Nature Time, Music and Eco-Fun for Parents and Kids Ages 4-7 Years!
Adult/1 Child $18
Adult/2 Children $30
Adult/1 Child $90
Adult/2 Children $165
If you are with Inspire Charter School, please email the certificate to firstname.lastname@example.org before registering.
Questions? Contact us
Spring 2020 Classes
Come explore and protect nature’s household of creatures great and small! This season we will investigate and welcome all of the creatures that make their homes at the Irvine Ranch Outdoor Education Center.
All Creatures | Welcome Home!
Mondays | 10:00am- 11:30am
March 2nd | Welcome Home, California Gnatcatcher
The orange grove has grown and transformed into a living Food Forest – a wild system where we an grow food for humans provide a habitat for living things. Listen closely, can you hear the Gnatcatcher’s soft, kitten-like cry in the sage?
March 9th | Welcome Home, Honeybee
We do love our hardworking friends: the honeybees for the sweet treat of honey. But does anyone remember what else bees do for us? Come learn about the miracle of how bees and other pollinators turn flower blossoms into fruit!
March 16th | Welcome Home, Painted Lady Butterfly
Do you remember all of those butterflies that migrated through Orange County last year? They were Painted Lady Butterflies! When butterflies travel long distances, we can help them survive the long trip by planting food for them along the way. Learn how you can help a butterfly survive the long journey home!
March 23rd | Welcome Home, Western Toad
Our good ol’ friends with two lives – the amphibians! If we take care of our fruit crops naturally, protect our water ways and keep the soil moist and covered with fallen leaves, we can make sure that our amphibian friends like the western toads have a safe and happy life. Let’s go see if we can find some toads!
March 30th | Welcome Home, Cliff Swallows
Follow the Swallow to the OEC! Faithfully, every year the swallows return to the IROEC – as long as we protect their habitat by making sure there is clean water, plenty of open land without pavement, shelter and a healthy insect ecosystem. Come celebrate the return of the swallow with us!
April 6th | Welcome Home, Catfish
What makes a fish a fish and not a dolphin? Do you ever wish you were a fish? Come out to release fish in our pond and learn the role that fish play in the underwater web of life.
Summer 2020 Classes
Fridays | 3:30pm - 5:00pm
Aug. 7th | Butterfly Blue—Livin’ on a Legume
Did you know that there is an entire family of butterflies known as “as blues”? When many of these blue butterflies are young larvae, they eat aphids and other naughty insects. Some of the blue butterflies are endangered; learn how we can help them by planting deer weed and other wild legumes!
Aug. 14th | Oh Hi, Flower Fly!
Have you ever heard of a flower fly? Let’s go find a flower fly in the food forest and find out how the little flower fly larvae eat our pests and then grow into adult flower flies that use their spongey mouth parts to mop up nectar and pollen.
Aug. 21st | Winged Giants
Let’s see if we can find a big bold beautiful Swallowtail Butterfly! First we have to ask: can we find a cottonwood tree or a willow where we might find a swallowtail larva? Can we find any verbena or sage where the swallowtail adult might be drinking sweet flower nectar? Let’s go!
Aug. 28th | God Save the Queen!
Let’s take a deep dive into the honey bee colony and try to find the queen bee. What does the queen bee do? How do the other bees help her live? On this day we will learn about what we can do in our homes, gardens and schools to protect honey bees and save the queen!
Songs from the Sagebrush
Fall 2020 Classes
Home, home in the sage, where the quail and gnatcatchers play! Come explore the coastal sage scrub and learn how our native California plant community supports life in so many different ways!
Mondays |10:00am- 11:30am & Fridays | 3:30pm- 5:00pm
Sept. 14th | Sept. 18th: Our Home – the Coastal Sage Scrub
Did you know, lawns and big pine trees are not a natural part of our lowlands along the coast of Southern California? We don’t have enough water here for those plants – but we are not a desert. We are very special place called the . Come learn about our special chaparral ecosystem and the coastal sage scrub community.
Sept. 21st | Sept. 25th: California Bush Sunflower Explosion
Come learn about our native, drought tolerant California bush sunflower. This bushy beauty provides cover for California Quail and other ground dwelling birds. Learn how to collect its seeds so that you can grow some in your yard to help feed our bees and flower flies!
Sept. 28th | Oct. 2nd: Prickly Pear Party
Prickly pear cactus provides a fortress of protection for special birds like the Coastal Cactus Wren. The prickly fruits also provide food for many creatures – even coyotes chomp on the sweet fruit. Come learn how prickly pear helps the web of life.
Oct. 5th | Oct. 9th: Laurel Sumac Rising
Learn how the role of fire in our local ecosystem and how the Laurel Sumac rises from its own ashes to heal the land and provide habitat for native insects, birds, and mammals.
Oct. 12th | Oct. 16th: Yo yo yo – Yucca!
Did you know that when you head into the chaparral you can stay fresh and clean with yucca soap? And if you need a belt you can use this plant for rope? Let’s learn all of the amazing ways that yucca helps all living beings in our ecosystem – humans, yucca moths, scrub jays and more!
Oct. 19th | Oct. 23rd: California Sagebrush
Meet at the Weir Canyon parking lot trail head at the entrance to the IROEC
Come hit the trail and make cowboy cologne! California sagebrush is the star of the day. We will learn how California sagebrush serves our community – from helping humans to habitat for endangered California gnatcatchers.
The Wonders of Beekeeping*
Fall 2020 Classes
For Parents and Kids ages 6 and up
Come learn basic beekeeping skills with your children. In the class we will learn how bees work together to support their entire colony and the ecosystems where they live. Bee keeping suits for children and adults are available at Orange County Beekeeping Supply.
*This class is not recommended for anyone with a severe bee allergy that would require the use of an EpiPen.
*Class size is limited to 15 students.
Mondays | 3:30pm – 5:00pm
Sept 14 | Honey Harvest
The bees need honey to survive the winter, but if we have taken good care of our hives, then there will be extra honey for the bees to share with us! Come learn how to uncap the wax on the honey comb and spin the frames so that we can harvest this sweet miraculous treat!
Sept 21 | Bee Basics – Queen, Workers and Drones
Each member of the colony plays a special role to keep the hive alive. Come investigate how workers take care of the queen and her larvae, and discover how the queen keeps the colony humming along after she mates with the drones.
Sept 28 | Bee Life Cycle – Egg, Larva, Pupa, Adult
Bees go through metamorphosis a complete change of life. Learn about each of the bee’s life stages.
Oct 5 | Looking at the Larvae
Learn how to check if the hive is healthy by inspecting the queens’ laying pattern of eggs and larvae – this is called the brood pattern. We can learn a lot from the larva!
Oct 12 | Hive Pests – Hive Beetles, Varroa Mites and Foulbrood – oh my!
Just like your dog can get fleas, bees can get mites and other parasites. Learn how to keep the bees healthy and disease free.
Oct 19 | Raising the Queen
How do bees raise a new queen when the old queen dies? What does a queen cell look like? How do bee breeders work with the bees to raise queen bees that produce gentle bees? Let’s learn together!