Despite the Southern California storms in February, our employees put on their weeding gloves, and got down to business at our first Beacon Pointe Day of Service of 2017. The group headed over to a Newport Beach local organization, the Environmental Nature Center (ENC), to learn a little about local fauna, native flora, and non-native weeds that change the environment’s natural dynamic, especially after the heavy rains.
After a tutorial on how to prevent pathogens from entering the carefully tended center and a tour of the expansive five acres, Beacon Pointe employees got to work. Our team spent the afternoon learning to identify the plethora of weeds growing around the center and efficiently clearing huge strips of land to reveal the native plant life. Following a few hours of working throughout the center’s grounds – and even climbing up hills to pull some of the peskier weeds! – employees finished with a quick hike to pull the more invasive weeds scattered along the paths back to the center’s front.
Environmental Nature Center, was founded in 1972, combines 15 California native plant communities, wildlife habitats, walking trails, as well as being sustainably designed and a LEED Platinum certified learning center. It serves over 24,000 students and thousands of visitors annually, and is recognized as a leader in science and social science education, as it provides many opportunities for the increase of the community’s knowledge, understanding and appreciation of the natural world.
Most recently, the ENC has purchased property to develop a nature play area and construct the community’s first nature-based preschool, which they plan to break ground on in November 2017. Located on the 1.3-acre property adjoining the Nature Center, the preschool will have no playgrounds, just play areas. Students will spend the majority of the day outdoors with ample time for unaffiliated nature experiences. The goal of the preschool is to create a welcoming environment conducive to learning, but with all construction meeting or exceeding the sustainable building guidelines – such an exciting addition to the Newport Beach community!
Our team was thrilled to volunteer at the Environment Nature Center and thank the entire ENC staff for hosting our first Beacon Pointe Day of Service of 2017.
We encourage all of our readers to take the time and volunteer in the community. If you are a Newport Beach local, the ENC has an upcoming Spring Faire volunteer event on May 7, 2017. The Faire is the largest annual fundraiser for the center and volunteers will help with games, crafts, food and more. To learn more about this exciting event and the ENC in general, visit their website at: http://encenter.org/volunteer-enc/faire-volunteer/.
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