Our tours of Ballona Creek, the adjacent Ballona Wetlands, the Freshwater Marsh and the Baldwin Hills are shared with organizations such as Friends of Ballona Wetlands, LA Audubon, and other organizations and public agencies which have permits to access some areas normally closed to the general public. Trips are organized so that they are suitable for the group, whether students or adults.
Topics discussed on the tours may include some or all of the following:
1. Evidence of use of the areas by earlier settlers, including the native Tongva, followed by Spanish Land Grant settlers and more recent arrivals, such as oil companies.
2. Despite the invasion of “civilization” and non-native plants, bird and animal life still thrive. The creek and wetlands are an essential stopover for migrating birds. Visitors enjoy the diverse bird species seen in the creek and wetlands (see our web page on Birds of the Creek for some outstanding photos of what visitors might see on a typical day).
3. Educational and recreational projects to improve the creek experience.
4. Challenges posed by global warming such as warmer water temperatures, sea-level rise, and invasive species crowding out native plants and animals.
5. Coping with pollution that ends up in the creek and ocean (there’s LOTS of that!).
6. What ordinary people can do to help.
In addition to tours, BCR works with other agencies on joint projects in the creek, wetlands and Baldwin Hills to recruit and work with volunteers on events such as removing non-native invasive plants and planting natives appropriate for the site. BCR also supports public agencies in the creation of educational and recreational improvements such as mini-parks with observation areas.