vernal pools are left, but some of the finest specimens have been preserved at Mather Field.  Biologist Jinnah Benn will lead an informative walk that will cover vernal pool basics and also delve into plant identification.  Come see first-hand how plants have adapted to live in this unique vernal habitat. This is an easy, relatively flat, short walk. Ages 8+ w/adult supervision welcome. Rain or shine. Contact ARC sign up and for meeting location (Cameron Park area). Suggested donation: $5/members, $10/non-members.

Robie Point-Mountain Quarry RR Trail – Hike
Sunday, April 10, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. (approx.)

Join ARC’s newest hike guides, Marcia Paulson and volunteer back-up guide, Donna Orth on this fun hiking adventure where we will enter an historic, lesser-known trail at the backside of the Confluence area. Marcia Paulson’s outgoing personality and knowledge of the historical and folkloric aspects of this trail will make this a fun and interesting hike. Marcia has hiked the Auburn area for 30 years and is rarely seen without her GPS. This is a moderate 4.5 mile loop from Robie point to a new connector trail where remnants of the railroad can still be found. The terrain is rugged in sections and hiking poles are recommended. Steady rain cancels. Contact ARC to sign up and for meeting location (Auburn area). Suggested donation: $5/members, $10/non-members.

For The Birds — An introduction to bird behavior
Saturday, April 16, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Spring is the best time to hear and observe bird behavior.  We will begin with a discussion of bird behavior and then, weather permitting, take a walk on the Monroe Trail to see what the local birds are doing.  Be prepared to tell about unusual bird behavior that you have witnessed.  Robert Mackler will lead this discussion and walk. This will be a slow-paced walk of up to 3 miles, some elevation change. Contact ARC to sign up and for meeting location (Coloma area). Suggested donation: $5/members, $10/non-members

Knickerbocker – Hike
Sunday, April 17, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Tom Petersen, hiker & author of several hiking books, will take you on this fast-paced 8 mile hike in the Auburn State Rec. Area, part of the Olmstead Loop trails in Cool, CA. This trail is moderately steep in places but lots of flat terrain with great views of the North fork American river, Knickerbocker Falls, and China Bar. These trails are a bit primitive so don’t expect state park type walking, (you may have to dodge some poison oak along the way). Rain or shine. Contact ARC to sign up and for meeting location (Cool area). Suggested donation: $5/members, $10/non-members.

KDD – Youth Introductory Outdoor Photography Workshop
Sunday, April 17, 1 to 4 p.m.

This one’s for the kids!  This workshop answers the call of all those aspiring photographers out there with “the eye” who have been too young to be allowed to participate in other workshops.  In this introductory workshop, we will go over some of the basic camera settings for various situations, helpful tips in choosing scenes and composition, and use of natural lighting.   There will be a short introductory session, then an educational walk to learn and practice skills. Kenna Elizabeth is a photographer, an educator, a whitewater raft guide, and a traveler… all as a direct result of her life-long passion for the beauty of the outdoors.   Through her work and contribution back to our natural world, she hopes to aid in the preservation of its splendor.   As a teacher of outdoor sciences, she has a true love of helping inspire and guide young minds to make a positive difference in our world. Mature 9-14 year-olds welcome. Rain Cancels. Contact ARC to sign up and for meeting location (Coloma area). Fees: $15/members, $20/non-members.

Tapping into Renewable Lo-Cost Energy (to reduce your utility bill)
Friday, April 22, 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. followed by Q&A

This is not your mainstream changing light bulbs and doing a net-metering solar PV system presentation.  Instead, we will provide an overview of renewable energy technologies and unique LO-COST ways to make it work for you.  The focus is on residential and small commercial systems and will also include financial payback examples. Fred Klammt teaches at CSUS and in Europe on green building, sustainability, net zero energy and green chemistry. He is also an electrical engineer and business entrepreneur.  He has designed and built three passive solar homes, his current one is net zero and has no operating cost.  Contact ARC to sign up and for meeting location (Coloma area). Suggested donation: $5/members, $10/non-members.

Tai Chi & Chi Kung in Nature
Saturday, April 30, 10 a.m. to noon

Chi Kung is the ancient Chinese practice of body/mind exercises whose roots go back thousands of years and from which Tai Chi emerged about 800 years ago. You will learn a short movement sequence, a standing meditation practice and enjoy a guided sitting meditation. Our location is at ARC property in Shingle Springs beside a stream and waterfall. Tara Stiles has been teaching Yoga, Tai Chi, Chi Kung and meditation in Sacramento for over 30 years. Responsible teen + welcome. No prior experience in Tai Chi or Chi Kung required. Rain cancels. Contact ARC to sign up (group size limited) and for meeting location (Shingle Springs/Hwy 50 area). Suggested donation: $5/members, $10/non-members.

Foothill Native Plant – Walk (Riparian to woodland)
Saturday, April 30, 2 to 4 p.m.

This walk will start at Lotus Valley Natives, a small native plant nursery. The nursery will serve as an outdoor classroom where we can examine and compare plant adaptations to foothill habitats and the California climate. From there we will walk down to the river and then up through oak woodland into the forest to see and identify native plants in their natural settings. Led by biologist Jinnah Benn and botanist Mahala Guggino, who both grew up in the Lotus Valley.  Some elevation change, short walk, beginner level. Age 8+ welcome. Rain or shine. Contact ARC to sign up and for meeting location (Lotus area). Suggested donation: $5/members, $10/non-members.

Birding By Ear – walk
Saturday, May 7, 7:30 a.m. to noon

Birding by ear is a trip for birding enthusiasts to practice the art of bird identification by the sounds of their calls or songs. Howard Williams, ARC hike leader, led birding walks for the Audubon Society for many years in Marin County. Easy 1-mile walk. Responsible teens+ welcome. Rain cancels. Trip limited to 5 persons who must commit to an entire morning as there will be just one car carrying them to the birding location. Contact ARC to sign up and for meeting location (Cool area). Suggested donation: $5/members, $10/non-members

Whales in Alaska – (Adventure Travel Series II)
Thursday, May 12, 6:30 to 8 p.m.

John Kipping has been leading whale watching tours in the Gulf of California, West Coast Baja, British Columbia, and Alaska for 30 years. Come learn about California gray whales, orcas, humpbacks, blue, fin whales, dall porpoises, white sided porpoises, and common dolphins.  Contact ARC to sign up and for meeting location (Coloma area). Suggested donation: $5/members, $10/non-members

KDD-Story Time “Treasures of the Foothills”
Sunday, May 15, 1 to 2:30 p.m.

Kids of all ages … Join the El Dorado Storyteller’s Guild for a fun-filled story-time and walk. Learn about the treasures we have right here in our own back yard, then take a discovery walk and find firsthand the beauty we’ve been given. Contact ARC to sign up and for meeting location (Coloma area). FREE

Sacred Nature – Trail Walk
Sunday, May 22, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Many of us spend trail time studying interesting plants, enjoying companionship or solitude, sharing earth-healing work, or appreciating the beauty of columbine and cloud. Then there are those special moments when the beauty or sense of renewal is so heightened that we stand speechless, touched by grace or mystery. We slip out of our normal state of separateness into an awareness of something larger, more majestic, more connected, more real.  Muir, Momaday, Wordsworth, Oliver, et al. sing to us of these moments. On this guided trail walk we will look for these moments with the focusing force of intention and with several simple disciplines. The practices are not intrinsically difficult and not at all competitive, but do require some concentration and selective focus. Therefore, meditators and nature lovers are welcome, but this is not a walk for children under 16 unless VERY mature. We will start with some explanation and setting of intention. The rest of the morning we will alternate among periods of focus-breath-walking, reflection, discussion, and silent communion with nature beings that attract you. Your guide on this walk is John Robert Cornell. He has been a meditator and backpacker/hiker for many years and has recently returned from a two-year sabbatical in South India. This will be a moderate walk of 3-4 miles. Location TBD. Contact ARC to sign up and for meeting location. Suggested donation: $5/members, $10/non-members

Using your GPS
Sunday, May 22, 9 a.m. to noon (this class can go shorter or longer based on the group’s desires)

In this class you will start by learning the basics of using a GPS. You will then use your skills to find a cache and further hone your skills as the day progresses. Your instructor, Nathan Jennings, works full-time for the City of Sacramento as a Sr. GIS (geographic information systems) Analyst and part-time as an Adjunct Professor for American River College and Sacramento City College teaching courses in GPS, remote sensing and digital image processing, GIS software, and GIS Programming.  Visit Nathan’s website at:  www.jenningsplanet.com.  Age: mature 10+ welcome. Rain cancels. Contact ARC to sign up and for meeting location (TBD-Foothills area). Suggested donation: $10/members, $15/non-members

All programs require pre-registration unless noted. No dogs allowed on ARC hikes unless noted. For more information call (530) 621-1224 or e-mail [email protected]

Special to Village Life


  • Recent Posts

  • Recent Comments

  • Follow Us On Facebook

  • Special Publications »

    Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our Terms of Service (updated 4/30/2015) and Privacy Policy (updated 4/7/2015).
    Copyright (c) 2017 McNaughton Newspapers, Inc., a family-owned local media company that proudly publishes the Daily Republic, Mountain Democrat, Davis Enterprise, Village Life, Winters Express, Georgetown Gazette, EDC Adventures, and other community-driven publications.