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With it being almost fall, we are so lucky to still have so many beautiful wildflowers. Thanks to all of the rain, plus the fertile soil as a result of the Woolsey Fire and Hill Fire, the plant life has continued to thrive. We hope that you have been getting out on the trail to experience the amazing rebirth of our amazing open space in the Conejo Valley.

(Braunton's Milkvetch and Plummer's Mariposa Lily pictured above)
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Speaker Series 2019
Our first speaker on June 27 was a huge success! Thank you to all of those who attended and learned about mountain lions, coyotes, and other native animals. Our next speaker is right around the corner on August 15, 2019. Please visit https://cosf.org/events/open-space-speaker-series/ to RSVP for "The Formation of the Conejo Valley and its Earthquake Risk" with speaker Derek Field. Seating is extremely limited, so be sure to sign up ASAP! This event is free, however, we encourage a $10 donation to COSF at the door.
Trail Maintenance 2019
By: John Kross, Pictures courtesy of Ranger Bruce
 
"COSCA preserves, protects, and manages open space resources in the Conejo Valley.” So easily said, yet so much work goes into living up to that phrase. The guardians of that motto are a group of six park rangers and two open space techs that maintain the trails, assist trail users in need, engage with park visitors, work with volunteers, and so much more. This year has been especially tough due to the fires and the heavy rainfall we have had. It seems like as soon as they are done grooming a trail, it needs to be done again because of the overgrowth of vegetation!

Eight people cover over 150 miles of trails in roughly 12,500 acres of open space. Truly a yeoman’s job which our brave and dedicated rangers fulfill with a smile every day of the year. Next time you see a COSCA ranger, please smile and thank them for their dedication and service.

Click on the photo above to watch a great YouTube video done by the City of Thousand Oaks about McCrea Ranch. Mayor Rob McCoy talks with Wyatt McCrea about his grandparents, Joel and Frances McCrea, and their ranch, now a historical site in Thousand Oaks.
Fall Trail Work Day

The COSCA annual Fall Trail Work Day will be on Saturday, October 19, 2019. Work will be done in Hill Canyon Open Space.  It will be a work day as well as a celebration of the reopening of the Hill Canyon bridge, which was damaged in the Hill Fire and closed for several months while repairs were made. Please arrive by 7:30am to check in and sign the waiver (you can also pre-print and sign the waiver here to save time). Volunteers will be treated to lunch as well as raffles and prizes!

If you would like to be notified of these and future trail work projects, please complete the application on the website that follows and remember to select Trail Work from the pull down menu in “Area of Interest”   
https://cosf.org/volunteer/ . Please also click on this link to see past Trail Work Day events: https://cosf.org/events/trail-building-and-restoration/ 

Free Hikes!
Come get to know some new trails - or come re-visit your favorite trails - in a guided group hike setting. The 2019 CRPD Open Space Appreciation Hike series is underway. Come join us for these monthly mid-range hikes! Upcoming hikes are listed below, or go here to see details of the 12 hikes we’ve planned for 2019. Participants must be at least 14 years old, and a responsible adult must accompany hikers under 18. No pets please.

Saturday, August 10, 2019 from 8am to 11am Wildwood – 5 miles (starting at Wildflower Park)
* Sunday, September 8, 2019 from 8am to 10am Sapwi Park- 4 miles
* Saturday, October 12, 2019 from 8am to 11am Dos Vientos-Potrero Ridge - 5.5 miles
* Saturday, November 9, 2019 from 8am to 10:30am - Wishbone Trail - 5 miles
Trail Trivia:
Fossils in the Conejo Open Space

By Kira Krukowski

Did you know that there are many fossils in our own local open space? The above images are taken in the Arroyo Conejo, Lang Ranch, and the Woodridge Trail near Bard Reservoir. If you slow down and take a look around, they are everywhere! Want to learn more? Please come to our next Speaker Series on August 15 where a geologist will tell us about our local geology (see above for more information). Also, visit the Conejo Gem and Mineral Club's website at: https://cgamc.org/
 
Spotlight on…
 
Who? Jerry Westby, COSF President, and CRPD Open Space Appreciation Hike Leader. Jerry is an enthusiastic, active, and passionate board member. He took the role of COSF President in May 2019 and has been on the board since May 2017. We are so grateful for all of his contributions to the foundation. 
 
Day Job? I retired in late 2016 after a 40+ year career in educational book publishing. Prior to retirement I was invited to join the Board of Directors for the Conejo Open Space Foundation and my activity with COSF has increased each year.

Why is open space important to you? In the first half of my life, I lived in the northern Midwest. Though the summers were short, I spent much quality time in the outdoors camping and fishing. While the winters could be harsh, I skied and seemed to always find a way to be outside. Moving to California for 3 years in the early 80s and then permanently in 1990 was like moving to Paradise! I’ve fished, hiked, camped, and backpacked frequently with friends and my family to take advantage of our incredible resources. I find I need to get on the trails weekly to be refreshed. As I like to tell people, you never meet an unhappy person on the trails!

What skills do you bring to COSF and/or Conejo Valley open space? I have a strong desire to help COSF educate the public on how we can responsibly use, protect, and sustain our open space, its land, and its wildlife. Besides getting on the trails frequently, I also co-lead Open Space Appreciation hikes for CRPD and hear from our hikers what their thoughts and concerns are about the open space. Additionally, during my career I published books in environmental science and related areas, which were important to me. I managed publishing programs, and I think that experience helps in working on the Board and with our related organizations in
finding ways to collaborate in a positive win-win fashion.

What do you like to do in open space? I’m a frequent hiker and love to re-visit my favorite trails as well as explore new ones. The exercise is healthy and the cares of the world melt away. Plus, the views are spectacular! Prior to joining the COSF Board, I volunteered to adopt several miles of the Los Robles East and Scenic Loop trails which are popular with hikers and bikers. I do light maintenance like clipping overhanging bushes and removing rocks, take photos to report any major repairs needed, and feel like I’m contributing to preserve the trails.

Where is your favorite place in to be in Conejo open space? I guess my favorite place is in the Conejo Canyons open space, even though the Hill Canyon fires have had a significant impact on the environs, especially the Hawk Canyon trail. The flowers this spring were unbelievable, the views of the canyons and vistas from Elliot Peak and the various trails are amazing, and, of course, the exercise is uplifting.

What are your hopes for the future of COSF and/or Conejo Valley open space? I see COSF playing a greater role in the community. COSF’s recent launch of our Speaker Series is a step in that direction. I hope we can continue to expand our open space in the Conejo Valley and provide more opportunities for people to understand its importance and benefits. It’s encouraging to know how much the City of Thousand Oaks values the open space and supports the efforts of COSF, COSTAC, COSCA and CRPD to maintain and protect the open space. I hope to play whatever role I can to assist in those efforts.

Any other thoughts or words of wisdom? We’re so fortunate to live here in the Conejo Valley with over 150 miles of trails and with people who care and support what the open space offers for public health and for the protection of plants and wildlife. COSF will continue to play a role in this and we encourage people to volunteer their time and donate to support our efforts.
Where in the Conejo Valley Is This?

Have you seen our recent contest in the Thousand Oaks Acorn? Every 2 weeks, we will be posting a photo of our beautiful open space with a clue. When you go to our website and submit a correct guess, you will be entered in a drawing for a $25 gift card for a local business!!! Have fun out there... we look forward to hearing your guesses!
Congratulations to Brian Stark for recently being hired as administrator of COSCA (Conejo Open Space Conservancy Agency)! Brian had been a very active board member of the foundation before his new promotion and contributed so much to our nonprofit. His many years of experience as executive director of the Ojai Valley Land Conservancy and his wisdom were much appreciated during his 3 years on the Conejo Open Space Foundation Board. A terrific article was recently about him in the Thousand Oaks Acorn. Please read more here about Brian!
Please do not use rodenticide in your homes or businesses. It harms not only pets and neighborhood wildlife, it travels up the food-chain and harms or even kills coyotes, bobcats, and mountain lions. Thank you to NPS for the above image. Please visit their website here to learn more about rodenticide and potential alternatives. 
Want to Volunteer? Here’s How!
COSCA relies on volunteers to help us oversee and manage our open space and trails. Volunteering for these programs below is easy, fun, not time-consuming, and a great way to get involved. You’ll also meet people who share your love of Conejo’s open space. You can read about the specific volunteer opportunities below, and you can submit a request to volunteer, noting your specific interests, here.
(White Eardrops pictured above)
The Conejo Open Space Foundation was formed in 1995 to promote and maintain the open space and trail system of the Conejo Valley and to educate residents as to their roles as custodians and protectors of the open space and the environment. Our web site illustrates ongoing Conejo Open Space programs supported by the Foundation that help preserve and protect our precious open space.
Copyright © 2019 Conejo Open Space Foundation, All rights reserved.


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