TOPANGA CANYON—The Topanga Canyon Docents (TCD) 2015 Fall Training Program will hold seven classroom training sessions beginning September 12.

The annual education program, which has been a part of the park’s history since the beginning, is open to the general public. Anyone interested in becoming a docent naturalist at Topanga State Park is welcome to attend.

Classes are held from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Trippet Ranch Visitor Center on alternating Saturdays until December 5. The course dates include September 12, September 26, October 10, October 24, November 7, November 21 and December 5.

Weeds amidst dry brush at Topanga State Park
Weeds amidst dry brush at Topanga State Park.

In addition to the seven enclosed courses, students will have the opportunity to join five interpretive walks led by docents on alternating Sunday mornings from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. The outdoor exploration dates are September 20, October 4, October 18, November 1, and November 15.

According to the Topanga Canyon Docents website, students will “learn about the flora, fauna, natural history, and Native American cultures of the Santa Monica Mountains.”

The detailed topics included are Chumash and Tongva Cultures, native plants and plant communities, fire ecology, geology, mammals, insects and birds, reptiles/amphibians, climate, as well as naturalist leadership.

Eagle Rock at Topanga State Park
Eagle Rock at Topanga State Park

The training program is taught by experts and professional educators from local universities, the National Park Service, and museums.

Once students graduate the docent training course they will have the opportunity to become a volunteer Topanga Park Docent and help lead “public walks, school walks, or by greeting visitors at the Visitor Center at Trippet Ranch.”

Becoming a docent gives those who are passionate about nature a chance to connect with the immediate environment of their community.

The registration cost is $80 and must be received by September 5 to ensure that all necessary material is sent out before the first training session.

Registration fees include a year-long membership at Topanga State Park, as well as open invitations to potluck gatherings, workshops and seminars, field trips and further excursions.

For further information visit the Topanga Canyon Docents website at