Herb Walk at Taft Gardens & Nature Preserve

Herb Walk at Taft Gardens & Nature Preserve title=
Herb Walk at Taft Gardens & Nature Preserve
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Event Date: 
Saturday, May 25, 2019 - 08:30


•   Herb Walk at Taft Gardens & Nature Preserve with local native plant educator Lanny Kaufer

•   Saturday, May 25 8:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

•   Learn identification and uses of native plants and visit world renowned botanic garden

•   $20 for adults, $15 seniors 62-and-up, $10 for students 13-17. No dogs, please.

•   Register at HerbWalks.com or call 805-646-6281

Due to the devastating Thomas Fire of December 2017 that surrounded but did not destroy the Taft Gardens, Ojai naturalist Lanny Kaufer was not able to visit this bedazzling private property last year. Now that Mother Nature has had two winters’ worth of rain with which to recover, he’s going back on Saturday, May 25. Kaufer has been offered the opportunity once again to lead a private tour of the Taft Gardens & Nature Preserve, operated by the Conservation Endowment Fund (CEF), in the mountains above Lake Casitas west of Ojai.

This is a rare and special place with no public trails connecting it to the outside world. The land includes plants and features beyond what one usually encounters on Kaufer’s outings, including a renowned Mediterranean-climate botanic garden. A docent will be present to share some of the rare exotic plants found in the Botanic Garden after he first leads a walk among the native plants on the Nature Preserve.

The group will meet at Maricopa Plaza in Ojai between 8:15 and 8:30 a.m. for a carpool to reduce the number of cars on the private road to the Garden. The travel time to the trailhead will be 20-30 minutes. Beginning at 9 a.m., total walking distance will be approximately 1 mile.

Participants are invited to stay and enjoy their sack lunch in a beautiful setting after the tour. The plan calls for having some cars leave at 12:30 p.m. to arrive back at Maricopa Plaza by 1 p.m. for those not staying for lunch.

The cost is $25 for adults, $20 for seniors 62-up, and $10 for students 13-17. Kids 5-12 can attend free, one per adult, pending request and approval. An additional $10 suggested donation per person is requested by CEF. There is a donation box at the end of the tour where cash or checks can be deposited. CEF survives on donations to support the operations and upkeep of the garden and open space. 

To register for this Herb Walk, visit HerbWalks.com or call 805-646-6281.



Lanny Kaufer has been leading interpretive native plant walks and hikes in the Ojai-Ventura-Santa Barbara area since 1976 for groups of all ages. He is regarded as a local expert on the edible and medicinal uses of indigenous and naturalized plants. Lanny acquired much of his knowledge in field study with well-known herbalists and ethnobotanists. He studied with the late William LeSassier and has co-led workshops and expeditions with noted herbalists such as the late Chumash plant expert Juanita Centeno, the late Michael Moore, Michael Tierra, Amanda McQuade Crawford, Dr. Fred Siciliano, Professor James Adams, and Chumash educator Julie Tumamait-Stenslie.

Lanny graduated from the University of California, Santa Cruz, in 1974 with a degree in Biology. While there, under the supervision of his Biology professor, he did extensive independent studies in the field of naturopathic medicine and worked in the university's arboretum. With a California Teaching Credential, he has taught science, health and natural history for many schools and environmental education programs.

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