Free Guided Art and Nature Outings

Person sketching
Woodland Caribou, Rob Stimpson

Yuba Sutter Arts & Culture is proud to announce a series of free, outdoor nature programs geared toward getting the community outside to enjoy guided hiking, art, and journaling adventures. It is all made possible thanks to a $200,000 Outdoor Equity Program Grant it recently received from the California State Parks & Recreation Department.  The funding is part of California State Parks’ statewide initiative that has provided $57 million in grant funding to 125 communities to help advance its “Outdoor Access for All” initiative. The funding helps establish hubs for local activities and trips to natural areas for underserved communities. 

Why is access to the outdoors important? Nature is a public good that’s crucial for adults as well as children’s health and well-being. Scientists estimate that every $1 spent on creating and maintaining park trails can save almost $3 in health care alone. Additional studies show that access to parks and greenspace can increase children’s physical activity, reduce stress in children and improve academic performance. 

Here is the list of events coming up for the next three months. First up is a Sutter Buttes Nature & Art Adventure on Saturday, February 18, from 8am-3pm. This will be a nature hike, journaling and sketching outing. Paying homage to the indigenous name, “Mountains in the Middle,” the Middle Mountain Interpretive Hike in the Sutter Buttes offers an easy to moderate hike through beautiful rolling hills, vistas and plenty of flora and fauna. Time will be set aside for nature journaling and sketching activities; not recommended for children under 12. 

Next is a Nature Journaling experience at South Yuba River State Park with John Muir Laws on Saturday, March 18, 8am-3pm. Mr. Laws is an artist, and educator who will teach his world-renowned Nature Journaling Course while engaging with the beloved Yuba Watershed at South Yuba River State Park (Bridgeport). Educators are encouraged to participate in this nature journaling session as this is an excellent strategy for classroom use. 

On Saturday, April 8 the adventure will be at the Table Mountain Ecological Reserve from 8am-3pm. Located in Oroville, the North Table Mountain Ecological Reserve, commonly known as Table Mountain, is perfect for a guided, moderate hike through a unique natural area. Hikers will enjoy the spectacular annual wildflower blooms, vernal pools, and waterfalls. Time will be set aside for instruction in nature journaling, sketching and photography.

Announcements about further outdoor art adventures will be made later this Spring. Art supplies are provided for each of these outings. Register for these programs at