Hidden Gardens Tour in Three Rivers on April 16


The Hidden Gardens of Three Rivers Tour is sponsored by the Three Rivers Union School Foundation, as a fundraiser for the local school, currently facing severe budget challenges. Six foothill gardens will be open to the public for this self-guided tour.

Actor, William Shatner, has graciously offered to share his beautiful Belle Reve Ranch for this one day special event. Guests will be able to visit his riverside Indian spirit gar…den and Little Grant’s Grove, in their beautiful natural settings along the South Fork of the Kaweah River.

Local artists, musicians, and a “Taste of Three Rivers,” provided by local restaurants will be offered at each garden, along with volunteers and docents, via the local Redbud Garden Club, will help guide you through the garden.

You can also enjoy the local wildflower bloom along your way.

The other five gardens on the Hidden Gardens Tour include
•a tropical garden, with hand-carved tikis, waterfalls, and an outdoor movie theater;
• an authentic early California garden and lavender farm, on a property with an historic adobe home
•a traditional terraced English country garden, complete with art studio and sunset views
•an expansive riverside garden, adjacent to a stunning South Fork waterfall, with a tour of the owners’ home, which was designed and built to the North Star
• a spiritual retreat garden where lawn and flowers meet oaks and granite.

Tickets are $35 each, available at Chumps in Three Rivers or online at trusfoundation.org. You will be able to exchange your ticket for a packet with a name badge, map and directions to each garden a week before the Tour at the Three Rivers Union School from 4-5:30 pm on Mon-Fri, or at Chump’s from 11-8 pm. Packets will also be available on the day of the Tour from 10- 1 pm at the school. Both Chump’s and the school are located on Hwy 198 in Three Rivers.

For more information, call Pam Lockhart at 559-471-6624.

Sequoia Speaks Series Returns

The winter “Sequoia Speaks” series of weekly lectures and presentations starts on January 29. Discover the untold stories of Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks through the explorations and experiences of scientists, artists, and historians. This series is resented by the National Park Service. See dates and topics below image.

All programs are free and open to the public, and will be held at the Three Rivers Arts Center on North Fork Drive in Three Rivers.

 

SATURDAY, JANUARY 29, 2011  7-8 pm
Climate is Changing and So Must We
Accelerated changes in climate and its impacts to water and ecosystems are already being observed in many parts of our planet, including the Southern Sierra Nevada, and more are projected. In the face of these unprecedented global changes, past conditions no longer provide us with sensible management targets. What are land managers to do? The future is uncertain, forcing us to think and act in fundamentally new ways. Koren Nydick, Science Coordinator, will address what the National Park Service and Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks are doing to meet this challenge head-on.

SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 5, 2011   7-8 pm
Shifting Water Dynamics in the Sierra Nevada National Parks and their Consequences
Meet Jennie Skancke, the Sierra Network’s new physical scientist, and discover what profound implications warming temperatures and shifts from snow to rain in the Sierra Nevada will have for resources in the national parks and for state water management. Find out how anticipating and documenting these changes will allow the National Park Service resource managers and state water managers to focus their restoration or protection efforts.

SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 12, 2011   7-8 pm
Fire in the National Park Service: An Evolving Relationship
Patterns of fire occurrence in the Sierra Nevada are governed by biological factors, such as plant species composition and fuel production, and environmental and physical factors, such as topography, weather, and climate. Global climate change is likely to cause changes to these patterns. Tony Caprio, Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park’s fire ecologist will look at past and contemporary patterns and consider how they may change in the future.

SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 19, 2011  7-8 pm
Taking the Long View: park biologists and citizen scientists working together to monitor alpine plant communities
Join Park Plant Ecologist, Sylvia Haultain, on a stunning photographic tour of the plants and animals that live above treeline. She will highlight the parks’ participation in the international Global Observation Research Initiative in Alpine Environments (GLORIA) network and the newly established High Sierra monitoring sites in the Mt. Langley area. Discover an exciting new program that engages you, citizen scientists, in documenting changes in the timing of life cycle events of local plants. Your observations can contribute to our understanding of local climate change effects.

SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 26, 2011  7-8 pm
A Legacy of Joseph Grinnell: predicting the future from the record of the past
Joseph Grinnell, the founding director of the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology at UC-Berkeley and an influential naturalist of the early 20th century, began his career at the museum with this vision: “…the greatest purpose of our museum…will not be realized until the lapse of many years, possibly a century…and this is that the student of the future will have access to the original record of vertebrate conditions in California.” Grinnell’s vision stemmed from his concern for the loss of nature habitats, but today we also face climate change.
Join Jim Patton, Curator and Professor Emeritus, from the University of California, Berkeley in his discussion of the Grinnell Resurvey Project. This project began in 2003 and centered along the length of the Sierra Nevada as a realization of Grinnell’s early vision. He will detail the changes in range distributions of small mammals and birds over the past century, discuss the potential forces underlying these shifts, and address the likely future for several of our most iconic terrestrial vertebrate species.

For more information, please call 559-565-4212.
Image source: nps.gov/seki

Respect the River

A letter to Three Rivers’ visitors
from John and Sarah Elliot Publishers of the Kaweah Commonwealth

We would like to talk frankly with you about our town’s namesake: the three rivers. Most likely, the Kaweah River is why you are here. It is certainly the principal reason why we live here. The Kaweah River is sacred. It is the lifeblood of this community and serves as either the focal point or backdrop in everything we do. The residents of Three Rivers respect the river and understand its power.  The river rules; we can never rule the river.

(photo source riverchica.com)

This time of year, river issues take precedence in all that most residents think about or do. Please know that the Three Rivers community wishes to share this awesome natural resource with you, but there is some critical information that you should know.  Most importantly, this entire community mourns when a visitor succumbs to the forces of the river. Whether it’s the witnesses, the heroic locals who will attempt to save you, the first responders, the volunteer ambulance crew, or even the newspaper staff who must convey the devastating story, many people are deeply saddened by such a tragedy. And multiple drownings occur in the Kaweah River every year. You must never, ever underestimate the power of this waterway or it will take your life away in an instant.

Also, even if the sight of the refreshing water proves irresistible on a hot day, please respect private property and “No Trespassing” signs. If you do properly access the river and spend time along its shores, please carry out what you carried in. This is an unincorporated community with no scheduled trash pickup or routine upkeep at local river sites. You were obviously drawn here by the unique beauty, so consider it your personal responsibility to keep the waterway pristine for the next visitor by properly disposing of your beer and soda cans, food containers, cigarette butts, and your children’s dirty diapers. (Read the rest of the story here.)

100 years for the historic Kaweah Post Office

Update as of May 27, 2010: Apparently mail will still be delivered to the boxes at the Kaweah Post Office after May 31. But, the last day to send any outgoing mail from the small historic structure will be tomorrow. Read article in the Visalia Time Delta

The Kaweah Postal Service will celebrate its 100th birthday on May 17, 2010.
It has been known as the smallest post office in the country that was still operational.
The US Postal Service will close the Kaweah Post Office at the end of this month.
Read about the History of the Kaweah Colonists who built the it in 1910.

From the Kaweah CommonwealthIn 1886, the Kaweah Colony was established as a tent camp at Advance on the North Fork. The utopian socialists began to attract attention, both locally and nationwide, with the building of a road to access timber claims in the Giant Forest. On May 17, 1890, an application for the Kaweah Post Office at Advance was granted. In 1910, the current 10-by-12-foot structure was constructed with a materials cost of about $15 and was moved several times to accommodate its patrons. In 1926, the post office was moved to its present location on North Fork Drive. On Oct. 24, 1948, it was designated a State Historic Landmark.

Read article in the May 14 edition of the Kaweah Commonwealth….

The Kaweah Post Office is located at 43795 North Fork Drive in Three Rivers. See map.


photo source: www.panoramio.com


photo source: historicphotoarchive.com


photo source: www.flickr.com

Celebrating 70 Years for the Sequoia Natural History Association

Sequoia Natural History Association
“Celebrating 70 Years” Partnership Weekend
April 23, 24, 25,  2010

The first member gathering was at the Ash Mountain Headquarters in 1988. In 2010, we are bringing it back as we “Celebrate 70 Years”. Please join us for this special and exclusive event, dedicated to our SNHA members only. The programs will fill up quickly. Special activities will require smaller group sizes and are on a first-sign up, first registered basis. Deadline to register is April 9th, 2010. An itinerary packet will be mailed to you confirming your activity availability.

Friday, April 23 Park Partner Mixer – join the SNHA staff and members of the board of directors for an intimate reception and open conversation at the Ash Mountain Recreation Hall. Wine, beer and non-alcoholic beverages will be served and an array of appetizers from “Around the World”.  Then, sit back and enjoy “Tracking the first Sierra Mountaineers: from Clarence King to Norman Clyde”- author Daniel Arnold will present slides and stories from his new book Early Days in the Range of Light.  Arnold spent four years retracing the routes of the original Sierra mountaineers.  In the spirit of his predecessors, he used only rudimentary equipment–no ropes, no harnesses, no specialized climbing shoes. In an artful blend of history, biography, nature, and adventure writing, along with dozens of photographs, Arnold brings to life both the journeys and the stunning terrain. 5:30pm to 7:30pm, $25 per person, limited to 40 guests

Saturday, April 24th (this is a entrance fee-free day!)
Tracking the Trail Day Hike
– join a SFI naturalist for a mid-morning walk in Giant Forest following the tracks of of local critters. 9:30am to 11:30am, limited to 14 members attending the dinner & member event.

Junior Ranger Family Day –  hosted by NPS and located at Hospital Rock, check out the hands-on exploration stations that provide a glimpse into the jobs of park rangers & cave naturalists.  Not just for kids! 10:00am to 2:00pm, free and open to all park visitors

Historic Tour of Park Headquarters
– join park experts as they introduce you to the working heart of the national parks, Ash Mountain Headquarters. 2:30pm to 4:00pm, free for members attending the dinner  & member event

Dinner & Member Event
– SNHA staff will transform Park Headquarters to a delightful dinner for our members.  Listen to the river roll by as we reminisce the good times of the past 70 years.  Guest speakers, free gifts, an exclusive, after-hours visitor center sale, tour of the SNHA office and more.  Dinner Menu: beef brisket, tomato-basil pasta, roasted veggies, garden salad, rolls & birthday cake 4:00pm to 7:00pm, $22 adults, $5 children, limited to 125 guests.

Under the Night Sky – check out the constellations and hear a tale or two about the legends of the night sky. Program will be held in the Ash Mountain area. 8:30pm, free for all SNHA members.

Sunday, April 25th
Foothills Wildflower Walk – spring is the ideal season to stroll the foothills of the Sierra. Flowers blooming, birds chirping as you gander with an expert in Sierra Nevada flora. 9:00am to 11:00am, limited to 14 members attending the dinner & member event

Breakfast & Barge Tour – enjoy a light breakfast and hop aboard a barge as you tour Lake Kaweah with a naturalist.  Learn the natural history of the area and observe wildlife from the water. 9:00am to 11:30am, $20.00 per person, limited to 15 people.

Call 559.565.4222 for more information. 
Become a member
of the Sequoia Natural History Association.


(photo from SNHA website)

Truth in Advertising…about the natural world

The National Parks Traveler asked on twitter: what’s wrong with this “Sequoia National Park” drawing on the back of a box of Safeway brand Rice Pockets Cereal?

“The answer is that it isn’t in a national park at all. If you could make out the writing on the sign on the tree in the drawing, you would read “Chandelier Tree.” That tree is located in Underwood Park (aka “Drive-Thru Tree Park”) in Leggett, California. That puts it about 450 miles northwest of Sequoia National Park. That’s not all, the Chandelier Tree isn’t even a Giant Sequoia. It’s a Coast Redwood.”

Read the full story by Jess Stryker of the National Parks Traveler here.
Follow the National Parks Traveler on twitter.

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I remember driving through this tree in Northern California
(when I was a kid in the 1950’s.)

Sequoia Speaks Series

This year, the Ken Burns’ ‘America’s Best Idea’ series captured the imagination of the entire nation. Discover the untold stories of Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks  through the explorations and experiences of scientists, artists, and historians. Three Rivers Arts Center, 7-8 pm. All programs are free and open to the public.

SATURDAY, JANUARY 30, 2010
Diggin’ the Parks: Archeology and the National Park Service
Come learn more about the role archeology plays in the National Park Service and more specifically, in your parks: Sequoia and Kings Canyon. Park Archeologist Jane Allen will describe what archeologists do and what can you do to help maintain archeological resources when you’re visiting the parks.

SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 6, 2010
Science in the National Park Service: An Evolving Relationship
Join David Graber, Pacific West Region Chief Scientist, as he explores how science has informed park management and interpretation over the decades and how that evolution continues today.

SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 13, 2010
Women in the National Parks
Since the inception of the national parks, women have played a critical role in mission development, day-to- day operations, and living legacy. From early residents to national policymakers, Adrienne Freeman, Acting Public Affairs Specialist, will share stories of women who have shaped the picture of the modern day park service. Join us immediately following this presentation as we welcome Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks’ first female superintendent, Karen Taylor Goodrich.

SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 20, 2010
A Transect—Due East

Join artist and San Joaquin Valley native Matthew Rangel in his discussion of original lithographs inspired by his pilgrimage from the valley floor, through the foothills, and up to the high reaches of the Great Western Divide of the Southern Sierra.

Due East from Moro Rock ©Matthew Rangel

SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 27, 2010
National Parks in a Changing World
Since 1872, national parks have been dedicated to the dream that they could protect forever the resources within them. In other words, they would be places that would never change. But what does promise mean now in a world dominated by processes like global climate change? To explore this thought-provoking question, local author Bill Tweed will present some key ideas from his new book Uncertain Path: A Search for the Future of National Parks, to be published later this year by the University of California Press.

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For more information, please call 559-565-4212.
Sequoia Speaks is presented by the National Park Service.

The Three Rivers Arts Center is on North Fork Drive,
a short way from the Hwy 198 turnoff.