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Bats by Hamza

Brown Bats are cute helpless little creatures there losing their homes every day. They’re being infected by a disease that is spreading to all bats in the world, and if we don’t save them they will be gone. Bats are part of the food chain, so if they die out then this will affect the food chain. Bats are fuzzy and cuddly little animals. Don’t be scared of them because they won’t take your blood. Vampire bats are far away from California, and anyway, they don’t suck your blood. Interestingly, they take a small bite out of your skin then they lap up all the blood and fly off. Bats use eco location to fly in the dark by shooting a small sound from their…

Coyote Information

A number of people have contacted us recently about seeing coyotes, so we thought we’d share some great information straight from the City of Newport Beach website: Coyotes are found in ALL areas of Orange County – and Newport Beach is no exception. Contrary to popular belief, these animals do not require open space or “wild areas” to survive. In fact, most coyotes within the urban setting are the offspring of generations of coyotes who lived and flourished in the urban areas of Orange County. Several residents have lost their pets to these skilled predators because they were not aware of local coyote activity. Others are concerned about recent sightings and the potential consequences of predatory animals within the urban environment. Eradication and/or relocation of…

Girls Inc. coming to the ENC!

  Girls Inc. of Orange County has partnered up with The Environmental Nature Center and will host programs pertaining to Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math at the ENC. The Girls Inc. STEM Club Mobile Robotics program will be at ENC on November 21st from 9am to 12pm to introduce students and their families to the upcoming classes on technology and the environment. This Open House event will showcase Lego robotics in action. On November 29th, the Girls Inc. Stem club will host a Lego Wedo Class from 9am to 12pm or 9am to 3pm for those who wish to participate for a full day. A Lego Mindstorms Ev3 class will be held on December 19th from 9am to 12pm or 9am to 3pm. During these…

So you want to work with young children in nature….

We frequently receive communications from people interested in working at our Nature Preschool, or in the Outdoor Early Childhood Education field.  Here are some great suggestions from our Education Coordinator , Alex Lane, for folks with an interest in working with young children in Nature: Read up! There are a couple good books that I’ve read which address children and nature more so than just early childhood development. They are worth the read. The most common one you will encounter is Last Child in the Woods by Richard Louv. It looks at what Richard Louv coins “Nature Deficit Disorder” and the disconnect from nature that many children are developing as well as the ramifications of this. Last Child in the Woods was pretty popular a few years…

Farewell, Nathan

One of my favorite parts about working at the Environmental Nature Center is the great people I work with. The staff is amazing and I consider them friends as well as talented educators. Several years ago we began a service learning internship program, which has also given me the opportunity to work with a number of amazing high school and college students, as well as recent college graduates. It is so gratifying to watch them learn and grow. I know that their experience here is helping them with their future careers, and it’s also great to have their fresh minds working on projects at the Nature Center, lending their expertise to our team. One of our greatest interns that I’ve worked with so far has…

Excellent Educators Series: NGSS Update and Teaching well NOW

Among the many benefits that the Environmental Nature Center provides is the Excellent Educators series, a monthly pedagogical set of courses specifically designed for educators. Teachers of all kinds are invited in order to learn new methods of bringing science to the classroom! Orange County California Regional Environmental Education Coordinator Helen de la Maza will conduct the course “NGSS Update and Teaching well NOW,” which focuses on the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and its three dimensions for the development of students: Practices, Crosscutting Concepts, and Disciplinary Core Ideas. Developed by the National Research Council, the National Science Teachers Association, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and Achieve, NGSS as a whole emphasizes doing science and treating it as a verb as opposed…

Nature Play, Wildlife Observation & more await ENC Campers next week!

It’s already February, which means President’s Week Camp is coming up soon!  The ENC’s Presidents Week Camp, February 16-19th, will be a week of fun and excitement for 45 campers, who will rotate in three small groups between three Camp Teachers every day.  Campers will enjoy Nature Play, where they will be given the freedom to explore, imagine, and use supplies to make up their own fun with some supervision and boundaries.  Campers will also participate in Cool Critters, where they will explore the ENC to observe wildlife in their natural habitats and be able to get creative with drawing and painting in the outdoors.  Full-day campers will be able to enjoy the Survival Games; each day, campers will learn one new survival skill and…

Welcome aboard, Nathan!

The ENC has a new marketing intern! Nathan Serafin is a recent graduate from UC Berkeley with a BS in Society and Environment and a concentration in U.S. Environmental Policy and Management. He minored in English, and was a member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars. While at Berkeley, Nathan was involved with “Alternative Breaks,” a service-learning program assisting students in exploring social issues. There he underwent a year of leadership training under UC Berkeley faculty, built a coalition of students and businesses, taught a class about contemporary food justice and sustainability issues, managed the group blog, and acted as liaison with local media. After graduating Nathan honed his communication skills even more when he spent four months interning with Congressman Alan Lowenthal. “I applied for an internship…

Why Do Wolves (and dogs) Roll On Stinky Stuff?

The following blog article is by guest blogger Skie Bender of Wolf Haven International. Skie is visiting from Washington on January 29 to present “World of Wolves II”. Register online! Wolves and dogs have three main forms of communication: vocalization, body language and scent marking and rolling. Today’s focus will be on scent rolling. If you have a dog member in your family, undoubtedly you have experienced this: You and your dog are walking along and suddenly your dog joyfully drops to the ground to do the ‘upside-down-dance’, which is; your dog starts rubbing his cheek, neck, sides, and back vigorously on the ground, with legs happily kicking towards the sky.  Your dog may be rolling on fresh manure, or (sadly) a flattened squirrel that’s…

ENC helps educators to be more “Excellent”

The Environmental Nature Center (ENC) invites all educators to the Excellent Educator Series, a monthly event at which educators learn new hands-on ways to educate children about science and nature. The Excellent Educator Series consists of four workshops.  Attendees will learn exciting ways to broaden their teaching abilities.  Each workshop is only $5 (free for ENC members).  On January 21, from 3:30 – 5:30, the ENC’s Education Coordinator Alex Lane will teach “Writing an NGSS Program”. Participants will learn what an NGSS (Next Generation Science Standard)-friendly program looks like, and what components should be considered when redesigning (or designing for the first time) programs or curricula. The revised CA Science Framework for NGSS will be completed in Jan. 2016, but many educators are already thinking…

Creating a Nature Preschool

The Environmental Nature Center (ENC) has been a part of the Newport Beach, CA community since 1972.  We are a landscape for learning, a sanctuary from life’s daily stresses, and a place of preservation and education. The ENC recently purchased a 1.3-acre property adjoining ours. Our vision is to expand our natural habitat, develop a nature play area, and construct our community’s first nature based preschool. When our community learned of our plans to develop a Nature Preschool there was a deluge of interest! We continue to receive calls every day from parents wondering when our school will open and our online interest list continues to grow.  Thanks to organizations like the Natural Start Alliance and people like Richard Louv, families are beginning to understand…

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