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.
Drop the kids off at the ENC then spend the night painting the town red! Activities may include fort building, hide and seek, arts and crafts, fire ring skits, hanging out with our educational animals, etc. A delicious dinner of pizza and fruit juice will be provided. Rain or shine. Appropriate for kids age 6-12.
Have you heard of “furoshiki?” These beautiful Japanese wrapping cloths have been getting a lot of attention lately. They’re an eco-friendly way to wrap gifts, carry groceries, decorate the home, and so much more! Join ENC Naturalist Leslie Helliwell for an evening of creative wrapping, and learn techniques for wrapping everything from wine bottles to watermelons.
The ENC Excellent Educator series brings all kinds of educators together for fun afternoons of learning exciting hands-on ways to teach children about science and nature. Everyone is invited! Classroom teachers, outdoor educators, scout leaders and parents – anyone who wants to be a better educator. Attend three “Excellent Educator Series” workshops and receive an ENC t-shirt and an “ENC Excellent Educator” certificate to show off to your peers (and your students).
Many cultures tell stories about the stars and their meanings. Join ENC Naturalist Leslie Helliwell on the darkest night of the month under the New Moon to learn to identify some of the major constellations and enjoy the tales that the Greek storytellers told as we sit under the stars. This program is for humans age 8 and up.
Full Moon Walk
Community Campfire & Evening Hike
Join ENC Naturalist Leslie Helliwell 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.
Come and meet other locals from the community and enjoy a campfire with storytelling followed by a night hike. S’mores will be provided. This program is for all ages!
Join ENC Naturalist Leslie Helliwell for a walk in the ENC to search for hummingbirds and their nests. Hummingbirds, called “flying jewels” by the early Spanish explorers hover in space, power dive and fly backwards and sideways! Learn where these tiny bits of non-stop energy get their fuel, discover how they “broadcast” their color, and learn which plants depend on them for pollination.
Trail of Beauty
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.
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 2 – 5 year olds and their parents. Family hikes feature hands-on activities; crafts for children aged 5 and up and their families. 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.
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 free tours led by our founder, Robert House, Green Building Tours, 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.