THE SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA
MONTANE BOTANIC GARDEN
In spring 2014, The Wildlands Conservancy opened Phase I the Southern California Montane Botanic Garden at Oak Glen Preserve. The Garden’s rich biodiversity reflects that of the greater San Bernardino Mountains. Part of the Transverse Ranges—one of only two such east-west-trending ranges in the continental U.S.—the San Bernardinos are surrounded by contrasting ecoregions and their respective plant species. Over millions of years of glacial expansion and recession, diverse plant species from these surrounding ecoregions found niches on the north and south-facing slopes of the San Bernardinos. Today, more than 1,600 plant species have been identified making the San Bernardino Mountains the most botanically diverse range of its size in the United States.
This diversity is represented in the first phase of the Garden, which encompasses 220 acres of wild lands that include oak woodland, conifer forest, chaparral, grasslands, wetlands, springs, ponds and two year-round streams with riparian habitat corridors. Divided into venues, the plant species in these diverse habitats are identified with unique, descriptive botanical markers. Since the Garden opened, twelve new venues have been installed—the newest of which are Hummingbird Hill, Falling Waters, and The Artist’s Palette—and more than 100 native plant species have been marked.
Future plans for the Garden include expansion to an additional 80 acres of native habitat located north of Oak Glen Road. The completion of this second phase of the Garden will make The Southern California Montane Botanic Garden the largest in California. The 1917 Craftsman Heritage House will be a demonstration site for native landscaping. Phase II includes diverse oak woodland with five native oak species, and will include naturalist-led hikes to the Champion Oak, recognized as the largest oak in North America. It will also include higher elevation hikes into forests of lodgepole, sugar and limber pines.
CHILDREN'S OUTDOOR DISCOVERY CENTER
As part of its dual mission, The Wildlands Conservancy “provides programs so that children may know the wonder and joy of nature.” Each year nearly 10,000 students participate in hands-on, curriculum-based field-trips at Oak Glen Preserve. In an effort to bring outdoor education to even more children, The Wildlands Conservancy developed the Children’s Outdoor Discovery Center at the Preserve. The Discovery Center features interactive Kids Quizzes, installed along the Garden trails, which encourage kids of all ages to explore, discover, and learn about the natural world around them. Each year nearly 30,000 children visit the Preserve’s Garden and Discovery Center and have an opportunity to expand their knowledge of the natural world in a fun, interactive, and memorable way.
HELPING YOUR GARDEN GROW
All of The Wildlands Conservancy’s preserves and programs are operated solely with private funding, including generous support from visitors like you. From making a cash donation to volunteering your time, there are multiple ways you can get involved with TWC to support Oak Glen Preserve, the Botanic Garden and Discovery Center. There are also opportunities for memorials for loved ones through tree plantings, signage and sponsoring sections of the Garden.
GETTING TO THE GARDEN
The Southern California Montane Botanic Garden and Childrens Discovery Center is located at The Wildlands Conservancy's Oak Glen Preserve
on Oak Glen Road.
Oak Glen Preserve
39611 Oak Glen Road
Oak Glen, CA 92399
Get driving directions in Google Maps
From Los Angeles, exit Interstate 10 East at Oak Glen Road and turn left. Follow Oak Glen Road approximately 11 miles to the Oak Glen Preserve and Los Rios Rancho entrance.
From Palm Springs, exit Interstate 10 West at Beaumont Avenue and turn right. Follow Beaumont Avenue approximately 3.5 miles. Beaumont Avenue becomes Oak Glen Road.
Follow Oak Glen Road another 6 miles to the Oak Glen Preserve and Los Rios Rancho entrance.
The Garden is open to the public, free of charge, seven days a week from 8 am to 4:30 pm. Entrance gates to the Preserve are locked at 5 pm.
Download a map of the garden and trails (PDF)