|The Nature Center at Avalon Canyon is a twenty-minute stroll up Avalon Canyon from town center. Or, take a quick ride by golf cart or bike, or by trolley. Its close proximity to the Wrigley Memorial & Botanic Garden and the Hermit Gulch Trail Head make this a perfect place to start your visit to Catalina.
The Nature Center is located at 1202 Avalon Canyon Road, and occupies the site of the first Interpretive Center, built by the Los Angeles County Department of Parks & Recreation, to tell the story of the natural history of the Island. The Nature Center features self-guided exhibits focusing on natural history and conservation efforts on the Island. There are hands-on activities for kids, videos, and a Resource Center.
The Center’s exhibit is titled, “PURE Catalina,” “PURE” an acronym for “Protect,” “Understand,” “Renew” and “Explore” form the exhibit sections.
In the Nature Center’s lobby, images of the scenic wild side of the Island welcome visitors, including rugged landscapes and secluded coves with their crystal waters. An array of exhibit panels framed in “islands” made of natural materials will introduce visitors to Catalina’s natural wonders and the Conservancy’s conservation programs.
Visitors learn about everything from the geology of the Channel Islands, to how species arrive on islands. The concepts of “biodiversity hotspots” (of which there are 200 in the world) are explored, and why Catalina is part of the one that stretches along the West Coast of the United States.