Topanga Canyon Docent Fall Training, September 9

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TOPANGA CANYON DOCENT PROGRAM INSTRUCTOR PETER RICE LEADS DOCENTS-IN-TRAINING ON A FIELD WORKSHOP. PARTICIPANTS IN THE SIX-WEEK CLASS LEARN ABOUT ALL ASPECTS AT THE NATURAL HISTORY OF TOPANGA STATE PARK.

Naturalist training to become a Topanga Canyon Docent (TCD) in Topanga State Park begins on Saturday, September 9.  This highly regarded series of workshops and lectures is offered only once a year. Classes are held in the historic Skeet Lodge, now the Visitor Center at Trippet Ranch, Topanga State Park. Trainees learn about the remarkable ecosystem and natural history of the Santa Monica Mountains, explore the Native American cultures that thrived there for centuries, as well as field presentations with highly respected educators from local universities, museums and parks.

Six classroom and field workshops will be held on alternate Saturdays, 9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.: September 9 and 23; October 7 and 21; November 4 and 18; Training also includes five Sunday interpretive walks with experienced docents on September 17, October 1, 15, 29, and November 12, from 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

The keynote speaker for the first workshop on September 9, is evolutionary biologist Dr. Phil Rundel of UCLA, whose recent article, “The future of California sage scrub in an era of increasing urbanization and global climate change,” was published by the Native Plant Society.

Botanist Doug Allan, will also present information on basic biology and botany. Both men are Topanga residents.

The Topanga Canyon Docents is an all-volunteer, non-profit organization dedicated to sharing knowledge of the natural world with park visitors since 1974. The TCD leads regular public walks from January through June. They also focus on outdoor education for school children, sometimes providing transportation to the park from underserved elementary schools.  

The group is comprised of dedicated naturalists who also host the Visitor Center, sharing with the public its remarkable contents, animal specimens, artifacts and displays. They provide maps and advice about the trails, act as trail ambassadors and share and expand knowledge of field ecology.

Docent benefits include outings, field trips and camping opportunities only open to TCD members.  Active members enjoy free attendance for Fall Training and a park pass. Volunteer time qualifies for district and state-wide parking passes. The $100 tuition fee includes a first-year membership through December 2018.

If you’ve ever hiked the hills and canyons and have longed to learn and share what you observe, then this training is perfect for you.

To download registration forms:  topangacanyondocents.org/fall-training-just-around-corner. For more information: Karin Benson, (310) 455-3143.

By Megan Williams-Lee

1 Comment
  1. Hello Karin Benson,

    I do have an important question, because I ‘am looking for a lady named Karin Benson.
    She is German and was married with Tom Scott, an employer in Brussels. She divorced and was interested in alternative health. Maybe your are a member of her family? I like to find her again.

    My name is Annie Wennekes,
    3080 Tervuren. Belgium

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