Environment and Sports

Scott Giffin compiled these listings. Please fax, mail or e-mail press releases at least two weeks ahead of time. Events are free unless otherwise noted.

AFTER SCHOOL PARKS & PLAYGROUNDS PROGRAM, BOLSA CHICA, 13660 UNIVERSITY ST., (714) 897-5911; LIBERTY PARK, 13900 MONROE, (714) 891-6678; SIGLER PARK, 7200 PLAZA, (714) 892-9029.

Mon.-Fri.:After School Parks & Playgrounds Program. The city of Westminster offers youth a fun place to spend after-school hours. Elementary school children can enjoy an assortment of free activities in a supervised and positive environment. Activities include play days, crafts, games, sports and special events. This is a drop-in program—participants do not sign in and may come and go freely, 2:30-5 p.m.

AQUARIUM OF THE PACIFIC, 100 AQUARIUM WAY, LONG BEACH, (562) 590-3100; WWW.AQUARIUMOFPACIFIC.ORG. $18.95; children, $10.95.

Daily: Whales-—A Journey With Giants. Visit the aquarium's new exhibit and learn about the planet's largest living animal—the blue whale. Through a compelling multisensory experience of light, sound and imagery, the aquarium's Great Hall will transform into the underwater realm of these gentle giants, 9 a.m.-6 p.m.

Sat.-Sun.: Wildlife & Whale Cruise. Embark on the RV Challenger and search for gray whales, bottlenose dolphins, sea lions and migratory waterfowl. A marine naturalist will lead the search. Activities will also include an educational multimedia presentation and hands-on learning activities for children. Reservations recommended, 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Adults, $28; children, $16.

CASPERS WILDERNESS PARK, 33401 ORTEGA HWY., SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO, (949) 923-2210.

Sun.:Nature Walk. Short hike that explores the oak and sycamore woodlands, 8:30 a.m. Parking, $5. Meet at the Ol' Corral.

CITY OF IRVINE OPEN SPACE PRESERVE,NATURE CENTER PARKING LOT, 1 SUNNYHILL DR., IRVINE, (949) 724-6738; WWW.IRVINEOPENSPACE.ORG. The IRLR Trust is currently seeking volunteers, including docents, to help with open space programs within the land preserve. For information, contact (949) 720-5512 or rgragnano@irlrtrust.org.

Fri.: Full Moon Hike. Experience Bommer Canyon under a moonlit sky during this docent-led, two-mile hike. Ages ten and older. Free, but pre-registration required, 7-9 p.m.

CRYSTAL COVE STATE PARK, 8471 PACIFIC COAST HWY., LAGUNA BEACH, (949) 497-7647; WWW.CRYSTALCOVESTATEPARK.COM.Parking, $10.

Sat.: Historic District Walk. Learn about the colorful past of the Cove, 10 a.m. Meet near the trailer in Los Trancos parking lot.

Sun.: Gray Whale Sunday. Scan the ocean for migrating whales. There will be whale paraphernalia and games for kids. Binoculars and spotting scopes provided, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Meet at Pelican Point parking lot two.

DOG BEACH ZONE IN LONG BEACH, BETWEEN ARGONNE & ROYCROFT AVES. (A FEW BLOCKS EAST OF BELMONT PIER), LONG BEACH; WWW.DOGZONE.ORG.

Daily:Dog Days in Long Beach.Fido, enjoy a legal romp on the beach. You and your canine buddies can now play in the surf without fear of being whisked away by Animal Control. Be sure to bring your human companion. There are a few rules (aren't there always?)—such as only one dog per adult and you must wear your collar and tags at all times, 6 a.m.-8 p.m.

DONNA O'NEILL LAND CONSERVANCY, LOCATED OFF HWY. 74, FIVE MILES EAST OF THE 5 FWY., (949) 489-9778; WWW.THECONSERVANCY.ORG.

Sat.:Trail Clearing.Help clear the Conservancy's trails. Do great work in beautiful surroundings. Drinks and sandwiches provided, 8-1:30 a.m.

ENVIRONMENTAL NATURE CENTER, 1601 SIXTEENTH ST., NEWPORT BEACH, (949) 645-8489.

Thurs., Jan. 12:Little Naturalists—Outrageous Owls. Children ages two to five will enjoy this parent and child playtime with an owl theme. Participants will listen to real owl calls, practice their own owl hoots, enjoy a story and more. Call to register, 11 a.m.

Mon.:Little Naturalists—Terrific Trees. Hands-on fun for children ages two to five and their parents. Learn about what trees need to grow, collect leaves, plant seeds, enjoy story time and more. Call to register, 11 a.m.

Thurs., Jan. 19:Walk with a Founder. Take a walk with ENC founder Robert House and learn about California's plant communities and the center's history. Bring a sack lunch. Call to register, noon-1:30 p.m.

LAGUNA COAST WILDERNESS PARK, 20101 LAGUNA CANYON RD., LAGUNA BEACH, (949) 923-2235; WWW.OCPARKS.COM. Parking, $3; lot open 8 a.m.-4 p.m.

Daily: Willow Canyon. There's now open access daily, so check out this beautiful wilderness area and share the trails with hikers, mountain bikers and equestrians, 7 a.m.-sunset.

LONG BEACH'S ADOPT-A-BEACH PROGRAM, OCEAN BLVD. & GRANADA AVE., LONG BEACH, (562) 439-3316; JUSTINRUDD@AOL.COM; WWW.BEACHCLEANUP.ORG.

Daily:Sweep Up Butts & Debris in Belmont Shore. Help sweep up cigarette butts from sidewalks and gutters before they enter storm drains and, ultimately, end up on local beaches. Students can receive an hour of service-learning credit. You can choose any time between 10 a.m. and 8 p.m. Call or e-mail to schedule, then pick up gloves, broom, long-handled dust pan and service-hour verification sheet at Holly's Hallmark, 5012 E. Second St., Long Beach.

LONG BEACH SINGLES SAILING ASSOCIATION, GOLDEN SAILS HOTEL, 6285 E. COAST HWY., LONG BEACH, (562) 430-1715; WWW.LBSSA.ORG.

Tues.:Meeting. Discuss sailing, powerboating, Catalina trips, parties, dances and planned excursions. No experience necessay, 7 p.m. $10; first-time visit, $5.

OCEAN INSTITUTE, 24200 DANA POINT HARBOR DR., DANA POINT, (949) 496-2274; WWW.OCEAN-INSTITUTE.ORG.

Every Thurs.-Fri.: Public Tour. Enjoy a 45-minute behind-the-scenes tour of the center, 3:30 p.m. $2.

Sat.: Life in Extreme Environments. Scientists are reconsidering the environmental requirements for life after recent discoveries of six-foot tube worms, mussels that never eat, eyeless shrimp, bacteria that thrive on chemicals toxic to all other life and other organisms that live in environments so extreme, scientists have, until recently, seldom explored them. The Institute is offering new learning labs and hands-on exhibits to allow visitors to learn more about life in the extreme. See website for additional information, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. $5.50; children, $3.50. Thru Jan. 30.

Sun.: Life in Extreme Environments. See description above, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. $5.50; children, $3.50; Marine Mammal Cruise. Institute marine biologists will lead a cruise aboard the Sea Explorer. Enjoy a ship-board view of whales, dolphins, sunfish, sea lions, jellyfish and other marine creatures. Call for more information and departure time. $25; children, $22.

PACE ACTIVE, YMCA, 2300 UNIVERSITY DR., NEWPORT BEACH, (714) 436-1623, EXT. 206.

Thurs., Jan. 12: Young Adult Network. Informal support group for young adults (ages 20 to 45) with arthritis and other related rheumatic diseases. Second Thursday of every month, 7-8:30 p.m. UCI Medical Center, eighth floor, Manchester & Chapman, Orange. Free parking in building 200 lot.

Sat.: People With Arthritis Can Exercise. Developed for young adults with arthritis (ages 20 to 45), this invigorating exercise program helps participants improve their fitness level through strength, flexibility and cardiovascular exercises. The program has been adapted for people with arthritis and is designed to protect joints from stress and strain. Call for more information, 11 a.m.-noon.

PARAMOUNT 10K, PROGRESS PARK, 15500 DOWNEY AVE., PARAMOUNT, (714) 841-5417; WWW.NEALAND.COM/FINISHLINE.

Sat.: 10K Run. Fast, flat, certified course. See website for additional details, 8 a.m. $24.

REI HUNTINGTON BEACH, 7777 EDINGER AVE., HUNTINGTON BEACH, (714) 379-1938; WWW.REI.COM/STORES/HUNTINGTONBEACH.

Sat.: Hands-On GPS Class. REI staff will explain the functions and features of GPS units. Hands-on approach will help you understand your individual model, 8 a.m. REI members, $40; non-members, $55.

Tues.: Ski & Snowboard Basic Maintenance. A variety of subjects will be discussed, including base preparation, stone grinding, repairs and how and why waxes work, 7 p.m.

REI SANTA ANA, 1411 VILLAGE WAY, SANTA ANA, (714) 543-4142; WWW.REI.COM/STORES/SANTAANA.

Sat.: Hands-On GPS Class. REI staff will explain the functions and features of GPS units. Hands-on approach will help you understand your individual model, 10:30 a.m. REI members, $40; non-members, $55.

Mon.: One Man's Journey Across the Continent. In July 2005, 24-year old Andrew Skurka became the first person to walk the entire 7,778-mile Transcontinental Sea-to-Sea route. Andy's trek lasted eleven months and took him from Cape Gaspe on the Atlantic to Cape Alava on the Pacific. Join Andy as he shares inspiring tales and highlights from his odyssey, 7 p.m.

Tues.: Ski & Snowboard Basic Maintenance. A variety of subjects will be discussed, including base preparation, stone grinding, repairs and how and why waxes work, 7 p.m.

SHIPLEY NATURE CENTER, CENTRAL PARK DR. (EAST OF INTERSECTION WITH EDWARDS), HUNTINGTON BEACH, (714) 842-4772; WWW.FSNC.ORG.

Sat.:Nature Enjoyment Days. The center is open to visitors, 9 a.m.-1 p.m.

SIERRA CLUB, VARIOUS LOCATIONS; ANGELES.SIERRACLUB.ORG.

Every Thurs. & Tues.:Conditioning Hikes on Signal Hill. Slow-, moderate- and tiger-paced hikes of three to five miles with 600 to 800 feet of elevation gain, 7 p.m. Hill St. & Redondo Ave., Long Beach, (562) 492-9401.

Sat.: Conditioning Hike on Signal Hill. Moderate-paced four-mile hike with 700 feet of elevation gain, 7 a.m. Hill St. & Redondo Ave., Long Beach, (562) 596-1566.

Mon.:Long Beach Conditioning Walk. Brisk four- to five-mile beach walk, 7 p.m. Belmont Pier parking lot (near Belmont Pool side), end of Termino St., Long Beach, (714) 842-2055.

Wed.: Mile Square Park Conditioning Walk. Moderate-paced four-mile walk on flat terrain. Fit beginners welcome. Bring water and money for optional post-walk snacks or dinner, 6 p.m. Brookhurst & Heil (parking lot behind basketball courts), Fountain Valley, (949) 768-3610.

SIERRA SINGLES, VARIOUS LOCATIONS; ANGELES.SIERRACLUB.ORG/OCSS.

Every Thurs.: Irvine Conditioning Hike. Slow-, moderate- and tiger-paced hikes of four to seven miles on trails, 6:30 p.m. Turtle Rock Community Park, Sunnyhill & Turtle Rock drs., Irvine, (714) 963-6345.

Sat.: Long Beach Nature Walk. Moderate-paced four-mile walk around the El Dorado Nature Center. Learn about native birds, flora and fauna. Rain cancels, 7:50 a.m. El Dorado Library parking lot, Studebaker Rd. & Spring St., Long Beach, (714) 505-2404; Peters Canyon Conditioning Hike. Fast-paced six-mile conditioning hike with 700 feet of elevation gain. Not for beginners, 8 a.m. Parking, $3. Peters Canyon parking lot, 8548 E. Canyon View Ave., Orange, (714) 761-8761; if park is closed, meet in the Taco Bell parking lot, corner of Chapman Ave. & Jamboree Rd.

Tues.:Irvine Conditioning Hike. See description and location info above, 6:30 p.m.

SURFRIDER FOUNDATION NEWPORT BEACH CHAPTER, NEWPORT BREWING COMPANY, 2920 NEWPORT BLVD., NEWPORT BEACH, (310) 849-1964; WWW.SURFRIDER.ORG.

Tues.:Meeting. Come meet new and old members. Learn about plans for 2006. Get involved in water quality issues. Frees tacos and special drink prices, 7 p.m.

upcoming sports events

THE GREAT AMERICAN ADVENTURE RUN, HUNTINGTON BEACH CENTRAL PARK, GOLDEN WEST & EDWARD STS., HUNTINGTON BEACH, (714) 841-5417; WWW.NEALAND.COM/FINISHLINE.

Feb. 11: 4.8-Mile Run & 2.8-Mile Run/Walk. Cross-country course on grass, dirt and asphalt paths. See website for additional details, 8 a.m. $18 by Feb. 4; $21 after.

ADVENTURE BOOT CAMP, EL RANCHO CHARTER SCHOOL, 181 S. DEL GIORGIO RD., ANAHEIM, (714) 783-7036; (877) 303-4641; WWW.ANAHEIMHILLSBOOTCAMP.COM.

Feb. 20: GET FIT Boot Camp for Women. Women can jump start their day with a challenging and energizing workout. Boot campers will meet for one hour per day for four weeks. The program provides quick results for women of all fitness levels. Call or visit website for additional information, 5:30 a.m. or 9 a.m. $299.

VISION QUEST AND COUNTING COUP, O'NEILL REGIONAL PARK, 30892 TRABUCO CANYON RD., TRABUCO CANYON, (714) 894-8211; WWW.WARRIORSSOCIETY.ORG.

March 4: 56-Mile & 44-Mile Mountain Bike Rides. Race on some of the most challenging trails in the Santa Anas. Space is limited. See website for registration information, 6 a.m. $75-$115.

LOS ANGELES MARATHON, FIFTH & FIGUEROA STS., LOS ANGELES, (310) 444-5544; WWW.LAMARATHON.COM.

March 19: Marathon, 5K & Bike Tour. See website for start times and race fees. No race day registration.

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