If you Google Maps the City of Torrance, you’ll notice a large green area labeled as Madrona Marsh. I happened across this one day, months ago, and have driven past the sign countless times on Hawthorne Blvd. And all the while, I always had in my mind, “you know, we really need to stop here sometime!”
But you know how life goes – sometimes it’s harder than it needs to be to go do the things you want to do! And with hours closed on Mondays and Tuesdays, early closure on weekdays, and a no-dogs policy, Madrona Marsh kept getting added to my “To Do” list each week…but was never crossed off.
Until the First of September! Finally, Al and I worked the Marsh into our Saturday morning schedule, and we’re so glad that we did…
For those not familiar, Madrona Marsh is a vernal marsh – and one of the last-remaining in LA County at that! A vernal marsh means it gets its water completely from rainfall and runoff from higher grounds. Madrona is specifically a Spring Vernal Marsh, so it’s at its highest in the Spring time.
Since we decided to go in September, we knew that the marsh would be pretty much all dried up. So we were prepared to see less wildlife and less green…but we’ve already decided to go back during the Spring months to see it in all its glory! (And that’s half the fun isn’t it? Seeing how nature works throughout the year?)
The best part about Madrona Marsh though is its full calendar of events! Al and I walked into the Nature Center (where you can find ample parking) and I was immediately brought back to the days when my parents would take my brothers and me to Wildwood Nature Center in Harrisburg. The place was filled with educational exhibits, artwork, and a full schedule of tours and classes. It was really cool to see. If you live in the Southbay area and have kids, take them here and learn a thing or two! I hear their Guided Bird Watching Tours are pretty great. The group of people that run this place are dedicated to protecting the land and the wildlife that inhabit this area amidst the concrete jungle that is Los Angeles.
It was pretty cool to spend a Saturday morning walking around the trails and reading the different plaques along the way. There is one main trail that leads around the perimeter of the marsh, but plenty of trails that cut through the middle and lead off in different directions. I felt like we learned so much about the land, the animals, and the plants that inhabit this area, and I’m looking forward to taking part in one of their guided tours in the future! They also offer tons of opportunities to volunteer, so if you’re into this sort of thing, definitely check it out. I am so thankful for a childhood spent learning about wildlife and the importance of preserving areas such as these – I think anyone (adult or child!) could benefit from visiting the Marsh!
It’s fun to explore your backyard!