The Environmental Nature Center located in Newport Beach, CA is the type of place anyone interested in nature, whether adult or child, will enjoy. There are so many things to do and see. Hidden in the The Learning Center is a LEED Platinum Certified Structure. Combine that with the Butterfly house and the grounds containing 15 different California native plant communities, it makes an excellent day trip, learning experience and easy get away from the urban landscape.
We were fortunate enough to catch the Monarchs in egg laying season, so my daughters were able to watch first hand as the butterflies laid their eggs on the green foliage with in the butterfly house. It’s not a very large structure so it helps set up many photo opportunities of kids observing the butterflies.
We began our hiking and exploring by heading West-Southwest (counter clockwise) and following alongside the perimeter fence. You quickly realize how small the 3.5 acre area is but it does not become boring because it is so packed full of such a variety of flowers and plant life.
The hiking trails are well maintained, and easy to navigate. The only reason for a park map is to help you to understand which micro ecosystem your walking through. All trails lead back to the Learning Center so there is no need to fear getting lost.
Their are learning stations with activities for children through out the Nature Center.
We ended our mini adventure back at the “Desert Oasis” and took some photos of the beautiful blooming Cacti.
The Environmental Nature Center or “ENC” in Newport Beach is really a rare little Gem found in a densely populated area of Southern California. Both the LEED Platinum Learning Center and the rest of the Nature Center, provide amazing opportunities for young and old alike, to learn about sustainability, preservation and the natural world around us. If your in the area, I cannot recommend it enough.