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My Experience as an ENC Animal Care Intern

I had the greatest experience volunteering throughout my Senior year of high school as an Animal Care Intern at the Environmental Nature Center. I had the pleasure of working with happy and motivated people that sustain a great environment for our Animal Ambassadors in order to educate children, and even adults, about them and the habitat their wild brothers and sisters depend on to survive. Besides feeding the animals and cleaning out their enclosures and habitats, I learned how to properly take care of them by making sure everything was in order, from their diet to how they behaved. I am working towards becoming a Registered Nurse. I have found that working with animals is similar to working with humans because we require careful attention…

Artisan Marketplace Preview: Rancho Meladuco Date Farm

CALIFORNIA MOM TURNED DATE FARMER Rancho Meladuco Date Farm is inspiring a whole new audience for dates. Rancho Meladuco Date Farm was founded by Joan Smith in the Fall of 2015. She is a resident of Orange County California, mother of 3, CPA by trade, and most recently date farmer. She grew up in Bakersfield, California and spent her youth exploring 640 acres of rolling foothills and helping her family care for their cattle. Her childhood instilled in her a passion for working the land and a deep admiration for the people who provide food doing it. Growing and cooking good food has been a lifelong joy for Joan. She bought her first farmhouse at 28, and transformed the neglected acreage into a beautiful and…

Artisan Marketplace Preview: Disruptive Drinkware

Christi, Taylor and Brian were like most kids—environmentally responsible and active. They always carried re-usable water bottles to school and sports activities, but they had a problem. These bottles were BORING. What could they do about it? They were only kids. Fast forward to today, when they had an idea. They thought of the most interesting man in their world; a guy who wears the brightest clothes, the craziest glasses and the wildest shoes. A man that is smart and creative, who would definitely listen and help bring their idea to life. That man is their grandfather, Fred Smith. Together, they set out to design bottles with colors and shapes that the world had never seen. They were determined to disrupt the boring water bottle…

Artisans Marketplace Preview: Susanna Basaintt

Susanna has studied hand weaving since the 1960’s and is a member of the Weaver Guild. The objective of Susanna’s work is to surround herself, and others with beauty, magic, and creativity. As a Fiber Artist, she envisions the home as a circle of light that surrounds and nurtures. Her designs are spontaneous creations that come from experiences and studies in textiles and fibers. Hand weaving, crocheting, embroidery, beading, macramé and extensive international travel contribute to her craft. After observing hand weavers and textile artists in villages and galleries around the world, she decided to use mostly natural cotton textures and colors for her artwork. Some of her work includes Macramé wall hangings, lanterns, dream catchers, plant hangings, and purses. She wishes to bring magic,…

Environmental Nature Center To Host Summer Soiree

By Kathy Ochiai Where in Newport Beach can you enjoy delicious hors d’oeuvres with a fine cocktail next to the sound of a rippling stream? That would be at the Environmental Nature Center, of course! On Saturday, June 9 at 5:30 p.m. the ENC will be hosting its annual Summer Soiree. Guests will be supporting environmental education in their community while enjoying a meal catered by the award-winning Anaheim White House restaurant. Established in 1972, the ENC works to connect people with nature and to provide opportunities which create connections with the world outdoors for people of all ages. “Summer Soiree guests return year after year to support a cause they care for deeply,” said Lori Whalen, ENC Assistant Director. “Without our generous supporters, we…

Animal Care Interns help the ENC and learn vital skills

by Jorge Serrato, ENC Communications Intern There are many learning opportunities here at ENC and if you are an animal lover like our new wonderful animal care interns you might be interested in learning how they were able to land a spot working side by side with our animal care expert Valerie Bain. Christine and Shelbe are both students at California State University, Fullerton studying Biology and Karis is in the 10th grade at Home School Campus of Costa Mesa. Christine enjoys the outdoors by hiking and fishing in her spare time, immersing herself in nature any chance she gets. Shelbe enjoys using her free time exploring all of the wonderful sights and scenes So-Cal has to offer. She is originally from Sacramento. Karis, the…

Benefits of Learning in Nature

With education steering more and more towards learning through technology, it is crucial to be reminded why learning outside of a screen is beneficial for your child. Learning outside supports creativity and problem solving in children, enhances cognitive abilities, and improves academic performance. Studies in the US have shown strong progress in social studies, science, language arts, and math through nature based education programs. It also helps reduce anxious energy and promotes focus. Being outside is also a stress reliever, which is highly beneficial for students who are put under a tremendous amount of pressure these days. Forming relationships also comes more naturally to students in nature based education, for they are experiencing social interactions away from a screen. Along with helping mentally, nature based…

Fire 101 with Bo Glover

2017 has been a year in which the world has truly had to start facing the side effects of global climate change. Still reeling from the aftermaths of hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria, the recent wildfires, and earthquakes it is scary to consider how it may only get worse from here as the global temperature continues to increase. According to Nasa, “The potential future effects of global climate change include more frequent wildfires, longer periods of drought in some regions and an increase in the number, duration and intensity of tropical storms.” With an increase in natural disasters it would be an opportune time to learn basic survival skills. It is bit of a morbid thought to ponder, but would it not provide you with…

Teachers Night Out!

  By Alexandria Raeann Choy, ENC Communications Intern The ENC’s Teachers Night Out is coming up! On Friday, October 7, kindergarten through 3rd-grade teachers will take part in mini-workshops and activities to use in their own classrooms. Sama Wareh, the ENC’s Community Outreach Director, will also be demonstrating hands-on activities to connect Common Core Standards and Next Generation Science Standards to art. This “night out” at the Nature Center will include food, drinks, and a campfire for the teachers to enjoy! “We’re staying open late so that educators will have a chance to experience the Nature Center with a group of colleagues and meet with fellow educators,” said ENC Education Director Lori Whalen. “They will have an opportunity to explore the Center and develop professionally…

Farewell Kyle!

For the school semester of spring 2016 I, Kyle Hardenburg, worked as a communications intern for the Environmental Nature Center. While this internship was a requirement for my college it quickly grew and evolved into one of the most important experiences in my college life. This internship showed me what it really meant to work in the real world and gave me a taste of the freedom and responsibilities one receives in a job that you cannot truly experience anywhere inside the schooling system. I loved every second I had in this experience, from learning all I can about the ins and outs of working the marketing/communications branch of a non-profit company to being given the creative freedom to experiment in the ways of video…

Artisan Sneak Peak: August Heart

August Heart is unique, handmade jewelry designed by Diane Valeriano, a resident of Newport Beach. Diane has been designing jewelry and selling it since 2012. Her designs are one-of-a-kind stretch bracelets made with semi-precious stones, gems and metals such as silver, pewter, gold and silver-plate, brass and bronze. She has been selling her designs in the San Francisco area since 2012 to boutiques, salons, and spas. Since January 2015 she has been selling her one-of-a-kind bracelets to Fleur de Lys Boutique, located on 17th St. in Costa Mesa.  August Heart and 49 other talented artisans will be featured at the ENC’s Artisan Marketplace this Sunday on December 6, from 10 am – 3 pm ♥  $2 entry fee. The holidays are here and you have a chance be a positive…

Valerie & Fiorella join the ENC Team!

The Environmental Nature Center has recently expanded our team. Valerie Bain is our new full-time Traveling Naturalist and Fiorella Gardella is our new Naturalist! Both are passionate about nature and education. Valerie and Fiorella are the perfect contribution to our team! Valerie started working for the ENC as a Summer Camp teacher in 2009 and we are so excited to have her working full-time as our new Traveling Naturalist. Don’t worry – she’ll still be a Nature Camp Teacher! Valerie will be traveling to schools across Orange County teaching children of all ages, from Pre-K to High School. She will engage students in hands-on games and activities that make learning about science and nature fun. Valerie has been teaching children for over 15 years and loves every…

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