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The Sea Level is Rising. Where do we go from here?

An Evening with Gary Griggs July 18, 2018 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm Free and open to all. The Environmental Nature Center is hosting a talk featuring speaker Gary Griggs, Professor of Earth Sciences at the University of California, Santa Cruz. His speciality is the study of diverse ways in which coastal hazards affect human settlement and the development of the coastal region. Come learn about how fragile the coastal zone, home to nearly half of the world’s population, really is, and how future sea-level rise is one of the greatest challenges facing human civilization. With about 150 million people around the world living within three-feet of high tide, and hundreds of millions more within a few more feet, increased coastal population is impacting this often-fragile…

Renewable Energy: Where is Southern California in the “Green” Movement?

by Angelica Camacho, ENC Communications Intern With advancements in research and technology, we know two basic principles of modern energy use: greenhouse gas emissions are bad for the environment and renewable energy sources wreak far less havoc on the environment.  Thankfully, our emissions are decreasing in recent years and renewable energy actually makes up nearly 20% of electricity consumed by the United States. Where do we fall as a state in terms of adapting to changes in the energy market?  On July 19th at 6:00 PM the ENC invites you to join our discussion with The Living Greener Series: Going Solar. Learn how Southern California is taking on these energy challenges and what the future of renewable energy looks like for the state. The ever-changing…

How to create a Hummingbird Garden

Hummingbirds prefer native species (commonly Sambucus, Ceanothus and Arctostaphylos) for nesting, and they prefer a mixed diet of nectar from multiple sources for their daily diet. Since hummingbirds have to eat twice their body weight in nectar and insects each day, they’re protective of good food sources in the garden and will fight aggressively to defend them. Here are some great locally native species to get your hummingbird garden started!   California Fuchsia (Epilobium canum) Hummingbirds do tend to try the red flowers first. The general tendency to frequent red flowers is not because hummingbirds like red flowers, but because bees avoid red flowers and the lack of bees means that there is usually better nectar quantity and quality in red flowers. California Fuchsia is…

Three Amazing locally native Succulents for your Garden!

Everyone loves succulents and the Environmental Nature Center will have three species of locally native succulents available for sale at our upcoming Native Plant sale on November 12!  These great species provide nectar for butterflies and hummingbirds, and do well in either a pot or in the ground. Here is more info about them: Fingertips (Dudleya edulis) This succulent gets its name from the fleshy finger-like leaves that sprout from it. Fingertips is bee pollinated and the tips of the ‘fingers’ turn orange or red during the summer season. It prefers to grow on rocky slopes or in canyons, but despite it’s rugged location it is somewhat delicate, for the fingers break readily! In the spring and summer, Fingertips will blossom a white flower. Lanceleaf Liveforever…

The Giving Tree

In the story of The Giving Tree, by Shel Silverstein, children are given an example of a toxic relationship. The boy only comes to the tree to take what he needs for his own life, and essentially gives the selfless tree nothing in return. The plot of the story by Silverstein parallels the effect invasive plants have on our native plants. When invasive plants take root, they drain all the resources native plants need to thrive and cultivate. They take, but do not give. This means the native plants slowly start to disappear from the landscape, also causing all the other species that rely on those plants to suffer and begin disappearing as well. Suddenly a perfectly crafted ecosystem vanishes. By planting native plants, you…

How to create a Hummingbird Garden in Orange County

Since hummingbirds have to eat twice their body weight in nectar and insects each day, they’re protective of their good food sources in the garden and will fight aggressively to defend them. Hummingbirds do tend to try the red flowers first but their sugar content is what they really are looking for regardless of color. Hummingbirds prefer the native species (commonly Sambucus, Ceanothus and Arctostaphylos) for nesting. They prefer a mixed diet of nectar from multiple sources for their daily diet. Here are some locally native plants that are great nectar sources for hummingbirds: Arctostaphylos species, Manzanita Comarostaphylis diversifolia Summer Holly. If you live in Coastal Areas of Southern California it is a great summer flowering bush for hummingbirds. Diplacus species, Monkey flowers of all…

Green Your Gifts

by Chelsea Moreno, CSUF Communications Student The holidays are nearing meaning food, family, and gifts galore, but as friends and family gather, so does waste. According to the EPA, the holidays create 1 million extra tons of waste in the United States, a whopping 25 percent increase in just two short months. It’s never been more important or easy to reduce waste and have yourself a green, little Christmas. One way to start making your holiday’s eco-friendly is to reuse gift wrap. Whether it be old bags, boxes, paper or ribbons from Christmases past, reusing them saves them from the landfill and saves you money. Try using twine (it’s recyclable and compostable!), paper ribbon, and fresh foliage from your yard to spruce up your gifts…

Dreaming of a Green Holiday…

Folks frequently look to us for suggestions on how to make the holidays less wasteful and more eco-friendly. Here’s some ideas, and we welcome you to send us yours to add to this list! Gift Wrap For gift wrap we encourage folks to use re-usable wrapping, “furoshiki”. Furoshiki are a type of traditional Japanese wrapping cloth that are a re-usable, eco-friendly way to wrap gifts, carry groceries, decorate the home, and so much more.  If re-usable wrapping seems too pricey we recommend using recycled materials to wrap gifts. Boxes you’ve saved, the paper packing materials that comes in boxes, old maps, paper grocery bags, magazine pages, old calendar pages – “brown paper packages tied up with string” can be so lovely! There are also lots of alternatives to…

Featured Artisan: L Facio Designs

L Facio Designs was founded in 2014 with the goal of creating an affordable candle that smells amazing while still using responsibly sourced materials, not mass produced but homemade and hand poured with love.  Their loyal customers make them feel like we accomplished that goal. All of their candles are made from 100% soy wax grown in the USA, with a classic cotton wick, fine fragrance and essential oils, and hand poured into a recyclable glass tumbler. Whether you love the relaxation of a candle or the simplicity of a reed diffuser, L Facio Designs has over thirty exciting fragrances to choose from including fun seasonal picks.  You’ll find something for all fragrance palates. Learn more at  www.lfacio.com. L Facio’s candles will be available for sale at the ENC Artisans Marketplace on…

Enticing Hummingbirds to your Yard

Everybody likes hummingbirds; they are energetic and fearless little warriors, guarding flowers and feeders with their lives from anything that might cross their path. Due to their charming allure and vivacity, hummingbirds enthrall watchers in any garden setting, leading people to invest in their own feeders in order to attract these birds in their own backyards. However, while these feeders exhibit bright colors that would attract any passing hummingbird for your viewing pleasure, hummingbird feeders have the potential to cause more harm than good. Feeders can keep hummingbirds from pollinating flowers or worse… cause them to become unhealthy due to dyes or because most feeders are not cleaned frequently enough. What if I told you that you that you could attract more hummingbirds with almost…

Room & Board Donates $25,000 to ENC

The Environmental Nature Center (ENC) accepted a $25,000 donation from Room & Board South Coast Plaza on Thursday, November 13th at the South Coast Plaza showroom. The donation will help support the ENC’s Environmental Education programs.   The check was presented during Room & Board’s “Celebrate Sustainable Design” event. Special guest Wayne Inouye led an inspired conversation about sustainable architecture, focusing on his most recent project: designing a LEED Platinum home in Corona del Mar, furnished by Room & Board. “Room & Board has a long history of supporting community organizations.  We are very proud that they are our local community partner,” said ENC Executive Director Bo Glover.  “Room & Board is a good corporate citizen, committed to sustainability.  They literally practice what we preach.”…

Celebrate Sustainable Design

Join the Environmental Nature Center in partnership with Room & Board on Tuesday, November 13th for a lively evening with special guest Wayne Inouye as he leads an inspired conversation about sustainable architecture. Wayne will discuss his most recent project: designing a LEED Platinum home in Corona del Mar, furnished by Room & Board. Room & Board is committed to supporting American manufacturers and small, family-owned businesses. Its designs are made using wood, steel, cotton, granite—natural materials that stand the test of time. By seeking out U.S.-made products, this allows Room & Board to reduce its environmental impact, commit to responsibly sourced materials and reinvest in local communities. Guests will also learn about Room & Board’s local community partner the Environmental Nature Center and our dedication to ecological responsibility, sustainable practices and environmental education. “Room & Board has a…

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