SANTA MONICA−The Santa Monica Mountains Recreational area has announced the coming of the 2010 Santa Monica Mountains Science Festival.

The event, free and open to all, will take place from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. on April 16, and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on April 17, at Paramount Ranch in Agoura Hills.

Visitors can expect a variety of programs that both adult and children will enjoy.  On April 16, participants can join park rangers and regional scientists for an experience in the mountains after dark.  Other activities include a camp singalong, bug collecting, owl banding and bat identification.

On April 17, guests may enjoy a variety of special presentations and hands-on demonstrations.  Older audiences may be interested in an update on the mountain lion research program, a talk about recently renamed Ballard Mountain and an introduction to native plants. Children may delight in the live animal demonstrations, bilingual hikes and plant pressing techniques.

In addition to the events’ scheduled programs, many stationary booths and games will be available for participants to delight in further scientific discoveries.

Guests are encouraged to bring picnic lunches, water, sunscreen and a hat.

For information on directions and scheduled events, please visit  For further information, contact the National Park Service headquarters in Thousand Oaks, Calif. at 805-370-2301.