Environmental Nature Center

“ A flowery band to bind us to the earth,

Spite of despondence, of the inhuman dearth.”

-Endymion, John Keats

Most of the top attractions in Newport Beach are geared towards beachgoers, surfers, and tourists interested in sightseeing.  If you’re looking for something educational and nature-centric, you should visit the Environmental Nature Center.

This little green space in Newport Beach works as the perfect escape from the crowded hotspots. It’s a ‘flowery band’ that connects us to the natural world. You’ll get a chance to learn about native plant life, migrating butterflies, and sustainable living.  It’s a fun place to visit for people of all ages interested in building a greener, cleaner world.

Here’s how the team keeps the momentum going at this center:

The First Step towards a Greener Community

The Environmental Nature Center (ENC) opened its doors in 1972 as a non-profit 501(c)-3 public benefit corporation. It has since then worked diligently to cultivate an appreciation for nature and a passion for preservation amongst its visitors. 

The team spends a significant part of its time shaping its surrounding landscape and adopting eco-friendly elements into its layout and operations.  Its greatest achievement has been the sustainable construction of its Nature Preschool in fall 2019. The green learning center is the first building in the OC with a Leadership in Energy and Platinum Design (LEED) Platinum certificate.

The rest of its 3.5 acres of land serves as a natural sanctuary for native wildlife. The grounds feature 15 native plant communities (i.e. freshwater marshland, desert, oak woodland) to represent the biodiversity in California.

The ENC is open to the public from 10 am to 3 pm on the weekend. Weekdays are for scheduled activities. Therefore, we recommend that you sign up for a program before planning a trip to Newport Beach.

Educational Adventures

More than 2800 students visit the learning center every year, with thousands of tourists and nature enthusiasts in tow.  The ENC focuses on developing independent interactive programs for children and educational field trips in collaboration with local schools. 

In addition to this, they arrange seasonal camps and onsite preschool programs for young ones.

Each hands-on activity aims to inspire young minds to love and preserve nature.

Walk amongst the Butterflies

The state-of-the-art Butterfly House is a top attraction in Newport Beach. It serves as a home to many different butterfly species native to Orange County and some migratory varieties. These winged residents include the state butterfly, California Dogface, Mourning Cloak, West Coast Lady, Monarch, Lorquin’s Admiral, etc.

According to the official website, the Rotary Club of Okazaki South in Japan presented the corner.  Newport Balboa branch of the club showcased it as a collaborative centennial community service project.  Along with a generous donation from the Pacific Life Foundation and Home Depot.

In a Nutshell

Visiting the ENC can be an enlightening experience. Nature trails weave in and out of this sanctuary, giving you ample opportunity to spot beautiful birds perched on treetops and butterflies hovering around.  Each turn unfolds a breathtaking sight and secrets of the natural world.

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