The Saugus Forestry Unit is a 4-acre forest nursery and conservation education center located in the Santa Clarita Valley. The Saugus Forestry Unit serves an 863 square mile area in the northwestern portion of Los Angeles County. The unit is staffed by a Deputy Forester and Forestry Technician to provide natural resource protection, tree planting and conservation education programs to the area's 2.5 million residents.
The Saugus Forestry Unit was founded in 1956 to propagate and plants trees for watershed protection in the San Gabriel and Santa Susana Mountains. During the 1970s the unit planted the large tree plantations that can now be seen at Castaic Lake. Today, the Saugus Forestry Unit produces forest tree seedlings for erosion control and windbreaks. The trees are propagated by seed and held at the nursery for two years until they are ready for field planting. These seedlings are distributed free of charge to Los Angeles County residents.
County Foresters use the forest nursery as an outdoor classroom for nature studies. Nursery tours, nature walks and tree planting programs are available to school, scout and youth organizations. In addition to conservation education programs, the Saugus Unit works with area residents to address environmental concerns. Courtesy homeowner inspections help residents to identify soil, pest, plant and fire hazard problems which may exist on their property. The Saugus Forestry Unit is open to the public from 8:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M. Monday through Friday.
The Forestry Division of the County of Los Angeles Fire Department can provide your school or organization with conservation education programs. Topics include:
County Foresters can visit your classroom with a variety of audio visual and hands on materials. or join a forester at one of five forestry units located in the foothills for a unique outdoor experience. All programs are offered free of charge. Contact your local forestry unit for program availability and reservations.
Professional foresters can assist property owners with land management concerns. A forester will meet with you on site to advise you on such issues as:
Since its inception in 1911, the Forestry Division of the County of Los Angeles Fire Department has been involved in the conservation and protection of natural resources through its urban forestry programs. Today, eleven forestry units, located throughout the county, address the following environmental concerns:
Southern California has one of the most flammable watershed covers in the world. A comprehensive vegetation management program has developed innovative strategies to reduce the risk of wildland fire hazards. Wildland hazard mitigation training for the department and general public along with the successful completion of numerous prescribed burns are part of this comprehensive program.
Increasing urban populations and changing land use have imposed tremendous pressure on our fragile natural resources. Review of environmental documents, emergency watershed protection programs and monitoring the county’s Oak Tree Ordinance are all part of the Forestry Division’s natural resource program.
The Forestry Division is dedicated to improving the quality of life through the development of a managed urban forest. Eighty years of tree planting with over three million trees planted, has made the Forestry Division experts in dryland planting. Each year 80,000 tree seedlings are distributed free of cost to the public for use in erosion control and windbreaks.
In 1920 the Los Angeles County Charter mandated the Forestry Division to provide educational programs on fire prevention and natural resource conservation. Today, over 140,000 people a year participate in programs and tree planting projects which promote an appreciation of our natural resources.
CURRENT PROJECTS IN SAUGAS
Conservation Education Programs
Santa Clarita school children discover nature in their neighborhood during a visit to the Saugus Forestry Unit. A hike through the tall pines, panning for gold under the sycamore trees, and a stop at the forester’s outdoor classroom are part of environmental educational programs conducted at the Saugus Forestry Unit. Every child visiting the Saugus Forestry Unit takes home a tree seedling to remember their day in the forest. Under the guidance of a forester children and parents learn to plant and care for trees.
Career Day Programs
A forester explains a soil profile sample during a Career Day Expo at Verdugo High School. High school students learn about universities, course curriculums, and employment opportunities in forestry at the Saugus Forestry Unit booth. Arbor Day ProgramsSaugus Forestry Unit foresters have cones and will travel to local schools for Arbor Day celebrations. School children enjoy the shade of a playground tree while learning about the value and importance of trees. Learning fire prevention and fire safety tips can be fun when each child gets to participate in a wildlife - wildfire game. City of Santa Clarita Arbor Day celebrations can be fun and informative for the whole community. At the Saugus Forestry Unit booth a forester is assisted by home-school children and moms during the tree give away.
The trees are propagated by seed and held in the nursery for two years until they are ready for field planting. The tree seedlings are made available to the public during the fall and winter months to correspond with southern California’s planting season. A forester helps members of the Boy Scouts of America select native Coulter Pine seedlings for a field planting in the Angeles National Forest.