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Sea & Sage Audubon Society
Group Tours
at the San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary in Irvine
(suitable for scouts and adult community groups)

updated July 27, 2003



 

Our Group Tour Program:
During the one hour tour, an Audubon naturalist will lead your group from (1) an up-close look at the mounted bird displays inside Audubon House to (2) a walk along the trails around the freshwater ponds.  The Audubon naturalist will introduce your group to the wetland ecosystem and its importance, show you how to use "field marks" and behaviors to identify common birds, explain bird migration, and discuss how to protect birds and wetlands.
 

Group Size Requirements:
We accept a minimum of 8 up to a maximum of 16 scouts or school children.  For other community groups, we accept a minimum of 10 individuals.
 

Program Fee Details:
The program fee includes a one hour tour of the trails and Audubon House, use of our binoculars (one per individual), and a copy of our 28 page illustrated field guide Birds of the San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary for each individual to keep.  The current fee schedule (effective January 1, 2001) is:

  • Scout Group Tours are $45 for 8-16 scouts.
  • Community Group Tours are $50 for 10 individuals, with an extra charge of $5 for each additional person.
To Schedule Your Tour:
WE SCHEDULE TOURS A MINIMUM OF 1-2 MONTHS IN ADVANCE.  If you are interested, contact our Community Coordinator, Helen Nicholas at 949-726-0858  (at home) or to arrange a date and to receive an Enrollment Form.  You must mail your check with the Enrollment Form at least one month before your tour date!
 

Facilities and What to Bring:
We suggest comfortable walking shoes; the trails are gravel.  Jackets are needed in cooler months; a hat and sunscreen in warmer months.  We have rest room facilities, a drinking fountain, and handicapped access to the buildings.  The Audubon House gift shop sells patches, bird guides, T-shirts and other nature related items.
 

Wildlife You Can Expect to See:
The bird checklist for the San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary includes 263 species.  Depending on the season, you may see 12-25 species during your one hour tour. Many species of ducks and shorebirds feed in the deep and shallow ponds, while egrets and herons stalk  their prey along the pond edges, and hawks soar overhead.  In the spring,  songbirds sing to establish and defend breeding territories, and you may even see nesting birds with chicks.  Rabbits, lizards, butterflies, dragonflies, and evidence of coyotes may be seen on the trails.  You will have lots of opportunities to view wildlife during your tour!

How to Act in a Wildlife Sanctuary:
Because Sea & Sage Audubon Society and the Irvine Ranch Water District care about wetland habitat and wildlife, everything at the San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary is protected.  All visitors are expected to protect the wildlife during their visit.  Parents are responsible for ensuring children obey the rules at all times.

If you are bringing children, please review our two Program Rules with them BEFORE your visit to the sanctuary.

Rule #1:  PROTECT WILDLIFE AT ALL TIMES.

  • Use a quiet voice at all times.
  • Stay on the trails.
  • Walk, do not run.
  • Do not pick up or throw rocks.
  • Do not pick any plants.  (Stinging nettle does sting!)
  • Do not harm any insects.
  • Use your binoculars instead of your feet to get close to wildlife.


Rule #2:  LISTEN TO AND OBEY YOUR TOUR LEADER.

  • Stay behind the Tour Leader.
  • Raise your hand to speak.
  • Follow instructions about how to use binoculars and other materials.
We want you to have a wonderful experience with nature!


 

How to Get to the Site:

The San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary is a 300 acre freshwater wetlands at the Irvine Ranch Water District.  It is located at 5 Riparian View between Jamboree and Harvard in the city of Irvine.
 

DIRECTIONS:
 

When driving south on the San Diego Freeway, (#405), exit on Jamboree and turn right. At the first signal, which is Michelson, turn left. Continue on Michelson to the third signal which is Riparian View and turn right toward the Irvine Ranch Water District water treatment plant. Follow the road and the signs directing you to the San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary. You will be on a narrow, 2 way road. Signs will finally direct you to turn right, down a short hill, and into a parking lot. The first building you see will be Audubon House. Beyond Audubon House are the ponds of the San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary.
 

When driving north on the San Diego Freeway, (#405), exit on Culver and turn left. At the first signal, which is Michelson, turn right. Continue on Michelson to the third signal which is Riparian View and turn left, at the signal, toward the Irvine Ranch Water District water treatment plant. Follow Riparian View and the signs directing you to the San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary. You will be on a narrow, 2 way road. Signs will finally direct you to turn right, down a short hill, and into a parking lot. The first building you see will be Audubon House. Beyond Audubon House are the ponds of the San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary.
 

HOURS OF OPERATION:
 

San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary: open daily from dawn to dusk
Audubon House:open daily from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.


Sea & Sage Audubon Society
PO Box 5447 • Irvine, CA 92616 • 949-261-7963

http://www.seaandsageaudubon.org