What we're about


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Your fun source for interpretive nature tours, including hiking, walking, wet 'n' wild, waterfalls, plant & wildlife identification, foraging, birding, photography, national forest access, boulder scrambling, exploring, backpacking, living history, outdoor music jams & fitness. Programs range from easy family-friendly through extremely challenging adult adventures. Day hikes through overnighters. Specializing in the 4 national forests of Southern California. We provide tours for the public, home school groups, scouts, churches, corporations, private groups, and clubs. Children are welcome on most tours. State law requires dogs to be on leash at all times. Workshops and presentations can also be provided upon request.

Mission: Connecting everyone to local wilderness! Naturalist For You (NFY) was created to connect you, the public, to the diverse natural areas in your backyard. As naturalists we possess a broad knowledge and understanding of the natural world. We are trained to observe natural processes and interpret their significance for your benefit. We are passionate about wild places and seek to share that passion with you.


We primarily conduct programs on publicly-owned land, such as the national forests (Cleveland, Angeles, San Bernardino, Los Padres), state parks, and county parks. We also provide exclusive access to private preserves owned by local land trusts. Many of our local natural areas are vast, beautiful, and mysterious, but rarely visited by the majority of our population. We want to encourage you to explore these priceless treasures. Every positive experience we share in nature brings us closer to preserving it for future generations.

Our vision is to preserve the ecological integrity of our local natural areas through community outreach and stewardship. Our programs are meant to be entertaining and educational. We understand that the human and natural communities are connected. Therefore, tours are designed to avoid negative impacts, such as habitat destruction, wildlife injury, erosion, and various forms of pollution. In addition to preserving a high level of respect for our natural surroundings, your comfort and safety are our highest priorities.

NFY is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit, public benefit corporation. All donations are tax-deductible.Joel Robinson is the founder, executive director, and head naturalist for Naturalist For You. He has guided thousands of curious individuals on professional wilderness tours since 2001. Many organizations and agencies have utilized his talents, including the US Forest Service, Audubon Society, The Nature Conservancy, The Wildlands Conservancy, the Ojai Valley Land Conservancy, Los Padres Forest Association, Silverado Modjeska Park & Recreation District, Santa Ana Mountains Wild Heritage Project, City of Santa Ana, City of Lake Forest, and Orange County Department of Education. He is a Certified Interpretive Guide with the National Association for Interpretation. His vision is to connect the majority of the public to our local natural areas, so their preservation is guaranteed for future generations.


Upcoming events (3)

Nature Walk @ Fairhaven Memorial Park

Fairhaven Memorial Park & Mortuary

Come join us on a nature walk through Fairhaven Memorial Park's beautiful 78 acres of trees! As we walk, we attempt to identify many of the varieties of trees and other wildlife that call Fairhaven home. The tour will be lead by Naturalist-For-You's Julia! Please wear a mask and practice social distancing and wear shoes that you don't mind getting a bit wet!

Mindfulness Meditation Nature Walk @ Santiago Park Nature Reserve

Location visible to members

RSVP: Must call[masked] or email [masked] to secure your reservation. In this monthly series, we learn how to generate within ourselves states of positivity, such as gratitude and forgiveness. We discuss how we can practice over time so that a "state" can become a "trait," our new normal. Mindfulness meditation is the foundation of the series and will be taught and practiced in each session. We make frequent stops to observe and appreciate natural surroundings in silence. An easy walk that is roughly 1 mile round-trip on a paved bike way, dirt trail and dry creek bed featuring uneven, rocky terrain. Mix of sun and shade. Minimal elevation gain. References: Mindfulness for Beginners, by Jon Kabat-Zinn: http://www.soundstrue.com/store/mindfulness-for-beginners.html Free Guided Meditations from the UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center: http://marc.ucla.edu/mpeg/01_Breathing_Meditation.mp3, http://marc.ucla.edu/mindful-meditations The Greater Good Science Center: http://greatergood.berkeley.edu/

BEGINNER HIKE: Sea Turtles of San Gabriel River
Needs a date and time

Needs a location

Alamitos Bay Let's go see the Sea Turtles of the San Gabriel River. I've copied all of this information from Naturalist Joel Sax's Meetup group. (I had sent him a note, asking him to lead us on the hike, but he's never responded). So, Grant and I are going to attempt this hike on our own. You are welcome to join us. I've never been to the location before, so be patient with me (and the information provided) - there may be hiccups on the journey :) This is a free meetup. Please read all of his information thoroughly and come prepared for a hike! (Please do not bring pets on the hike. We have a serious dog allergy. Thank you!) Joel Sax's info: The northernmost colony of green sea turtles is our objective on this easy hike along the San Gabriel River. A pair of power plants spewing warm water creates an ideal temperature that brings the chelonians north, far from the tropical waters where they spawn. Their existence had been dismissed as cryptobiology until a team from the Aquarium of the Pacific arrived at the spot and confirmed that they were the real thing come for a spa. We will begin at Alamitos Bay in Long Beach (reached from Seal Beach). We will cross a bridge, then turn north for about a mile and a half to the power plants where we will look for the turtles. (Binoculars can be helpful!) We will then return the way we came, going past the bridge to Seal Beach where we will pause for a snack and some time in the sun. More information on the turtles DETAILS Distance: The hike is about 3 miles long. It should take us about 1 to 1 ½ hours round trip. We will spend 15 to 20 minutes looking for the turtles. Binoculars are helpful. We may bring a spotting scope, too. Difficulty: Easy. The trail is flat. There is a sandy section at the beach. Facilities: There are bathrooms at the beach. Gear: Good shoes, hat, and shorts. Swimsuit and towel optional. Binoculars can be helpful spotting the turtles. Post-Hike: We will enjoy a snack while relaxing on Seal Beach. DIRECTIONS: From the 405: Go south on Seal Beach Boulevard. At Westminster Boulevard, Seal Beach doglegs to the right. Continue to Pacific Coast Highway where you will turn right. Turn left on Marina. Proceed to the Alamitos Bay Marina parking lot. We will meet on the corner. HIKE GUIDANCE: Bring at least one bottle of water (16oz) and snacks Eat breakfast. Rain one day or less prior to hike might cancel the hike. Check the site the night before for news. Wait at each trail crossing or turn-off for the rest of the group and the organizer. Wear appropriate hiking clothes and shoes. Do not leave a fellow hiker behind without inquiring as to their condition. You are responsible for your own safety. DISCLAIMER: Group organizer and assistant organizers assume no liability; hike at your own risk. By being a member of this group you hereby agree to assume all risks and liability related to or resulting from any and all group functions. You agree that neither you nor any third party will hold any of the group's leaders, officers, or representatives liable for any injury, loss, or damage to your own person or any members of your family, friends, acquaintances, children, pets, or property, arising directly or as a consequence from a group activity. You also agree that your membership of this group is based on an "at will" basis.

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