Discover Our Lands

The Point Arena Lighthouse and Friends of the Point Arena-Stornetta Lands, in association with the Ukiah office of the Bureau of Land Management, will present Discover Our Lands on Saturday, June 3 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.  This event is intended to celebrate the Point Arena-Stornetta Unit of the California Coastal National Monument and educate visitors about the varied features and sights it offers.  Discover Our Lands activities will all start at the Point Arena Lighthouse, located at 45500 Lighthouse Road in Point Arena.  

This event will feature several guided walks on the less visited Northeast quadrant of the Point Arena-Stornetta Lands, bordered by ’Pda-Hau (aka Garcia River) and the Lighthouse property.  Several local experts in various fields will educate guests on what the Lands have to offer. Isaac Rios, Lighthouse Lead Guide and member of the Manchester band of the Pomo, will lead two walks and discuss the Lands’ cultural significance to his people, both past and present.  These walks will leave the Fog Signal Building at 10:30 a.m. and noon. Tom Cochrane, Geologist and author of “Shaping the Sonoma-Mendocino Coast: Exploring the Coastal Geology of Northern California,” will be in the Lighthouse Tower from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and 1:15 p.m to 3 p.m.  and will lead geology walks on the Lands at noon and 3 p.m. 

Nancy Morin and Julia Larke of the Dorothy King Young chapter of the California Native Plant Society will lead walks through the fields covered in spring wildflowers and foliage, and point out the many native plants guests will see on the walks.  Their walks will leave the Fog Signal Building at 10:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m. and 3 p.m.  Jeanne Jackson, naturalist and author of “Mendonoma Sightings Throughout the Year,” and Laura Baker, naturalist and ecologist, will lead a nature walk on the bluffs at noon. Bird expert Rich Trissel will be in the Lighthouse Tower from 11:45 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2:45 p.m. to 4 p.m.  and will lead birding walks on the Lands at 10 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. 

In addition to the walks and Tower docents, several other informational tables will be set up at the Lighthouse. Seabird expert Doug Forsell and Jamie Hall, Research Associate for the Greater Farallones Association, Beach Watch program, will have a bird and whale watching station set up with sighting scopes and binoculars and will help guest identify the birds and whales they see and answer any questions they have about them. 

Photo of debris on Santa Rosa island by Michaela Miller

Inside the Fog Signal Building in the Whale Watch Room, Surfrider and Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary member Cea Higgins will be presenting “Marine Debris Workshop: Talking Trash & Taking Action.” “Marine debris is one of the greatest threats our ocean faces, but luckily it is an issue with which we can all play a part in the solution,” says Cea. “Participants in the workshop will learn basic facts about the types and sources of marine debris and learn about its impacts to our ocean ecosystems and wildlife. The marine debris workshop facilitates learning thru hands-on activities and concludes by brainstorming and evaluating solutions to prevent and reduce marine debris.”  Cea will be in the Whale Watch Room for the duration of the event.   Also scheduled to be in the Whale Watch Room are representatives from the State of California Department of Fish & Wildlife, offering information on the Marine Protected Areas off our Coast and hunting and fishing licensing and regulations.

The Lighthouse Staff and Volunteers will be cooking up their famous Light Keeper’s Strawberry Shortcake and Brownies and will be selling these delicious desserts in front of the Fog Signal Building.  Tracy Du Pont of Pier Chowder House and Tap Room will have her award winning clam chowder available right next to them.

For the young guests, Action Network will be offering several different hands-on Geology demonstrations, such as chip mining using chocolate chip cookies, making marble out of taffy, a volcano, homemade seismograph, Paleontologist’s Puzzle and more.  Children 16 and under will also be able to choose from a wide variety of kites at 25% off in the Lighthouse Gift Store that can be flown on the Lighthouse grounds (BLM regulations do not allow kites on the Lands). 

The Mendocino College Coastal Field Station will also be holding an open house in conjunction with Discover Our Lands between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. The Field Station can be reached by hiking about 1 mile from the trailhead at the “Bend in the Road” on Lighthouse Road, or from the trailhead just south of the intersection of Highway 1 and Lighthouse Road.

Please join us for the celebration of the fantastic, scenic, mysterious, rugged and gorgeous Point Arena-Stornetta Unit of the California Coastal National Monument and explore its amazing history, geology, flora and fauna!