Meet at Oakes bus stop along Heller Drive ( Parking is available at the West Remote Parking Lot or UCSC Parking Lots 160, 161, or 162) Free Event
Free Event


Join the UCSC Campus Natural Reserve (CNR) manager on a meandering wildflower walk through UCSC coastal prairie. We'll sample the spring color and diversity as we explore south campus's Mima Meadow, a recent addition to the CNR. 


There comes a time when everyone needs a morning in a meadow, surrounded by wildflowers, with the Monterey Bay as a glittering blue backdrop. Let’s make April 23rd that morning as we come together to take a walk in UCSC’s Mima Meadow. This gorgeous meadow is home to seasonal wetlands, strange and inexplicable geomorphic phenomenon, an endangered Ohlone tiger beetle population, and in some years an excellent wildflower display. It’s also a brand-new addition to the Campus Natural Reserve, which just expanded from 410 to 789 acres with the adoption of the 2021-2040 UCSC Long Range Development Plan.

We’ll sample the spring blooms, and if there’s interest you can pull up the Jepson eFlora on your phone (if you bring one) and we can spend some time practicing keying plants. If the weather is sunny and warm we can also spend a little time finding and watching the Ohlone tiger beetle. Will I say no to watching birds, in addition to flowers and beetles? No, I will not say no to watching birds. Or insects. Or anything else, really.

Accessibility: The hike will be easy to moderate, with some hills and off-trail travel through grassland, though staying on the path will be an option. We will need to cross Empire Grade in an area without a crosswalk, so adults will need to help their children across to road if they have children in tow (or are being towed by their children!). ***Note also that there is a short, wooden cross over on the cattle fence that we will need to climb over***

Bring: layered clothing, sun hat, sunscreen, water and a snack if desired.

Optional gear includes binoculars, hand lens, camera, smartphone for iNaturalist and Jepson eFlora use.

Contact Alex Jones, UCSC Campus Natural Reserve manager,  at with questions.

Event Details

  • Michelle Pichardo Munoz
  • Abel Kenneth Mkulama
  • Gabriela Sosa
  • Jeremy Gurganus

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