"Everything is either, protection, food ,or shelter for the creatures who live here, and 275 years ago, the Indians survived on natural resources to feed themselves. This was the native American's supermarket; shrubs and trees were used for food, medicine, clothes, tools, dyes, houses, and tools -- everything they needed, they got out here." -- Peter Rice
Peter routinely takes around groups of 20 or so and shows them all about the natural foods, tools, and history of the land. There's also a few things to avoid: this is poison oak. As the name suggests, you want to stay as far away from it as possible.
A tasteful and useful plant, the Stingy Nettle can be used to make rope. It's also very nutritious and tastes like spinach. But be careful, they don't call it 'stinging' for nothing.
of us think of fire as a destructive force of nature, but the opposite
is actually true. Peter explains: "fire is nature's way of cleaning
up its own mess." In fact, many of the plants on the mountains need
fire to live. Fire will clean up dead and tangled upper brush, but the
root system will be intact. "The heat of the fire will cause the underground
seeds and pods, which may have been waiting for 50 or 60 years, to crack
open and give birth to new plants."
are many different types of nature walks offered, for different interests
and people of all ages. If you live in or near Los Angeles and you'd like
to join Peter or another docent on one of these wonderful nature hikes,
call the William O. Douglas Outdoor Classroom in Franklin Canyon Park at