Friday, February 11, 2011

Cycling Claremont: Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden...

One of the first places the family and I visited after moving to Claremont was the Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden, and we have continued to be regular visitors ever since. The Garden, originally located on 200 acres in Orange County, was established in 1927, and moved to its current 86 acre location in Claremont in 1951. Today it is an independent organization, open to the public, though affiliated with the Claremont Graduate University. 

The Garden includes miles of intersecting trails meandering through various habitat areas - desert, oak woodland, chaparral, coast sage scrub which, combined, highlight the flora of Southern California. Various garden sculptural elements (such as Mythical Bird shown above) are scattered around the grounds inviting discovery, and much of the Garden is given over to displaying how native plants can be used in a home garden setting. 

During the summer months there have been concerts in the garden, and throughout the year there are other special events showcasing the plants, Native American heritages, animal life, art, etc. There are also classes held year-round, in gardening, arts and crafts, and others. Check out their website for a schedule of events. 

The Garden does provide parking for bicycles in the form of a rack, which is often in use, and a bike lane has been provided along the lengthy access drive leading up to the entrance from Foothill Blvd. Spring and summer are the best times to visit, I think, due to the variety of plants in bloom. But, you are sure to find something of interest no matter what time of year it is.

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