Check out these events at ENC in February

Come visit the Environmental Nature Center (ENC) in February, as winter is such a special time there. Trees have dropped their leaves with the cooler weather as the days became shorter.

If you’re looking for an unstructured event, join ENC for a quiet walk on the trails or bring a sustainably packaged picnic on Saturday and Sunday, from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. It’s fun to walk the trails covered with spongy layers of wet, fallen leaves and gaze up through the bare branches to the clear blue sky. If you’re quiet, you may see a squirrel scavenging for lunch, or a hawk patiently waiting for a sign of prey.

Here is what’s happening in February…

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Photos courtesy of ENC

Gathering around the campfire during Teachers Night Out

Teachers Night Out – Upcycling Overhaul on Thursday, Feb. 1 from 4-7 p.m. The Teachers Night Out 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, homeschool parents – anyone who wants to be a better educator.

Crafts are wonderful, but can sometimes create waste. In this workshop, you’ll brainstorm and review ways to make useful items or installations out of upcycled materials that you’ll keep around for more than a month. Some of the crafts covered will be: Sleeping mats from plastic grocery bags, compostable holiday decor, DIY cleaning products that are gentler on the planet, Art Installations using caps, lids and bottles and funky jewelry from small plastics.

Afterwards, you’ll enjoy a light meal together and share some wine by the campfire before breaking out the marshmallows and skewers to make some s’mores.

Contact if you’d like to sponsor the food for this event.Top of FormBottom of Form

Tickets: $9 for ENC members; $10 for Non-members and Title l Teachers are free of charge. Learn more and register here.

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Volunteers weeding at the ENC

Volunteer to Help the Habitat at the ENC on Wednesdays, Feb. 7 from 3-5 p.m. and Feb. 21 from 3-5 p.m. Assist the ENC on the grounds with removal of non-native invasive plant species. This event is for volunteers age 15 and older. Volunteers should each bring a re-usable water bottle filled with water. Closed-toed shoes are required. Review their Zero waste policy here and their “How to Dress to Volunteer” video here. Before volunteering, complete the application here. Report your volunteer hours here. For more information and to register go here.

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Walk the trails at ENC with bioregional herbalist William Broen to see what wildlife you can spot during winter

Native Plant Uses Walk on Sunday, Feb. 4 from 10-11:30 a.m. at ENC Tucker Wildlife Sanctuary, 29322 Mojeska Canyon Road, Silverado. Bioregional herbalist William Broen will discuss traditional and modern uses of plants as well as how a plant’s survival tactics affect how they are used by us, how we can tell a lot about plants through our senses, plant folklore and other related topics. Broen’s walks are informative, interactive, accessible, fun and understandable. He is always happy to share his knowledge of botanical medicine with interested people. Broen is a bioregional herbalist (one who focuses on local California plants) who integrates knowledge and concepts from many world traditions. He has been conducting lectures on medicinal and edible plants of California and the Southwestern United States for 20 years. Cost: $9 for ENC members, $10 for Non-members. For more info and to register, go here.

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California Buckwheat, a native plant, at the Tucker Wildlife Sanctuary

Winter Native Plant Sale on Sunday, Feb. 4 from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. at ENC Tucker Wildlife Sanctuary, 29322 Modjeska Canyon Road, Silverado. Native plants help save our ecosystems and the bird and insect species that depend on them. Our gardens are fast becoming the last refuge for many wildlife species, such as songbirds, butterflies, bees, frogs and other beneficial creatures, that have lost habitat due to human development. In some cases, cultivated gardens that offer a rich diversity of native plants may offer more resources, such as foraging opportunities for birds and other wildlife, than surrounding degraded wild lands. Replacing water-consuming, high-maintenance, traditional landscapes and lawn with locally native plants can reduce the average homeowner’s water consumption by 60% according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. For more info, go here.

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A “Leader in Training” volunteer works with a youngster during a Nature Camp session

High School Student Volunteering on February 19-23

“Leaders in Training” (LIT) are amazing high school students that help with Nature Camps during school breaks. This is a perfect opportunity for volunteers who enjoy working with children, and it provides an excellent experience to include on a resume or college application. Although it is a volunteer position, applicants must interview to be eligible. Students, not parents, are responsible for communicating with ENC staff regarding the Leaders in Training opportunity. If you are interested and would like to apply, go here.

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ENC Education Director Mindy Schwartz

Reading in the Redwoods on Sunday, Feb. 25 at 10 a.m.

Join ENC for a very special Reading in the Redwoods event with ENC Education Director Mindy Schwartz. She will read Chickens Aren’t the Only Ones by Ruth Heller, whose prose and pictures are the perfect means for discovering the variety of oviparous animals and their unique ways of laying eggs. Participants will enjoy a relaxing morning under the canopy of ENC’s tallest trees. Afterward, children and their adults will participate in hands-on activities related to the theme of the book. For more info and to register, go here.

Environmental Nature Center is located at 1601 E. 16th St., Newport Beach. For more information, visit

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