Normally the image of having a large, hairy tarantula being passed around a room of children may seem terrifying, but at Placerita Nature Center, that’s the norm.
Placerita Canyon Nature center is home not just for tarantulas, but for dozens of other animals such as alligator lizards, vultures, hawks, owls, tortoises, possums, skunks, snakes, and scorpions. They also have an herb garden, a museum, picnic grounds, and hiking trails.
Park Ranger Frank Hoffman showed us around the grounds and even let us go in the area where they keep most of the animals, including their new barn owl and the dozens of snakes and spiders they take care of.
Most impressive is the fact that the nature center is a certified green facility. Their lights are on motion censors, they conserve water using timers and they have parking areas reserved for electric cars.
The Nature center firmly believes in educating the public about the benefits of living green through recycling and lessening one’s carbon footprint. They often hold open houses where citizens volunteer to teach others about endangered animal species and ways humans are harming the ecosystem.
Coming up soon is the center’s Holiday Craft Fair, where there will have arts and crafts and booths set up from other environmentalist organizations.