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Community Programs

Below are descriptions of some of the community programs offered at the ENC.

Check our events calendar to see when they are offered and to sign up online!

For Kids

Join us for an unstructured ‘Parent and Me’ style class on our grounds for babies 3-9 months.  Each week we hike out to a different habitat along our trails and relax with our babies in the shade of the forest canopy.  Each session ends with story time and a song.

Little Naturalist programs are outdoor experiential education classes designed for 3 – 5 year olds and their adult guardians. Activities are designed to encourage exploration and discovery and to enrich a child’s emerging physical and cognitive skills. Parents remain with children at all times.

Relax with your family on a blanket or towel under the canopy of our tallest trees while we read a great book together. Afterward children and their adults hike the trails and participate in activities related to the theme of the book.

Calling all Homeschool parents and students!  Here at the ENC we believe that nature makes the best classroom. Join us for a series of programs at the nature center that have been exclusively designed with your needs in mind.

An after school adventure for 1st-6th graders. Participants delve into nature as they partake in their choice of explorative activities, homework/reading time outside, and a naturalist led activity.  Club activities include science, art, and games in nature.

This after school program for 7th-12th graders teaches older youth how to conduct and analyze research by taking part in various citizen science projects.  Participants will also have personal time to enjoy nature.

For Adults

The Teachers Night Out series brings all kinds of educators together for fun afternoons of learning exciting hands-on ways to teach children about science and nature. Afterwards we enjoy a light meal together and share some wine and s’mores by the campfire.

Each month we gather to learn and work on different primitive skills. We end each meeting with a light meal cooked over the campfire. Activities include building primitive shelters, collecting/purifying water, making fire, tracking, and native plant uses.

Each month we meet at the ENC for a mini seminar on a different hiking topic.  Then we venture out to a fantastic hiking spot in OC and enjoy nature together. Hiking destinations will be enshrouded in mystery – details received upon registration.

The Living Greener Series will give you new ideas to help build a more sustainable future. Join us to learn strategies to implement that will help you save money while conserving natural resources for future generations.

Evening Programs

Join an ENC Naturalist to learn all about the Full Moon and the mysterious legends associated with it. Flashlights are discouraged. This program is for humans age 6 and up.

Weekend Walks

The Trail of Beauty was developed by renowned environmental educator Joseph Cornell. In the Trail of Beauty, inspirational quotes are placed along the trail. Guests walk silently along the path, reading and reflecting while feeling inspiration from the natural world. Bring a friend, but come prepared to spend some quiet time alone in nature.

Family Programs

There are several opportunities each month for families to enjoy nature programs at the ENC. Full moon hikes and Community Campfires give families the chance to explore the Center after dark. Little Naturalists programs feature stories and hands-on fun for 3 – 5 year olds and their parents. For a current schedule of events, check out our Events calendar.  Call 949-645-8489 or email us to be added to our Public Programs email list, or sign up for our E-Newsletter.

Volunteer Programs

Adults volunteer as Museum Docents, Event Docents, Grounds Volunteers, and Butterfly House Docents. Student volunteers assist on the grounds, or with administrative work.  Junior Naturalists help with student enrichment programs and Summer Camp during school breaks. Our internship positions give volunteers the opportunity to learn new skills, hone existing skills, and add experience to their résumés.  Internship opportunities include Marketing/Public Relations, Retail and Grounds Keeper. For info about volunteering visit our Volunteer Page.

Adult Education Programs

Adult programs include our Teachers Night Out series, the Primitive Skills Society, the Living Greener Series, the Mystery Treks Hiking Club, and various programs led by naturalists and experts in their field. Teacher professional development classes are offered by our staff, as well as by visiting experts. For a current schedule of events, check out our Events calendar.  Call 949-645-8489 or email us to be added to our Public Programs email list, or sign up for our E-Newsletter.

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