Naturalist training in Topanga State Park begins on 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. We explore the Native American cultures that thrived here for centuries, as well as in-the-field presentations with highly respected professional educators from local universities, museums, and parks.
The six classroom, and in-the-field workshops are held on alternate Saturdays, 9/9, 9/23, 10/7, 10/21, 11/4, and 11/18 from 9:30 a.m.- 3:30 p.m. As part of the training, there will be five Sunday interpretive walks with experienced docents held on 9/17, 10/1, 10/15, 10/29, and 11/12, from 9:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m.
The Topanga Canyon Docents (TCD) are 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 made up 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. The benefits include outings, field trips, and camping opportunities only open to TCD members. Active members enjoy free attendance for future Fall Training sessions, a Topanga park pass, and volunteer time qualifies active docents 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.