My Sycamore Canyon

The Scouts lend a hand: a generous donation to the center

The Ameal Moore Nature Center is always happy when residents of Riverside and visitors from other cities are interested in helping us in our mission to educate.  Recently the center was the proud recipient of a generous donation of time and energy by a very industrious Eagle Scout.  Tyler is a local scout who generously asked the nature center if we would be the focus of his Eagle Scout project.  After listening to the center’s needs, Tyler suggested a custom made sensory table that could be used for discovery learning and sensory play by visitors of all ages.  Tyler’s thoughtfulness resulted in not one, but two sensory tables.  Each table meets the nature center’s needs of being multipurpose, mobile, and small.  Tyler also provided sand for the tables as well as animal track stamps, books, and cards.  The center is looking forward to using the tables in the future for various education events (such as tracking and archaeology) and as daily additions to our learning collection.

Eagle Scout, Tyler, posing in front of his generous donation of two sensory tables

Eagle Scout, Tyler, posing in front of his generous donation of two sensory tables

If you or your organization is interested in donating your time or effort to the nature center, please contact Kimberly Cobb at for more information and to discuss volunteer possibilities.

Second Saturdays: Wildflower Madness!

For the March Second Saturdays event the Ameal Moore Nature Center educated visitors all about wildflowers!  Between 11am-2pm visitors were invited to stop by the center for information on wildflowers, guided nature hikes, and nature based crafts.  Our guided hikes were lead by center staff, UCR professor Dr. Michael Fugate, and UCR graduate student Camille Wendlandt.

The center had a great time hosting the event and is always looking forward to connecting visitors with local scientists to further the conversation about Riverside and its impact on the environment!  Join us next month on April 11 as we celebrate Earth Day!

Center Hour Change

The nature center has changed its schedule!  We will now be open Thursdays to Sundays, 9am-5pm.

We may be cutting our hours, but we’re not cutting down on the fun!  Make sure you come in for information on the park, education about the wildlife, and kid friendly crafts and activities.  Don’t forget to check out our calendar and events page for upcoming events as well!

Learning about Bacteria at the Nature Center

The Ameal Moore Nature Center hosted UCR graduate student Alicia Taylor this past weekend as a bacteria ambassador! At UCR, Alicia studies bacteria in complex environmental samples to determine how bacteria impact degradation of waste (think wastewater and sewage treatment!).

You may be asking, “Why are bacteria important?” Many of us think of bacteria as being bad, or gross.  But bacteria is extremely important and should have a better reputation! In the environment, bacteria help recycle nutrients and can even degrade oil from oil spills. For humans, bacteria help with the manufacturing of antibiotics and also produce yogurt and cheese!

Alicia teaches families that bacteria live everywhere by swabbing various samples (dirt, plants, etc.) at the Ameal Moore Nature Center.  After swabbing, families take home their own Petri plates with their samples and can see bacterial growth after about 24 hours.

Check out the events page HERE for future events with Alicia at the center!

Cahuilla Spring Break Camp

Join us for a week full of exciting adventures at the nature center!  Every morning will begin with a nature hike through the canyon where children will be working on identifying native plants and animals of the region.  The days will wrap up with presentations, activities, and crafts led by special guests from local tribe groups as participants learn about the culture of the Cahuilla: the first people to live in Riverside.

Camp dates: March 30-April 3, 2015
Times: 8am-12pm
Cost: $99 per child
Ages: 8-12 years old

Contact or call the nature center at 951-826-2596 to reserve your space today!

Sign up deadline is Friday March 20, 2015!

Second Saturdays: Birds Birds Birds!

The Ameal Moore Nature Center is pleased to say that our Second Saturdays ‘Birds Birds Birds!’ day was a huge success!  The nature center saw 105 visitors come through for the event.  The program landed on Valentine’s Day and we can say with some certainty that we were in love with birds!

Every second Saturday of the month, the center picks a new topic to explore and teach our visitors about.  Birds and more specifically, birding (or bird watching) was the chosen topic for February because The Great Backyard Bird Count was occurring.  One of our goals at the nature center is to partner citizens with scientists to promote a dialogue about our natural world and to further the advances of science.  By participating in the bird count, the center and its visitors were helping scientists create a real time snap shot of bird numbers and locations.

Nature center staff registered visitors for the event and then with special guest hike guide, Dr. Norman Ellstrand, led visitors into the park to spot and record birds.  The hike recorded over 12 species and more than 50 individual birds.  They even spotted a rare Lawerence’s Goldfinch (not commonly seen in the park)!  The nature center is very grateful to Dr. Ellstrand and looks forward to working with him again in the future.

Erin Snyder, the Outreach and Volunteer Coordinator for the Riverside-Corona Research Conservation District (RCRCD) was also in attendance.  Erin brought many wonderful bird nests for visitors to view while she gave a talk about our feathered friends.  The RCRCD is one of the nature center’s partners.  We are always so grateful to have their support and knowledge to borrow from.  Visitors can find many of their pamphlets and brochures at the nature center when they come in.

‘Fill the Bill,’ an activity where visitors can try to pick up various objects with different types of tools to simulate various types of bird beaks and the corresponding food items they are used to collect, was a favorite of the day as was the bird mask craft.

This event, like all Second Saturdays events, was free, family friendly, and open to the public.  Be sure to see us next time for more information and fun!


New Times for Guided Hikes

The Ameal Moore Nature Center has new times for their hikes!  Guided hikes will now take place at 9am instead of 10am and will last for one hour.  Hikes will leave no later than 9:15am so be sure to be on time!  Hikes will still be every 1st and 3rd Saturdays of the month.  You can view our events page HERE for more information and other event announcements.

Please remember to wear appropriate clothing and footwear and don’t forget your protective sun gear or water! 

Visitors are encouraged to bring their own electronic devices for picture taking or for use of our free Nature Spotter App!


Citizen Science MOU

The Ameal Moore Nature Center was proud to host the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signing for Riverside Citizen Science Wednesday morning, January 28, 2015.  Alexander Friend (Station Director, USDA, Forest Service Pacific Southwest Research Station), Kim Wilcox (Chancellor of the University of California, Riverside), Roy Takeno (Vice-President of the Riverside-Corona Reserouce Conservation District), and Riverside’s Mayor Rusty Bailey were all in attendance to sign at this exciting event.  Even Smokey the Bear came out to take pictures and celebrate the day for Citizen Science!

Riverside Citizen Science is supported by the dedicated men and women in Riverside who work to ensure that science, through community participation and collaboration, becomes a permanent part of Riverside’s culture and identity.  Riverside Citizen Science’s mission is to engage the community in observing and documenting Riverside’s natural environment.  The program fosters appreciation and stewardship by staging and supporting nature-centered activities. The nature center is proud to help promote the sciences to visitors and to encourage everyone to step outdoors and enjoy nature’s wonders.  By participating in Citizen Science visitors can help scientists document what can be found in the park.

We’re hiring!

The Ameal Moore Nature Center is looking for a new part time Program Assistant!

At the Ameal Moore Nature Center we stride to provide visitors with a friendly and informative experience.  If you are interested in an opportunity to promote science, educate the public, and join a team of dedicated educators and scientists, then this may be the perfect fit for you!

If you are interested, please see and apply HERE.  The closing date for this posting is Sunday, February 8, 2015.

Second Saturdays: Track Me if You Can! Animal Tracking

January’s Second Saturdays event was all about animal tracking!  Visitors were invited to join nature center staff as we explored the various ways to track animals.  Footprints, track casts, and scat were some of the various topics talked about.  Outside visitors went on staff led hikes and practiced spotting animal tracks while inside they made bookmarks with animal track stamps to remind them what various animal’s tracks look like for future tracking adventures!

The center saw a record breaking number of over 200 visitors for the event!  We are so glad that our events are becoming more and more popular!  Please join us in February for our next Second Saturday event on Valentines Day as we talk about birds and bird watching!  The nature center is committed to serving the public and informing visitors about science, nature, and the park.  We’re looking forward to seeing you at our future events!