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Wilderness Hiking and Native Plants

April 15, 2023 @ 9:00 am - May 6, 2023 @ 1:00 am PDT

Wilderness Hiking and Native Plants

The Santa Barbara Region is home to a rich variety of both trails and habitats. Through this series of immersive classes you will learn the basic skills and awareness to explore our backcountry trails; learn about the native plants found on our trails; and deepen your connection to the natural world.

Each class takes place on one of our local trails and is a mix of hands on instruction, immersive exercises, and sharing circles that allow for learning on many levels.

Reading the Landscape – Saturday, April 15, 9AM-1PM
Learn how to orient yourself to the local landscape, read the topography, and create your own mental maps of the backcountry without the use of a GPS or compass. See how habitats and plant communities are organized on the landscape, and learn how to remove the word lost from your vocabulary.

Nature Connection – Saturday, April 22, 9AM-1PM
Venturing out onto the land is even more rewarding when we take the time to develop a meaningful connection with nature. Learn how to feel more at home out on the trails and in the wilderness by being able to recognize plants every hiker should know. We will explore riparian and chaparral habitats, the plants that live there, and some of their edible and medicinal properties.

A Garden of Resources – Saturday, April 29, 9AM-1PM
This hike will be at the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden. We will visit some of the plants seen on the previous hikes, as well as plants that we would need to hike a dozen or more different trails to see! Essentially a living natural history guide, the Garden provides a rich opportunity to see and learn about a wide variety of California native plants, including those on the Channel Islands, on the same hike.

Listening to Nature – Saturday, May 6, 9AM-1PM
As we start to feel at home in nature, the land itself can become a source of guidance and inspiration. By working with plants, habitats, and the landscape, and tuning into our senses we can begin to see nature as ally and lay the foundation for being able to know the backcountry like the back of our hand.

James Wapotich is a trail guide, UC Certified California Naturalist, Volunteer Wilderness Ranger with Los Padres National Forest, and author of the Santa Barbara News-Press hiking column, Trail Quest. He leads workshops on backpacking, wilderness awareness skills, and mindfulness in nature.

Participants must be able to comfortably hike 2-3 miles. A list of what to bring and where to meet will be provided before each class.

This class is being offered through the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden.

The class is $125 per person, or $100 for Garden members.

To register go to https://sbbotanicgarden.org/classes-events/wilderness-hiking-and-native-plants, or call (805) 682-4726 ext. 102.

For more info contact James Wapotich, jwapotich@yahoo.com or (805) 729-4250.


April 15, 2023 @ 9:00 am PDT
May 6, 2023 @ 1:00 am PDT
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