November 23, 2014

Visitor Center Stays Open Late for Campfire Tuesdays

 

CALABASAS, CA—As part of its summer campfire series, the Santa Monica Mountains Interagency

PHOTO COURTESY OF THE NPS

Visitor Center Stays Open Late for Campfire Tuesdays

The wildlife tunnel exhibit at the Visitor's Center at King Gillette Ranch.

Visitor Center will stay open until 7:00 p.m. on Tuesdays from June 17 through July 8. Visitors are encouraged to check out the interactive exhibits before walking over to the campfire, which runs from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m.

Naturalists from the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority (MRCA) will lead all ages in a fun evening of songs, marshmallow roasting and nature education. Though the late hours for the visitor center will only be tested on a trial basis through July 8, the campfires run through August 5. 

"We're trying out the later hours in order to give working adults and their families a chance to visit us during the weekday," said Jamie Cabral, chief of interpretation for MRCA. "I think even people who have lived in the area for a long time will learn something new about the Santa Monica Mountains."

Opened in 2012 at King Gillette Ranch in Calabasas, the visitor center was formally the horse stable of the 1929 Gillette mansion, also located on the property. The building was re-purposed to achieve Platinum LEED certification and become the first "net zero" visitor center within the National Park Service. It produces all of its energy needs through a 94 kilowatt photovoltaic solar energy system. 

The center is jointly operated by California State Parks, the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority, the National Park Service and the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy.

The program is free but there is a $7 parking fee. Call (805) 370-2301 for more information.