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Primitive Skills Society seeks members!

Fox Walking

The Environmental Nature Center (ENC) will be hosting the first meeting of the Primitive Skills Society on December 2, 2017 from 4:30 – 7:30PM. During each monthly meeting participants will gather to learn and work on different primitive skills, led by ENC Executive Director Bo Glover. Afterwards, the group will cook a light meal over the campfire. “I started this group because I genuinely enjoy teaching and practicing primitive skills like fire making and tracking,” said ENC Executive Director Bo Glover. “It’s also a great way to meet and develop friendships with great like-minded people.” Throughout the year, Primitive Skills Society members will learn skills including building primitive shelters, collecting, purifying, transporting and storing water, finding food, making fire from friction, building a proper fire,…

GREAT Native Butterfly Plants for your Orange County Garden


  If you’d like a butterfly plant to enjoy in your garden year round, read on! There are plenty of butterflies to feed that are NOT monarchs, but monarchs will enjoy the nectar provided by these as well. Sages are very good for attracting adult butterflies to your garden. White Sage (Salvia apiana) and Hummingbird Sage (Salvia spathacea) will be available this Sunday. Epilobium canum, California Fuchsia, is used as a nectar source for butterflies, a larval source for White-lined Sphinx Moth. False Indigo (Amorpha fruticosa) is the host plant for the Southern Dog Face butterfly. It’s larvae use the leaves of this plant for food. Plant in a part shaded spot that is cool. They like soil that doesn’t dry out, but is not wet….

Goin’ where the wind blows at the ENC

RiR_Leaf Man

Ever wonder what it would be like to go wherever the wind blows? Lois Ehlert explores just that with her whimsical children’s book “Leaf Man”. Use your imagination and join Leaf Man as he embarks on his unknown adventure. Find out whether the wind takes Leaf Man east towards the ducks and geese or ventures west to the spotted cows at our Reading in the Redwoods event on Sunday, September 24 from 9:30am-11:00am. Naturalist Valerie Bain will lead a group hike to the Redwood Forest where families can relax under the trees and enjoy the reading of “Leaf Man”. Afterwards children and their adults will go on a leaf collecting hike, make leaf rubbings, create their own leaf man, and meet a decomposer who recycles…

Fall Faire & Pumpkin Patch is right around the corner!

Savor OC

As the weather cools and the leaves fall there’s no better way to celebrate the season than with the ENC’s 42nd annual Fall Faire and Pumpkin Patch. Stop by and pick the perfect pumpkin at our pumpkin patch where pumpkins of all shapes and sizes will be available to take home just in time to carve into spooky jack-o-lanterns. Come with an empty stomach because local food vendors will be in attendance for our Savor OC Restaurant Showcase. Grab a delectable treat from Sensitive Sweets, a slice of yum from Pizza Bakery, a gourmet cookie from 17th Street Deli, and clam chowder from Bluewater Grill. Saltwater Catering will be on hand for the first time this year, and we can’t wait to see what they will bring! If the kids…

Join us for an Evening Inspired by Nature

Summer Soiree 2017_front page

You are cordially invited to the Environmental Nature Center’s 4th annual Summer Soirée on Saturday, June 10. Don’t worry about donning your best suit or gown for this event, we encourage you to dress casually and comfortably. Remember to leave your dress shoes at home, trail-friendly shoes are ideal for this evening inspired by nature. A cocktail hour will kick off the night at 5:30 pm to welcome guests to our beautiful Soirée. Cocktails and hors d’oeuvres will be served streamside for guests to enjoy with a full service bar provided by our sponsors About Town Bartending. Guests will make their way to dinner under the stars, served by White House Catering, at 7:00 pm. The gourmet dinner will start off with a Contemporary Green’s…

ENC introduces community to local species through birdwatching basics workshop

birdwatching small

By Lola Olvera, ENC Communications Intern Native plants attract native birds and the Environmental Nature Center is home to 3.5 acres of Orange County’s flora, and, consequently, its fauna. Native birds are in abundance at the ENC. Well over a hundred different types of birds have been spotted by our eagle-eyed visitors, including egrets, falcons, goldfinches, hawks, hummingbirds, sparrows, warblers and woodpeckers. Visitors are encouraged to document their sightings and share them with the ENC, a la citizen science. Not a bird expert? You can be. On Saturday, May 27 from 8 a.m. to 9:30 a.m., ENC Naturalist Chris Holland will introduce a small group of aspiring birdwatchers to the art of observing birds. Holland will demonstrate how to properly use binoculars and how to…

Girl Scout Troop Educates about Endangered Species

Troop 2917

by Lola Olvera, ENC Communications Intern What do a green sea turtle, a blue butterfly and San Mateo thorn mint all have in common? They are all species endangered in California-and that’s no joke. The green sea turtle is classified as seriously threatened; worldwide its numbers have declined 90% over the past 50 years as they are hunted for meat and eggs and their habitats are threatened. The Mission Blue butterfly has been endangered since 1976 due to dieback of its most common host plant, the Silver Bush Lupine. Road construction, residential development and golf courses have eradicated the habitat of the San Mateo thorn mint-now it can only be found at Edgewood County Park. Girl Scout Troop 2917 is giving a voice to California’s…

Newport Beach Film Festival


The Environmental Nature Center is once again a Community Partner of the Newport Beach Film Festival! We are co-presenting the screening of Environmental Short Documentaries on Saturday, April 22, at 1:15pm at Triangle Cinemas. Tickets available via the Newport Beach Film Festival website www.newportbeachfilmfest.com. Each film is listed separately (all scheduled to begin at April 22 @ 1:15 pm). Purchase tickets to one and see them all! Here is more about the individual shorts: Gardeners of the Forest For generations, Laos was known as the Land of a Million Elephants. Today, there are around 600 elephants left in Laos. If the Laotian elephants become extinct, not only does it mean a loss of one of the largest mammals on earth but also the loss for Laotian history and culture….

Spring has Sprung! Spring Faire Countdown has Begun!

Faire_Bird of Prey

By Lola Olvera, ENC Communications Intern Where else could you see a hawk up close while sporting a painted caterpillar on your face but at the ENC’s annual spring faire? For 12 years we’ve taken a sunny May day and packed it full of fun fair activities-this year is no different. Join us on May 7 and experience a Youth Art Show, native plant sale, crafts, face painting, sing alongs with local performers, nature games, live native animals and delicious food and beverages from local restaurants. Our butterfly house, the only one of its kind in Orange County, will have its grand re-opening at the Spring Faire; it’s a tradition we’ve carried on for years. Visitors can observe Orange County native butterflies interacting with locally…

Get Inspired at the ENC this March!

scuba shot

by Chelsea Moreno, ENC Communications Intern This season’s heavy storms were a dream for the drought, but were a nightmare for California’s kelp forests. Kelp populations have sunk to an all-time low in California after a series of severe storms, according to The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW). Don’t let this get you down, because there is so much you can do to help restore our local kelp forests! Visit us on Thursday, March 23, 2017 to hear Capt. Nancy Caruso speak about her work restoring Orange County’s giant kelp forests, white seabass and green abalone. Nancy has spent much of her life dedicated to conserving our local kelp forests. She began by starting The Orange County Ocean Restoration Project, which has taught…

Reading in the Redwoods

Reading in the Redwoods_2-12-17

by Lola Olvera, Communications Intern Who wouldn’t want to create their own little world? In Doris Burn’s heartwarming picture book “Andrew Henry’s Meadow,” a lonely but inventive little boy does just that, building makeshift homes for himself and his friends, exactly the way they like it. Hear the rest of the story at our next Reading in the Redwoods event on Sunday, February 12 from 1:30PM-3:00PM, where naturalist Valerie Bain will lead a group hike through the trails and read aloud among our beautiful redwood trees. Afterward, families can work together to create a special village of their own, with natural materials from the Nature Center. As children’s writer Katherine Paterson once said, “It is not enough to simply teach children to read; we have…

Reading in the Redwoods debuts at the ENC!


The Environmental Nature Center (ENC) will present Reading in the Redwoods on January 15, 2017, from 9:30-11AM. Participants will take a “Tree Hug Hike” out to the Redwood Forest with ENC Executive Director Bo Glover and Naturalist Valerie Bain. Glover will perform a few Magic Tricks & read “The Lorax”. A light breakfast is also included. All ages are welcome. The fee is $10 per child ($5 for ENC members). Pre-registration is required HERE. Research by the American Academy of Pediatrics shows that reading daily to young children, starting in infancy, stimulates early brain development and helps build key language, literacy and social skills. Early learning experiences such as reading provide a love of learning and strongly affect success in school, work and in life. “Reading…

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