Programs and Workshops for Adults

Click on the each program title to register.  Programs with an (*) are eligible for a member discount (Pacesetters and above). 

Art in Nature Programs 

*WORKSHOP: Pine Needle Basketry (a 2-part class)
Discover the process of creating a traditional and beautiful pine needle basket. In the first session, you will learn how to start your basket using a hand-made wood base and then how to coil long-leaf pine needles using waxed linen thread. Splitting the class over 2 evenings allows you to work on the project at home if you wish to create a larger basket. In the second session, we will cover finishing techniques and different stitches so you can take home a completed pine needle basket. Although suitable for beginners, this class will be most enjoyable for anyone who either has some basketry/sewing experience or enjoys working with their hands on small-scale projects. Threads will be provided, or you can bring your own colors to create a unique basket. All participants will make a one-of-a-kind basket. This program is intended for Adults and teens 16+.

Instructor: Dr. Clare Walker, Master Naturalist
Wednesdays, March 22nd & 29th
6:00 – 8:00PM
Cost: $35/participant
Limited Space, must register in advance!

 

NATURE EXPLORATION Programs 

*Playing with Fire for Women
Learn the art of fire building in a fun and supportive environment. Discover where to find dry wood and tinder even in winter and how to build and start a fire. Try using ferro rods, experiment with everyday fire-starting materials from lip balm to hand sanitizer, and much more. Dress for the weather. We will keep a kettle on the fire for hot drinks. For Adults and Teens 14+ *This is an event for women and any individual who identify as trans, gender-neutral, or non-binary.

Instructor: Dr. Clare Walker, Master Naturalist
Sunday, January 15th
1:30 – 3:30PM
Cost: $15/participant
Preregistration encouraged. 

 

*Seeds: Swap, Stratify, and Sow
Celebrate National Seed Swap Day at Irvine and get your garden off to a great start. Native plant seeds collected at Irvine plus other locally sourced seed will be available at the swap. If you have any native plant seed, vegetable, or herb seeds you’re willing to swap, bring them along. You do not need to bring seeds to participate. Learn what it takes to make sometimes-fussy native seeds germinate, as we prepare any seeds that require scarification or stratification. Age 16+ Each participant will go home with a tray of winter sown seeds to take home.

Instructor: Dr. Clare Walker, Master Gardener and Naturalist
Sunday, January 29th
11:00AM – 12:30PM
Cost: $15/participant
Preregistration encouraged. 

 

*Maple Magic – There’s Magic in our Trees!
Join Irvine’s naturalists in a quest to make delicious maple syrup. Begin with a short walk in the deciduous forest, learn to identify maple trees, and try your hand at tapping a tree to collect its sugary sap. Then gather round the fire to see how we convert the sticky fluid into syrup. You’ll even get a taste of this liquid gold as a reward for all the hard work. Great for all ages! Four public sessions to choose from.

Instructor: Irvine Naturalists 
Saturday, February 11th and Sunday, February 19th – four sessions to choose from
Cost: $10/participant (children under 3 are free)
Preregistration encouraged. 

 

*LATE WINTER NATURE EXCURSION: Snow Geese at Middle River Creek WMA and Tour of Wolf Sanctuary
The second in our NEW SERIES of Quarterly Day Trips! Spend the day with other nature lovers, traveling together in the Irvine mini-bus to explore some of the Mid-Atlantic’s best wildlife hotspots.

This excursion starts with a guided tour of the fascinating Wolf Sanctuary of Pennsylvania, in northern Lancaster County, currently the home to over 50 gray wolves on 80 acres of forested land and provides a unique experience to learn about these top-tier predators. Next, it’s a short drive to Middle Creek Wildlife Management Area, one of the largest late-winter staging grounds for Snow Geese in North America. These spectacular birds gather from wintering sites all over the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast and descend upon Middle Creek’s 6,000-acre managed wetlands in late February. Bring your camera for this unforgettable sight! On the return trip, we will enjoy a delicious evening meal at a casual and highly-rated restaurant in the Lititz area. The Late Winter Nature Excursion departs from Irvine and participants travel together in the Irvine bus. This program is intended for Adults and teens ages 15+.

Instructor: Brian Rollfinke, Director of Education
Saturday, March 4th
9:00AM –9:00PM
Cost: $95 per person (includes tour of Wolf Sanctuary; does not include cost of dinner)

 

*Owl Prowl
Irvine’s mix of woods, meadows, and wetlands makes ideal habitat for several species of owls, and clear winter nights are the perfect time to listen for them. Join Irvine naturalists for an evening of learning about these awesome creatures of the night. Meet a few of Irvine’s nocturnal Animal Ambassadors, learn about their natural history and calls, then hit the trails for a chance to hear them in the wild. It promises to be a hoot! For Adults and Children 8+

Instructors: Brian Rollfinke and Paige Vance
Friday, March 10th
7:00 – 8:30PM
Cost: $12 per participant

 

*FORAGING: Evergreens
Just because it’s the dead of winter doesn’t mean you have to stop foraging as evergreens are now easy to spot! These trees have a long history of use to treat coughs and colds, and traditionally supplied much-needed vitamins during the winter.  Today, many can be found in gourmet recipes. Learn which evergreens to harvest and which to avoid as we cover identification of different evergreen species and foraging etiquette. If you have foraged at Irvine before you know there is usually something to taste!

Instructor: Dr. Clare Walker, Master Naturalist and Master Gardener
Sunday, March 19th
1:30 – 3:30PM
Cost: $20 per person

 

*WORKSHOP: Pine Needle Basketry (a 2-part class)
Discover the process of creating a traditional and beautiful pine needle basket. In the first session, you will learn how to start your basket using a hand-made wood base and then how to coil long-leaf pine needles using waxed linen thread. Splitting the class over 2 evenings allows you to work on the project at home if you wish to create a larger basket. In the second session, we will cover finishing techniques and different stitches so you can take home a completed pine needle basket. Although suitable for beginners, this class will be most enjoyable for anyone who either has some basketry/sewing experience or enjoys working with their hands on small-scale projects. Threads will be provided, or you can bring your own colors to create a unique basket. All participants will make a one-of-a-kind basket. This program is intended for Adults and teens 16+.

Instructor: Dr. Clare Walker, Master Naturalist
Wednesdays, March 22nd & 29th
6:00 – 8:00PM
Cost: $35/participant
Limited Space, must register in advance!

 

*Grow Your Own Pollinator Garden
Discover a cost-effective way to create a pollinator patch to help bees and butterflies – SEEDS! This workshop will explain the techniques used to grow native plants from seed, which plants work well, and how and when to transplant.  All participants will take home a plant tray of native flower seeds plus a guide for their care. This program is intended for Adults.

Instructor: Dr. Clare Walker, Master Naturalist
Saturday, March 25th
1:30 – 3:30PM
Cost: $20/participant

 

*Phenology Training: Learn to Observe the Changing Seasons
Join us at this fun training to learn about phenology and how it is being used to track the impacts that climate change is making on the plants and animals all around us.  Phenology is the practice of observing the different lifecycles of plants from bud burst and leaf emergence to flowering and seeds, and requires the simple recording of these so data collection can be quickly mastered. After a quick introduction to the process, we will hike a mile loop to observe the plants that make up a ‘phenology trail’ at Irvine. Data collected can be compared with both historical records and different regions to show how our warming world is causing rapid changes to Maryland’s plants. After the training, you can take home the skills to make observations in your own yard to contribute to citizen science data; or join the Irvine Observation Team – taking a regular hike on the tail to observe the changing of the seasons. This program is intended for Adults. This program may be used to meet Master Naturalist Training Hours.

Instructor: Dr. Clare Walker, Master Naturalist
Sunday, March 26th
1:30 – 3:30PM
Cost: FREE 

 

Health and wellness Programs 

Qigong and Tai Chi
Through Qigong and Tai Chi, participants will explore the ancient practices of moving meditation to align body, mind, and spirit and build a deeper connection to nature.  In addition to learning and practicing these healing arts, we will also experience one or more additional components of the following: qigong forest bathing, qigong walks, mindfulness meditation, and focused breath work. The classes will begin in the tent or conference room, then transition to various beautiful locations throughout the Irvine campus.  Age 18+ No prior experience needed. All are welcome.

Instructors: Mary Pinkard, NQA Level II Instructor, and Michele Tsonis 
Offered Sundays, March 5th – April 16th (no class Apr 9)
9:30 – 10:30AM
Cost: $10/participant
Register for one or more session dates. Preregistration available, walkups welcome.

The Outside Within – Book Launch & Lecture
Nature has profound healing powers. Join us for a conversation with Dr. Heidi Schreiber-Pan and a panel of nature-lovers who contributed to her new book, The Outside Within, that follows various true accounts of everyday people who experience nature’s healing qualities and initiate self-awareness in the best of ways. The more-than-human world is filled with the possibility of delivering solace in hard times as well as sacred meaning-making for the human spiritual journey. In a greater sense, this book illustrates nature’s ability to show up in big ways and provide what we need at the moment. Astonishingly, nature offers many experiences, lessons, truths, wisdom, and ancient medicines seemingly made to order for each one of us. With nature as a mirror, teacher, counselor, and spirit guide, this book invites you on an outdoor journey filled with wild promises echoing from our ancient past of deep connection and passionate bonding with our Mother Earth.

Light refreshments will be served. Age 16+ Copies of The Outside Within will be available for purchase.

Guest Speaker: Dr. Heidi Schreiber-Pan, Ph.D, LCPC, Clinic Director of Chesapeake Mental Health Collaborative 
Sunday, April 23
1:00-3:00PM
Cost: FREE, preregistration required

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