Franklin Canyon is a great spot for a family outing. Our visit here began a stop at the nature center to pick up a park map. Then we strolled around "Heavenly Pond." It's brimming with turtles! Most of them aren't native. (I'm not sure any are, but a docent here has recorded a sighting of one Western Pond Turtle.) All the more reason not to worry that my son got this close to the turtles. (I'd never let him approach Western Pond Turtles as I'm especially concerned not to disturb native species.) Even so, your child should not touch any turtles. For one, we want to respect all wildlife. Two, turtles carry salmonella.
Finally, we returned to the Sooky Goldman Nature Center. Never pass up a nature center. At this one, our son enjoyed an exhibit where he pressed a button to make a stuffed mountain lion roar. I peeked at the log where docents and visitors record the critters they've seen. Quite a few folks had seen bobcats. I surprised to find "mountain lion" on the list. I scoffed at the idea to a park ranger, only to find out he was the one who saw it. (Mountain lions are extremely rare in the Santa Monica Mountains.)