The Placerita Canyon Nature Center has been completely renovated from the inside out. Funding for the project came through a $1 million grant from California State Parks through Prop. 84, $465,000 from the office of Michael D. Antonovich and Placerita Canyon Nature Center Association put in nearly $30,000 to complete the project.
“The center is full of new models, exhibits and taxidermy” said Placerita supervisor Chris Mowry. Mowry explained that other renovations include upgrades to the tortoise habitat, a doubling of the size of their bird enclosures as well as adding an additional two bird enclosures in the center’s courtyard.
The bird observation deck has new spotting scopes, new floors, a wall aquarium ( Three-spined stickleback coming soon) and a mammal habitat for Chester, the opossum.
The Nature Center’s classroom features a brand new mural which stretches throughout one whole side of the room. The mural is made up of three large dioramas depicting Placerita Canyons primary ecosystems. The ecosystem is portrayed by all new life-like taxidermy. Placerita Docent and Naturalist Suzan Wallander expresses the effect the recent renovations had on Placerita’s taxidermy animals, she explains “before they used to have cages for the animals or we would have the animals set out by themselves.” Things are a lot more lively now, as the taxidermy animals are placed in artificial setting that create an immersive experience.
The classroom is also the site of Placerita’s weekly animal show. The show includes show and tell of animals ranging from owls to tarantulas. Docents give an informative presentation about each animal that is brought out, and the audience is given a chance to ask the docents about each critter.
Info regarding all of Placerita’s programs including the animal show can be accessed at placerita.org and the center’s new renovations can be visited Tuesday-Sunday 9am-5pm.