Orange County Branch Newsletter
Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve ASCE OC Hike
Gary Gilbert, P.E., G.E.
On Saturday November 21st, students from Cal State Fullerton and University of California, Irvine joined OC Branch members on a morning nature walk in the Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve. The hike was led by Orange County Parks Ranger Amy Erickson, who explained the purpose of the different habitats and why they are so important to the health of many species that live or travel through the nature reserve. For those of you who are unfamiliar with Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve, it is a key location for birds migrating with the changes in seasons. If you are a bird lover, there is a portion of the Nature Preserve that is the perfect place to take pictures of your favorite migratory bird. The ranger also showed us where burrowing owls have been known to live in the recent past and where a bobcat used to live near the Peter & Mary Muth Interpretive Center.
After a short and informative walk in the Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve, the ranger provided a brief tour of the Peter & Mary Muth Interpretive Center. We learned that the building was constructed using many different types of recycled materials. A new exhibit allowed us to get up close to a small manta ray and bat ray that came up to the edge of the glass wanting to play with us. I didn’t realize that manta rays were so playful and it was the highlight of the tour! The ranger also showed us a king snake where most of the attendees from our group were adventurous enough to actually pet the snake.
The morning nature walk and visit to the Peter & Mary Muth Interpretive Center was a great way to meet students and members of the OC Branch. We look forward to meeting more of our members on future hikes. If you would be interested in setting up a hike, please contact the ASCE OC Branch social committee.