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Harford Springs Reserve Update

Harford Springs Reserve, known for its beautiful native wildflowers and stunning juniper trees, faced a significant setback in July 2023 when the Gavilan Fire ravaged the area. The fire destroyed much of the reserve, including native shrubs, wildflowers, and juniper trees (as well as rare plant species), also damaging essential infrastructure. There is now serious risk of invasive plant species spreading due to increased human activity from visitors such as hikers, equestrians, and vehicles. This threat is heightened due to the loss of the native plant cover, leaving habitats vulnerable.


Two examples of a notable invasive species threat are stinknet and Sahara mustard, which pose a significant risk to our community. To safeguard the recovery of the habitat, RivCo Parks is actively working to mitigate the impacts of stinknet, Sahara mustard, and other invasive species by treating and removing plants and their seeds. Trail and fencing repairs continue to occur due to unauthorized access which negatively impacts ecosystem recovery. Off-trail activities readily move these invasive plants further into the reserve. This occurs via seeds becoming stuck in shoes, hooves, tires, and fur for example. Invasive species can readily displace native species and greatly reduce biodiversity of an area and we want to maintain our rare species as well as our wildflowers for future generations to enjoy. Our efforts are aimed at preserving the diverse range of native and rare plants and animals that make Harford Springs Reserve unique.

Given the importance of protecting these natural resources and ensuring the full recovery of the ecosystem, Harford Springs Reserve will remain closed to the public until summer, 2024. This timeframe is essential to allow native plants to recover and for restoration efforts to take place. You can learn more about the invasive species threat posed by stinknet and Sahara mustard in our community by referring to these resources:

If you are interested in volunteering or our Adopt-A-Trail program, please email Janae Pulido at [email protected] for volunteer events and opportunities.



    21470 Gavilan Road, Perris, Ca 92570
    (near Piedres Road entrance)

    Reserve Hours



    Reserve Fees

    Reserve is FREE to visit and enjoy. 

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