Wilderness Group Offers Two Outings

The Wilderness Institute is offering two outdoor adventures this weekend: a sunset walk at Point Mugu and, for the physically handicapped, a tide pool discovery outing.

Today's sunset walk will begin at 5:30 p.m. at Point Mugu State Park with a naturalist leading hikers to the Point Mugu Overlook in time for sunset. Along the way, he'll discuss local ecology and the history of the area. The cost is $10 for adults, $8 for kids. Wear good walking shoes and bring water and a sweater.

Sunday's tide pool discovery trip will meet at Leo Carrillo State Park at 9 a.m. The staff will provide the means for getting wheelchairs out to the shoreline, using either a flattened water drain or wooden ladder-like device over the sand. Once the group gathers at the water's edge, naturalists will talk about sea life and show live specimens. This four-hour program is free and family members are welcome. Picnic facilities are available. Reservations are required for both events: (818) 887-7831.

The Wilderness Institute was started three years ago by former park service ranger Brad Childs, who decided to fill in the hole left by recent cutbacks in the park service budget. Setting up an ambitious program of "outdoor adventures for personal growth for all ages and most abilities," the nonprofit organization now offers everything from nature walks for pre-schoolers to family fishing outings, mountain climbing and kayaking trips. All outings are led by staff naturalists or outside experts in such areas as fossils and astronomy. The fee programs help pay for the free ones for people with physical handicaps. The institute is located at 22900 Ventura Blvd., Woodland Hills.

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