Located in Newhall CA, just north of Los Angeles, the Placerita Canyon Nature Center provides visitors with a preview of what’s to be found just outside.The park encompasses oak woodlands, chaparral, and riparian plant communties on the north side of the San Gabriel Mountains southeast of the City of Santa Clarita. The exhibits focus on these three ecosystems and the plants and animals found in them.

The park not only serves to conserve a slice of the wild environment but also endeavors to educate the public on the value of undisturbed flora and fauna through wild animal presentations, nature hikes, and self-guided educational trails.

Project Credits: Exhibit Design by James Freed Design, with Bo Hick. Interpretive planning and graphic design by The Acorn Group. Murals by Alison Pearson (Alumni Exhibits) Exhibit fabrication and installation by Group Delphi.

Click here for a video tour of the Nature Center. (Click on the photos to see larger versions)


The welcome mural with sculpted live oak tree bookends.

DSC02629-e1436989267954The main exhibit gallery features the Oak Woodlands, Riparian and Chaparral dioramas.


The Riparian diorama features a rock strewn stream that is visible both above and below the waterline.








The Secret Life of the Chaparral shows off this unique habitat and features interactive exhibit elements like bird calls activated by push buttons, and flip up panels showing the relationships between the animals and plants in this arid ecosystem.




The Oak Woodlands diorama features a young fawn, a duskyfooted woodrat nest.



This three dimensional touchable graphic panel tells the story of how the indigenous Tataviam people harvested and prepared acorns as a food staple.

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