A trip to Churn Creek Open Space just west of Lema Ranch. Partially paved trails wind their way through 180 acres of blue oak woodland and open grassland meadow. Sections of the trail meander by Churn Creek itself where this primarily urban stream is still preserved in its more natural state with lush willows, valley oaks, and cottonwoods. The McConnell Foundation owns and manages this property and have utilized cattle for the past four years to help control weed populations, reduce the risk of fire hazard, and maintain native plants and associated wildlife communities. Our co-leaders, Alicia and Pablo Herrera, will take us on a 3-mile loop hike where we’ll encounter common oak woodland and riparian nesting species including Ash-throated Flycatcher, Lark Sparrow, Nuttall’s Woodpecker, Spotted Towhee, among others. We will meet at 8am at Minder Park, in the cul-de-sac at the end of Minder Dr., just to the south of the open space trails.