Arroyo Hondo Preserve Herb Walk

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Date & Time

Sat, Aug 06 9:30 AM - 12:30 PM

Address (map)

14900 Camino Real Gaviota CA 93117

Venue (website)

Arroyo Hondo Preserve

The Land Trust for Santa Barbara County’s Arroyo Hondo Preserve has always been an amazing example of California’s biodiversity. The Montecito Journal describes it as “one of Santa Barbara’s most significant treasures.” Now that the Alisal Fire swept through it in October of 2021, it also serves as an example of the amazing regenerative power of Nature. On August 6 from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., I’ll return for the first time since the fire to observe how the land is regaining its legendary status as “the jewel of the Gaviota Coast.”

We’ll look in the creekside riparian habitat for the resprouting and re-emergence of Southern California native trees, including White Alder, California Bay, Blue Elderberry, Bigleaf Maple, and Coast Live Oak. Where the tree canopy used to be, we’ll seek out signs of the return of shade-loving native plants and herbs like Giant Horsetail, Gooseberry, Hummingbird Sage, Maidenhair Fern and Giant Chain Fern.

The sunnier exposed sage scrub and chaparral areas were hardest hit by the fire but I still expect to see natives like Toyon, Black Sage, Coastal Sagebrush, Lemonade Berry, and Greenbark Ceanothus resprouting or popping up from the seed bank stored below the soil surface.

After the walk, I will break out my mobile bookstore, including copies of my book, Medicinal Herbs of California, available for sale and signing. A number of the plants that we’ll meet can be found in the book. I’ll also have Milt McAuley’s classic Wildflowers of the Santa Monica Mountains which includes every plant we’ll see.

The cost for the walk is $35. Senior, student and child discounts are available by request. The Land Trust for Santa Barbara County also requests a suggested $10 donation at the site to cover stewardship of the land. Once registered, attendees will receive an email during the week prior to the walk with more information and directions to Arroyo Hondo. No dogs or smoking are allowed.

Participants will receive an email afterwards with notes and a complete list of all plants and wildlife observed. To register, please visit

Pastel painting of Hollister Meadow at Arroyo Hondo Preserve by Chris Chapman


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