Activity Type: Parks

California Citrus State Historic Park

Phone: (951) 780-6222

Website: http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=649

Location: 9400 Dufferin Avenue
Riverside, California 92504

This park preserves some of the rapidly vanishing cultural landscape of the citrus industry and tells the story of this industry’s role in the history and development of California. The park recaptures the time when “Citrus was King” in California, recognising the importance of the citrus industry in southern California.

In 1873, the U.S. Department of Agriculture forever changed the history of Southern California when it sent two small navel orange trees to Riverside resident Eliza Tibbets. Those trees, growing in near perfect soil and weather conditions, produced an especially sweet and flavourful fruit. Word of this far superior orange quickly spread, and a great agricultural industry was born.

In the early 1900s, an effort to promote citrus ranching in the state brought hundreds of would-be citrus barons to California for the “second Gold Rush.” The lush groves of oranges, lemons and grapefruit gave California another legacy – its lingering image as the Golden State – the land of sunshine and opportunity.

Sycamore Canyon Wilderness Park

Phone: (951) 826-2000

Website: http://www.riversideca.gov/neighborhoods/neighborhoods-sycamore-cyn.asp

Location: 600 Central Avenue
Riverside, California 92507

The City of Riverside is distinguished from many other communities by its unique setting among surrounding open space. The Santa River corridor to the north creates a distinct boundary between Riverside and its neighbors. In addition to providing recreational opportunities, the river provides habitat for important wildlife and native plants species. Adjoining the Santa River corridor is Mount Rubidoux offering an extraordinary urban open space feature.

The backbone of the City’s trails master plan links Sycamore Canyon Park with the Alessandro Arroyo and points south out into the County. This segment is a part of the City’s primary loop trail and is currently shown meandering through the Mission Grove Area.

The park, bounded by Central Avenue, Alessandro Boulevard and the I215 freeway is adjacent to the Canyon Crest, Mission Grove, and Sycamore Canyon Springs neighborhoods.

University of California Botanic Gardens

Phone: (951) 784-6962

Website: http://www.gardens.ucr.edu/

Location: Botanic Gardens University of California
Riverside, California 92521

Scientists and students from the University and the community not only study the plants, but also the wildlife within the Gardens’ boundaries. Nearly 200 different kinds of birds have been observed. Some of the more conspicuous species are the Anna’s and Costa’s hummingbirds, California towhee, mockingbird, raven, red-tailed hawk, roadrunner and scrub jay.

Besides the nearly 200 types of birds officially observed, the Botanic Gardens is host to a number of mammals, reptiles and amphibians. Mammals found within the Gardens boundaries are the Audubon cottontail, Beechey or California ground squirrel, Botta pocket gopher, coyote, gray fox, kangaroo rat, opossum, pack rat and other rodents, and striped and spotted skunks. Occasionally, bobcats have been sighted. Most of these animals are nocturnal so daytime visitors rarely glimpse them – they are most likely to be seen early or late in the day during a visit to the Gardens.