My Sycamore Canyon

Ameal Moore Nature Center

Nature Center Update:

The Ameal Moore Nature Center is currently closed other than for special programming. If you would like to learn more about these programs, click here Activity search | City of Riverside PRCSD – Online (

Although the Nature Center is closed, the Sycamore Canyon Wilderness Park will remain open to provide all visitors a meaningful way to explore and enjoy the park’s natural beauty.

Make sure to check back for future updates!

Closed due to weather

The Ameal Moore Nature Center is closed today, Thursday February 14th due to parking lot and park conditions from the rain.  Unless otherwise stated, we’ll resume regular hours tomorrow, Friday February 15th 9am-5pm.  Thank you!

November 2018 Closures

Happy holidays!  The Ameal Moore Nature Center will be closed with all Parks, Recreation and Community Services buildings in observance of the 2018 Thanksgiving holiday Thursday, November 22nd and Friday, November 23rd.

The Sycamore Canyon Wilderness Park will still be open and free to all visitors during regular hours (30 minutes before sunrise to 30 minutes after sunset).  The nature center will resume regular hours on Saturday November 24th.

Have a wonderful holiday!

November Holiday Closure

The Ameal Moore Nature Center will be closed Friday November 10th and Saturday November 11th in observance of the Veterans Day holiday.

The center will also be closed on Thursday November 23rd and Friday November 24th to observe the Thanksgiving holiday.  We will reopen Saturday November 25th.

We wish everyone wonderful holidays!

Second Saturdays: Grizzly Bears

This past Second Saturdays we focused on the grizzly bear!  Grizzly bears are no longer found in California, but educating ourselves about them and their cousins is still both wise and fun.

Grizzlies are found in the northern parts of North America but at one point were as far south as Mexico.  Their scientific name Ursus arctos Horribilis translates into horrible bear bear (this is said to be for their character and personality).  Though their name suggests a scary animal, grizzlies are excellent for the environment.  Grizzlies help with seed distribution, soil improvement, population regulation, and even help feed the birds!

Visitors were invited to make a craft and to learn about grizzly habitat, diet, and just were they all went.   If you missed our fun bear day, don’t worry!  There’s always something fun coming up at the nature center!  Visit our EVENTS page for upcoming programs.

The Canyon After Dark: Canine Senses

As summer draws to a close we’ve hosted our last summer evening event this past Friday night.  For our final Canyon After Dark event we talked all about canine senses!  Dogs have some amazing senses that help them function in both the wild and our neighborhoods.

Did you know:

  • Dogs can’t distinguish between shades of red and green because they have less cones (parts that allow you to detect color) in their eyes than humans do.  However, dogs have more rods (parts that allow you to detect movement) in their eyes than people.  That’s why they can detect motion better than people over larger distances during low light hours.  They also have a wider peripheral than humans.
  • Dogs can hear sounds about 4 times farther away than humans can and have a wider range of hearing higher sounds than we do.  They also have 18+ muscles in their ears!  That means they can not only hear independently with each ear, but move them in opposite directions to hear sounds from different directions at once.
  • Dogs can wiggle their nostrils independently to allow them to smell different things at once.  Unlike humans, they have separate airways reserved just for smelling!  While humans have about 6 million receptors in their noses to help them smell, dogs have up to 300 million!

Visitors learned about canine sight, hearing, and smell and got to test out their own senses and learn just how they measure up to a dog’s.  If you missed this fun event, don’t fret!  There’s always a fun event coming up at the nature center!  Visit our EVENTS page to see what’s coming up!

Second Saturdays: FIRE!

This past Second Saturdays event we focused on fire!  Fire has the potential to be a very destructive force, but it is also nature’s tool for renewal and maintenance/disaster prevention!  Visitors joined staff at the Ameal Moore Nature Center and learned that fire:

  • Allows naturally flat and clear areas like prairies and chaparral to keep from being overrun with trees
  • Provides fire-dependent plants the necessary heat for their seeds to release and germinate
  • Limits pathogens and insects
  • Burns leaf litter and other dead plant matter, allowing nutrients in them to release back into the environment faster than regular decomposition
  • Can provide room for forest animals by thinning trees
  • Burns dry materials periodically to prevent larger raging fires later

Visitors learned fire information, took the Smokey Bear pledge, received Smokey certificates, and made take home fire benefit booklets on key rings! 

If you missed out on this fun event, don’t worry! There’s always another event right around the corner!  Our next event will be the last of our summer evening Canyon After Dark series on August 25th from 8-10pm.  Join us for a night all about canine senses!  Our next Second Saturdays program will be Saturday, September 9th from 11-2pm on Grizzly bears!  Check out our EVENTS page for more upcoming events.

The Canyon After Dark: Astronomy Night!

Summer is in full swing!  Our second Canyon After Dark evening event went great!  The Riverside Astronomical Society (RAS) joined us with their telescopes for this fun, family friendly, free night event in the park.  If you’ve never seen the rings of Saturn or counted the craters on the moon, we’d suggest you attend one of their events- they’re out of this world!  Outside visitors spoke with RAS volunteers and were welcomed to view a number of astronomical bodies through their telescopes while inside visitors made galaxy glow jars to take home. 

If you missed this fun event, don’t worry!  We’ve got one more Canyon After Dark event coming up next month on August 25th from 8-10pm.  Join us as we focus on canines and their senses.  Learn about canine sight, smell, and hearing and meet some of our friends from the Mary S. Roberts Pet Adoption Center at this free informational night.  Check out our EVENTS page for more upcoming events.

Second Saturdays: The Moon

This past Second Saturdays event we had some out of this world fun while we learned about the moon!  The moon is the Earth’s natural satellite.  Without it life would be very different!  Without the moon, our tides would be MUCH smaller, days would be MUCH shorter, nights would be MUCH darker, and winds would be MUCH faster!  Visitors joined us as we learned all about the moon and did a fun moon phase garland craft!  Did you miss this past event?  Don’t worry!  Another one is right around the corner!  Check out our EVENTS page for upcoming events!

Summer Hours Change!

Summer is upon us and that means Junior Naturalist Camps and hour changes!  Starting July 17th until August 25th, the Ameal Moore Nature Center will have modified summer hours to accommodate the camps:

Summer Hours:
Thursdays & Fridays 1pm – 5pm
Saturdays & Sundays 9am – 5pm

Visit for the summer catalog of activities happening in the city and to register for Junior Naturalist Camps (led by I.E. Waterkeepers) and see our EVENTS page for our regularly scheduled free events at the nature center.