The Environmental Nature Center (ENC) in Newport Beach is a small 3.5 strip of land that used to be a gully. It varies in width from about the size of a house lot to some grass and a path. The amazing thing is that the school and volunteers have filled the gully with native plants, trees, streams, ponds, logs and benches and transformed it into an area that is extremely appealing to birds. Why? Because it has the things birds need: 1) Water 2) Food and 3) Shelter.
Paths through the trees.
The ENC is near the Newport Back Bay and not far from San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary, and it is visited by at least 130 species. The Orange County Rare Bird Alert lists 39 rare bird sightings over the years. ENC has 15 different plant communities. It has insects, reptiles, amphibians, and mammals that moved in when the native plants took hold. Their website states that at one time a coyote lived there for a while. A staff member told me they have raccoons visit.
The new facility in progress heading for the platinum.
They are building a new facility to replace their trailer. They are going, not for the gold, but for the LEED platinum rating which means that their new learning center will be environmentally friendly and healthy at the highest level. Their new facility is a registered LEED project. They are striving for the best and hope to be the premier center for natural science education in the area. Quite a high goal for a lowly little gully.Strange plant in the desert habitat area.
This is a place for children to learn about nature. There are programs galore here to teach children about the environment and nature. There are walks, classes, nature camps, teacher workshops,, and more. In May 2008, the annual Butterfly house is open again for the Spring and Summer seasons. There are plants to sell and butterflies to watch. The only one in the OC. Come and take a look.
Ferns, trees, and kids.
The Environmental Nature Center is the result of dreams, values, and hard work. It is amazing what people can do with a little determination. It is a wonderful place. Stop by when you are in the area birding or running errands. A great place to rest and eat lunch or walk. The birds you find here in this little 3.5 acre Nature Center just may surprise you. They might even make your life list.
Coming from the North, take the 55 Freeway to 17th go east to Dover. Turn right on Dover, right on 16th. The Environmental Nature Center is on the left. You may need to park on the first side street to your right. Some of the parking in front of the ENC is a no parking zone.
Coming from the South. From PCH take Dover north, turn left on 16th Street/Westcliff. Park on the first side street on the right.
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American Redstart August 2002
Check out their website for more information and current programs and events.
Lots of paths to choose.