Conservancy Offers Free Admission To Botanic Garden This Friday

Avalon, CA (November 23, 2015) - The traditional holiday shopping season kicks off this Friday, as millions of Americans across the country flock to malls and shopping centers looking to capitalize on "Black Friday" deals. However, the Catalina Island Conservancy announced today that it is joining outdoor retail giant REI in encouraging the public to forgo their plans of spending the day inside and instead head out and enjoy the great outdoors.

To show their support of REI's "Opt Outside" effort, the Catalina Island Conservancy is waiving the entrance fee to the Wrigley Memorial and Botanic Garden this Friday, November 27th.  Visitors are invited to come up and spend the day exploring the Conservancy's collection of native trees and plants, or even hike the popular Garden To Sky trail.

"We believe that there is no greater gift than the natural world around us," says Tony Budrovich, chief operating officer for the Catalina Island Conservancy.  "I can think of no better way to kick off the holiday season than spending the day outside with friends and loved ones."

While California State Parks (Northern CA only), Oregon State Parks and over dozen other state park systems around the country are supporting the Opt Outside effort,the Catalina Island Conservancy's Wrigley Memorial and Botanic Garden is the first outdoor recreation area, campground or botanic garden to announce its intentions to waive their fees for Black Friday.

The public is asked to share pictures of themselves enjoying Catalina Island's bountiful sights and activities on their social media channels, with the tags #optoutside and #cic.

Next week the Catalina Island Conservancy is also inviting supporters to take part in another new holiday tradition; Giving Tuesday.  Founded in 2012, Giving Tuesday was established as a compliment to Black Friday and Cyber Monday by setting aside a day for people to donate to their favorite causes.  Simply go to on Tuesday, December 2nd and make a donation to support the Catalina Island Conservancy's efforts to restore and preserve Catalina Island's natural resources.

About Catalina Conservancy

Formed in 1972, the Catalina Island Conservancy is one of California's oldest land trusts.  Its mission is to be a responsible steward of its lands through a balance of conservation, education and recreation.  Through its ongoing efforts, the Conservancy protects the magnificent natural and cultural heritage of Santa Catalina Island stewarding approximately 42,000 acres of land and more than 60 miles of rugged shoreline.  It provides an airport and 50 miles of biking and nearly 150 miles of hiking opportunities within its road and trail system.  The Conservancy conducts educational outreach through two nature centers, its Wrigley Memorial & Botanic Garden and guided experiences in the Island's rugged interior.  Twenty miles from the mainland, the Island is a treasure trove of historical and archaeological sites.  It also contains numerous rare and endangered animals and plants.  The island is home to 60 species - and counting - that are found only on Catalina.  For additional information, please visit