Founded in 1972, the Environmental Nature Center, known simply to thousands of visiting students through the years as “The ENC”, is a fascinating combination of 15 California native plant communities (ranging from desert, to oak woodland, to fresh water marsh, to redwood forest); wildlife habitats; walking trails; and sustainably designed, LEED Platinum certified learning center. For over four decades the ENC has been shaped and caressed into a 5 acre landscape for learning, a sanctuary from life’s pressures and a place of preservation and instruction. Serving over 28,000 students and thousands of visitors annually, the ENC is recognized as a leader in science and social science education providing opportunities for increasing our community’s knowledge, understanding and appreciation of the natural world. The ENC is a non-profit 501(c)-3 public benefit corporation.
The ENC is not a wildlife rehabilitation center. For a list of Orange County wildlife rehabilitation centers, click HERE.
To provide quality education through hands-on experience with nature.
Our vision is to provide equitable access and inspire all to protect the natural world by serving as our community’s leader in ecological responsibility, sustainable practices and environmental education.
We respect each person who comes to the Center and strive to impart in return respect for our natural environment.
We accept personal responsibility to be good stewards of our resources, accountable to our membership and actively promote our educational mission.
We maintain our commitment to the environment and the work necessary to convey our educational message.
We are consistent and honest by making certain our actions match our words.
To reduce our impact on the Earth’s resources and address waste management issues moving forward into the next millennium, the ENC is committed to diverting 95% or more of its waste from the landfill. Please review our Zero Waste Policy prior to visiting the Center.