In partnership with the City of Newport Beach, the ENC created a curriculum for programs to be conducted at Buck Gully Reserve to expose students to the beautiful natural, coastal canyon. The curriculum provides students with exposure to a variety of STEM careers as they hike through the breath-taking trails of the Reserve where they conduct observations, collect and analyze data. Students learn about the impacts of the single-family residences, roadways, and the Pelican Hills Golf Course which surround the watershed, and discuss solutions that can be implemented to minimize those human impacts on the environment.
The ENC has been collaborating with the Girl Scouts of Orange County for decades to provide nature and science based scout programs for troops in Orange County. Scouts also volunteer and complete bronze, silver and gold award projects on our campus. We have consulted with GSCOC on educational materials and we are the primary provider of the “Eco-Badge” programs for all levels of scouts.
Through a community collaboration with our local water agency Mesa Water, we teach about water quality and conservation issues. Mesa Water sponsors water related education programs presented by the ENC, as well as a water wise native plant landscape at the ENC Nature Preschool. They provide guest speakers (expertise) for our teacher professional development workshops, and also provide re-usable water bottles for stewardship events.
The Orange County Bird of Prey Center (OCBPC) is a volunteer organization in Orange County dedicated to treating and rehabilitating injured raptors and returning them to the wild. The Environmental Nature Center partners with OCBPC, utilizing their education birds in our programs, and helping them to spread the word that raptors play an integral role in the balance of nature. Both organizations believe that education is the best long-term solution to prevent and mitigate many of the dangers that raptors face.
The Environmental Nature Center is a member of SoCal ISE. SoCal ISE represents the collaboration of leading informal science organizations in Southern California, coming together to work to strengthen and grow the informal science learning field in the region.
Earth Friendly Products provides in kind donations of cleaning products for both the Environmental Nature Center as well as the ENC Nature Preschool.Earth Friendly Products has spent nearly 50 years creating and perfecting thoughtfully sourced cleaners that work great and are safer for people and the planet. Formulated with pure, thoughtful science and manufactured using Zero-Waste guidelines, ECOS is made in facilities powered by renewable energy.
As our architect, LPA Architects helps the ENC produce environmental results that improve the quality of air, water, and soil, and conserve natural resources. LPA designed the ENC’s sustainably designed, LEED Platinum certified learning center, and the ENC’s newer ENC Nature Preschool, which we hope will achieve a Platinum Level LEED Rating. The US Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System is the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction, and operation of high performance green buildings. It is also the ENC’s goal to achieve certification through the Living Building Challenge.
The ENC also collaborates with Rain Barrels International, a local company that makes rain barrels by reusing barrels made of food-grade plastic, which would otherwise be thrown straight into the nearest landfill. They send speakers to provide expertise at our teacher professional development workshops, give free workshops to our community, and donate a percentage of rain barrels sold at ENC events back to the ENC.
Our neighbors at Mae House come to the ENC for monthly enrichment hikes led by one of our naturalists. Mae House fosters a full and abundant life for adults with developmental disabilities within a supportive and loving residential community and homes.
Chloe Mei Espinosa is a high school student who lives in Newport Beach, California. She is the founder of the Skip the Plastic Straw campaign, which she started in sixth grade, from a Passion Project that her class participated in. For her Passion Project, she chose to campaign against the use of single-use plastic straws.”I know it may seem ridiculous to get rid of single-use plastic straws, but our oceans need our help NOW and nothing is impossible!” Follow her on Instagram and YouTube.