BURBANK — For Burbank High School freshman Ryan Magowan, the Stough Canyon Nature Center is a welcome escape from daily life.
“You can get away from technology and get outdoors,” said Ryan, who said his love of nature and interest in science motivated him to begin volunteering at the center to help him rack up community-service hours.
The high school student was one of many residents who made their way to the center, tucked in the hills of Burbank’s Stough Canyon, to celebrate its 10th anniversary.
Dedicated in 2001, the city-sponsored nature center features an exhibit hall, library, classroom and outdoor amphitheater. It was named after Oliver Stough, who donated land to the city for public parkland that also includes Stough Park and the Starlight Bowl.
A variety of programs, including educational events, nature hikes and workshops, takes place at the center throughout the year.
“A lot of people don’t know about it because it’s kind of hidden up in the canyon,” said center docent Tim Elliott. “But there’s all sorts of activities you can get involved in.”
Elliott, who has hiked in the canyon for more than a decade, said he saw the center being built and has enjoyed getting involved.
“It’s a great event and a great setting,” he said.
On Saturday, festivities included nature activities, scavenger hunts and an interactive display with lizards, snakes and other wildlife.
Local first-grader Griffin Fox was especially enamored with several of the snakes, one of which he said had “kissed him.”
“I like exploring nature,” he said.