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Benefits of Learning in Nature

Journaling by the stream

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!

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

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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…

Father Son Camp-out coming soon to the ENC!

Father son retreat 2

On June 19, fathers and their sons will pack up their tents and sleeping bags and head to the Environmental Nature Center in Newport Beach to enjoy some one-on-one time or participate in group father/son activities, including crawdad catching, raft building, and fire starter kit making. The fee is $115 for each Father/Son pair and an extra $35 per additional son. RSVP and prepayment required at encenter.org “This camp-out threads outdoors skills with bonding,” said ENC Outreach Coordinator Sama Wareh. “Dads and their sons can pitch their tent anywhere in the Nature Center, enjoy a campfire dinner, and embark on an adventurous night hike.” Space is limited! Register HERE.

ENC Spring Faire 2012 Featured Artists – Cynthia Gallagher

Cynthia ”Sunny “ Gallagher is a fifth generation Californian. The use natural clay in her art reflects this deep connection and love for the natural California environment. Clay is a renewable resource created as rock decomposes and is found in great abundance in California. Party-Keepers are hand made from low fire earthenware. The inspiration for her eco-friendly Party-Keepers is based on her love of family parties. Even as a child she loved to add a special garden feel to the celebration. The idea behind Party-Keepers is to sustain meaningful connections. With the impersonal nature of e-mail and e-cards , making special events more personal is increasingly important. A core principle of her business OC Garden Party is creating eco-friendly products worthy of being enjoyed long…

ENC Spring Faire 2012 Featured Artists – Kathleen Carey

Thank you for visiting KatCarey Designs. The website features my latest work in mixed media collage, jewelry and embroidery designs.  All work is original, conceived, and created by Kathleen Carey. I employ a variety of materials in the art pieces and try to treat them in interesting ways, whatever catches my fancy at the moment! All the handcrafted beaded jewelry uses high quality semi-precious metals, including vermeil, sterling silver, antique brass, copper and gold fill, other metal may be used and is indicated in the item description.  Superior semi-precious gemstones are utilized in most pieces, including opal, jade, labradorite, freshwater pearls and quartz, to name a few. The clothing is of the best quality as well. I appreciate your interest and take a moment to…

ENC Spring Faire 2012 Featured Artists – Raymond Otis

Raymond is most interested in capturing the qualities of light, color and form that create a strong natural atmosphere filled with little surprises of detail and texture. As a boy, Raymond’s life-long interest in boating, seaports & lighthouses started when his family moved on their boat, the “Grandvill-e”, from Maryland to Florida down the Inter-coastal Waterway. Raymond has sketched and painted ever since winning his first blue ribbon as a youth for a pastel of a sailfish. Raymond’s interest in the outdoors started during his days Boy Scouting, Sea Scouting and being in the Civil Air Patrol. Learning to fly gives Raymond an added advantage for aerial paintings. Lumberjacking in the Redwoods of Northern California helped Raymond pay his way through college and gave birth…

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