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COVID-19/novel coronavirus

To keep our staff, volunteers and program participants safe, the Environmental Nature Center will remain closed to the public. When we re-open for public visitation we will make an announcement. In the meantime we ARE open for: Community Programs: Mini Naturalist and Little Naturalist programs will be scheduled soon and you will be able to find them on our calendar, HERE. Only parties that pre-register will be allowed to attend programs. After School Nature Camps: This Fall the ENC is offering After School Nature Camp to enhance the education of children in our community. After School Nature Camp is currently being offered for kids enrolled in Kindergarten – 3rd grade this fall (at least 5 years old by Sept. 1). More info HERE. Field Trips: At…

Welcome to our new Video Intern, Emma!

I am a sophomore at Mater Dei High School in Santa Ana. I was first inspired by my older brother to learn about climate change and the problems associated with harmful greenhouse gases. When I was 12, I attended a 3-day conference in Seattle sponsored by the Climate Reality Project where I learned that climate change causes more than just air pollution. It spreads diseases, destroys animal habitats, impacts our food supply, causes extreme weather, and results in the loss of land due to rising ocean levels. I left the conference with a deeper understanding that my lifestyle choices are directly impacting our planet. As the video intern for ENC, I hope to combine my growing skills as a videographer and photographer to support ENC…

Bring out your inner child!

by Brittney Gonzalez, ENC Communications Intern Did you ever go to any sort of camp, whether it was summer camp, winter camp, etc. as a child? It might be time for a “camp revival” says Richard Louve, Co-founder of Children & Nature Network. There are children who are missing out on nature, and getting too caught up with media, or studying in school books most of the time. Not only do children deserve the chance to be immersed in nature and take a break from being in the classroom, but adults should also be given the chance to be immersed into nature. There are many adults who get so caught up in the office at work, they forget to catch a break from the office…

Summer you say? What’s so great about summer?

by Brittany Gonzalez, ENC Communications Intern Butterflies are flitting and floating. Everything is so alive. Insects buzz around the plants, so green and happy from all of the rain we’ve been so generously receiving. Do you know what else we will be buzzing? All of the children on summer break , who are looking to go on really fun and interesting adventures here at the ENC. The children will make new friends, and learn about something new each week, like the wetlands, or become mad scientists involved in scientific experiences! Do your children love animals? Well this is the place for them because they will get the opportunity to touch snakes, see frogs, salamanders and many other animals we have here at the ENC. During…

My Experience as an ENC Animal Care Intern

I had the greatest experience volunteering throughout my Senior year of high school as an Animal Care Intern at the Environmental Nature Center. I had the pleasure of working with happy and motivated people that sustain a great environment for our Animal Ambassadors in order to educate children, and even adults, about them and the habitat their wild brothers and sisters depend on to survive. Besides feeding the animals and cleaning out their enclosures and habitats, I learned how to properly take care of them by making sure everything was in order, from their diet to how they behaved. I am working towards becoming a Registered Nurse. I have found that working with animals is similar to working with humans because we require careful attention…

Artisan Marketplace Preview: Rancho Meladuco Date Farm

CALIFORNIA MOM TURNED DATE FARMER Rancho Meladuco Date Farm is inspiring a whole new audience for dates. Rancho Meladuco Date Farm was founded by Joan Smith in the Fall of 2015. She is a resident of Orange County California, mother of 3, CPA by trade, and most recently date farmer. She grew up in Bakersfield, California and spent her youth exploring 640 acres of rolling foothills and helping her family care for their cattle. Her childhood instilled in her a passion for working the land and a deep admiration for the people who provide food doing it. Growing and cooking good food has been a lifelong joy for Joan. She bought her first farmhouse at 28, and transformed the neglected acreage into a beautiful and…

Artisan Marketplace Preview: Disruptive Drinkware

Christi, Taylor and Brian were like most kids—environmentally responsible and active. They always carried re-usable water bottles to school and sports activities, but they had a problem. These bottles were BORING. What could they do about it? They were only kids. Fast forward to today, when they had an idea. They thought of the most interesting man in their world; a guy who wears the brightest clothes, the craziest glasses and the wildest shoes. A man that is smart and creative, who would definitely listen and help bring their idea to life. That man is their grandfather, Fred Smith. Together, they set out to design bottles with colors and shapes that the world had never seen. They were determined to disrupt the boring water bottle…

Artisans Marketplace Preview: Susanna Basaintt

Susanna has studied hand weaving since the 1960’s and is a member of the Weaver Guild. The objective of Susanna’s work is to surround herself, and others with beauty, magic, and creativity. As a Fiber Artist, she envisions the home as a circle of light that surrounds and nurtures. Her designs are spontaneous creations that come from experiences and studies in textiles and fibers. Hand weaving, crocheting, embroidery, beading, macramé and extensive international travel contribute to her craft. After observing hand weavers and textile artists in villages and galleries around the world, she decided to use mostly natural cotton textures and colors for her artwork. Some of her work includes Macramé wall hangings, lanterns, dream catchers, plant hangings, and purses. She wishes to bring magic,…

Environmental Nature Center To Host Summer Soiree

By Kathy Ochiai Where in Newport Beach can you enjoy delicious hors d’oeuvres with a fine cocktail next to the sound of a rippling stream? That would be at the Environmental Nature Center, of course! On Saturday, June 9 at 5:30 p.m. the ENC will be hosting its annual Summer Soiree. Guests will be supporting environmental education in their community while enjoying a meal catered by the award-winning Anaheim White House restaurant. Established in 1972, the ENC works to connect people with nature and to provide opportunities which create connections with the world outdoors for people of all ages. “Summer Soiree guests return year after year to support a cause they care for deeply,” said Lori Whalen, ENC Assistant Director. “Without our generous supporters, we…

Animal Care Interns help the ENC and learn vital skills

by Jorge Serrato, ENC Communications Intern There are many learning opportunities here at ENC and if you are an animal lover like our new wonderful animal care interns you might be interested in learning how they were able to land a spot working side by side with our animal care expert Valerie Bain. Christine and Shelbe are both students at California State University, Fullerton studying Biology and Karis is in the 10th grade at Home School Campus of Costa Mesa. Christine enjoys the outdoors by hiking and fishing in her spare time, immersing herself in nature any chance she gets. Shelbe enjoys using her free time exploring all of the wonderful sights and scenes So-Cal has to offer. She is originally from Sacramento. Karis, the…

Benefits of Learning in Nature

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…

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