ADVENTURES WITH NATURE

Activity Notations: (E) Easy; (M) Moderate; (A) Active; (S) Strenuous; (H) Hike; (T) Talk, 1 mile or less (*) Indicates possible presence of poison oak; Rain or Bad weather cancels outdoor activities. Duration times are approximate. No dogs. For information, call the Museum of Natural History at 772-2694.

NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM

The Natural History Museum, 412 S. McClelland in Santa Maria is now offering outdoor activities each month. For information, call the museum at 614-0806.

DUNES CENTER

Located at 1055 Guadalupe St. in Guadalupe, the Dunes Center offers many activities, including a variety of docent-led walks. All are free; most are well-suited for family outings or groups. An all-terrain wheelchair is available for those with limited-mobility; contact the Center at 343-2455, Ext. 201, for this and all other special needs. Bring water, sunscreen, insect repellent and a windbreaker. Rain cancels walks. Visit the center’s Web site at www.dunescenter.org for a full list of activities and information on volunteering. The Dunes Center is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursdays through Sundays.

S.B. BOTANIC GARDEN

The Santa Barbara Botanic garden offers classes to the public. For details of each class, check www.sbbg.org or phone 682-4726. The Garden is at 1212 Mission Canyon Road, Santa Barbara. Additional information about upcoming tours can be found at www.SantaBarbaraBotanicGarden.org.

GANNA WALSKA LOTUSLAND

Ganna Walska Lotusland is a 37-acre botanical estate garden in Montecito, just east of Santa Barbara. Lotusland contains subtropical and tropical plants from around the world and is home to several extraordinary collections, including rare cycads, cacti, palms and euphorbias. Reservations are required and may be made by calling 969-9990 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday.

LOPEZ LAKE

Lopez Lake offers activities throughout the year. There is an $8 per vehicle entrance fee and most activities are free. For camping or barbecue site reservations, call 788-2381, Ext 3. For information on activities, call 788-2386. San Luis Obispo County Parks also accepts online reservations for camping at Lopez Lake Recreation Area at www.slocountyparks.com.

PISMO BEACH

The Pismo Nature Center is at 555 Pier Ave. (just inside Pismo State Beach Oceano Campground entrance). Discover what lives in and on the beach; where to find wildlife in the lagoon; how the Chumash Indians lived before the time of the missions, or just sit and enjoy any of the nature videos on the big screen. There’s plenty to see and do for the entire family, and it’s free; Call 489-1869 or www.ccnha.org for times.

If you like to plant, water and care for native flowers, shrubs and trees, meet at 9 a.m. Tuesdays at the Nature Center inside the entrance to Pismo State Beach Oceano Campground, 555 Pier Ave., Oceano; 543-2141.

CACHUMA LAKE

Cachuma Lake Recreation Area, a Santa Barbara County Park, offers adventures for the whole family, including exciting Wildlife Cruises, Nature Walks, a “hands on” Nature Center, and boat rentals. For cruise reservations and times call 686-5050 weekdays, or 686-5055 weekends. Call the Naturalists’ Office at 688-4515 for more information on nature programs or visit www.cachuma.com and click on “Calendar of Events.” The Nature Center is open Tuesday through Sunday with hands-on exhibits for kids and adults, as well as a gift and book shop. Admission is free with an $8 per vehicle park entry fee. Call 693-0691 for more information.

Cachuma Lake Wildlife Cruise, from 10 a.m. to noon Saturdays and Sundays, and 3 to 5 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. Santa Barbara County Park Naturalists lead 2-hour cruises that focus on local and migratory wildlife, flora, cultural history and geology. $15 for adults, $7 for kids (4 to 12 years old; No children under 4). Reservations: 686-5050 weekdays, or 686-5055 weekends. $8 park admission per vehicle. Call 688-4515 for more information.

Cachuma Lake Nature Center is open Wednesdays through Sundays. Exhibits and hands-on displays for all ages feature local wildlife, birds, plant life, geology and local history with a gift and book shop. Free admission with $8 park admission per vehicle. For hours and information, call 693-0691.

Cachuma Lake Nature Walk, from 10 to 11:30 a.m. Saturdays, meet at the Cachuma Lake Nature Center. Santa Barbara County Park Naturalists and docents lead a 1-mile walk on the Oak Canyon Trail. Free with $8 Park Admission per vehicle. Call 688-4515 for more information.

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Cachuma Lake Junior Ranger Program, from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. Saturdays, at the Cachuma Lake Nature Center. Kids earn a badge with the help of a Santa Barbara County Park naturalist as they learn about wildlife and care of the natural environment. $2 per child in addition to the $8 park admission per vehicle. Call 688-4515 for more information.

ECOSLO

In partnership with the city of San Luis Obispo, ECOSLO runs a program called Natural San Luis, which offers nature hikes. The docent-led events are free. For more information, visit www.ecoslo.org, or call 544-1777 or 781-7211.

GREEN THUMBS

Grover Beach — 920 Brighton Ave. Rent for six months is $30 per plot; 473-4580.

Santa Maria — 510 E. Park Ave. Plots are $27 per year and can be reserved by calling 925-0951, Ext. 260.

GUADALUPE DUNES

Rancho Guadalupe Dunes Preserve Santa Barbara County park, managed by the Center for Natural Lands Management, is open from sunrise to sunset. For information, call Rancho Guadalupe Dunes Preserve at 343-2052.

If you have an outdoor adventure to list in this calendar, fax two weeks in advance to Linda Olvera, Santa Maria Times, 928-5657; e-mail lolvera@santamariatimes.com, or mail to Santa Maria Times, P.O. Box 400, Santa Maria, CA 93456.

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