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 PHOTOGRAPHY: Using Observation and Tracking in our quest for Wildlife Photography
Join us for a workshop where we will learn how to use Nature Observation and Tracking in our quest to photograph the treasures of Mother Nature. We will learn about her playground. The Forest is always talking to us; learn to listen and unlock its mysteries. Unlocking the mysteries generally leads to wonderful photographs. Participants in this non-technical course will explore the trails of Irvine through the lens of a camera and the eyes of a naturalist. No experience necessary.  Please bring a camera or a phone to record your nature story. This program is intended for Adults and teens 16+.

Instructor: Frank Marsden, Nature Photographer
Saturdays, March 11, April 15, May 13
9:00 – 11:00AM
Cost: $15/participant per date
Sign up for one class or the series.


*WORKSHOP: Beginner Bark Basket Workshop
In this workshop, learn the traditional skill of folded bark baskets – how to ‘slip’ bark from a precut log, score and bend to transform into a basket of your own. Baskets have been fashioned from bark by cultures around the world; in Maryland, the eastern woodland Indians created them from tulip polar. This class can be offered just once a year as there is a short window between May and June when tulip poplar bark can easily be removed and shaped into a basket. This small-group class is suitable for beginners, each participant will start with a miniature basket and progress to a regular sized one. All materials supplied. All participants will make a one-of-a-kind basket. This program is intended for adults and teens 14+.

Instructor: Dr. Clare Walker, Master Naturalist
Sunday, May 21st
1:00 – 5:00PM
Cost: $45/participant
Limited Space, must register in advance!


*WORKSHOP: Pack Basket Making with Jeff Gottlieb (a 2-part class)
A unique opportunity to make a large pack basket with basket maker Jeff Gottlieb. This sturdy, functional basket is strong enough for foraging, a trip to the farmers’ market or just to haul all your gear along. First time weavers, don’t be daunted by this project! This 2-day class is open to all levels and offers beginners an introduction to basketry. Saturday, students will form the shape of their pack and begin weaving the basket. Sunday will focus on finishing the rim of the pack and attaching the straps (including learning to rivet). Each student will leave with a finished pack basket, ready for seasonal adventures! All participants will make a one-of-a-kind basket. This program is intended for adults and teens 15+.

Instructor: Jeff Gottlieb, Naturalist, Craftsman, and Homesteader
Saturday, June 3rd and Sunday, June 4th
Saturday and Sunday, 9:00AM-5:00PM
Cost: $175/participant (Includes $60 for materials)
Member discounts apply to the class portion only, not the materials. Limited space – MUST REGISTER BY JUNE 1


*WORKSHOP: Pine Bark Baskets: From Tree to Basket
Branches of white pine can be trimmed to provide a wonderful basket material that is flexible and easy to sew – if a little sappy. In this workshop, participants will learn the ins and outs of choosing bark, cutting and peeling, making a pattern, and constructing a variety of different shaped vessels. This style of basketry is fun, fast, and provides opportunity to get creative with decoration, materials and shapes. Each person’s project will turn out to be completely unique! Everyone will leave with 1-2 completed smaller baskets. All materials provided. This program is intended for adults and teens 14+.

Instructor: Dr. Clare Walker, Master Naturalist and Master Gardener
Wednesday, June 21st
Cost: $30/participant
Limited space – must register in advance!



*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 

*FORAGING: Early Spring Greens
Throughout history, wild spring greens have been used as both medicine and an important source of nutrients. Many of the first plants to grow in spring are ones brought to America for their medicinal value, but now considered weeds and can be harvested in quantity. We will discuss and ID which greens can be collected and how to make tasty spring salads and pestos using foraged nuts or infused into oil for medicinal salves. Recipes will be demonstrated (with optional tasting).  This program is intended for Adults. 

Instructor: Dr. Clare Walker, Master Naturalist
Sunday, April 16th
1:30 – 3:30PM
Cost: $20

Limited space; register today!

*Earth Day Celebration-Free Admission Saturday
Celebrate Earth Day with Irvine. Meet Irvine’s resident animal ambassadors and learn how we can protect wildlife and their natural surroundings. Explore the exhibit hall and take a hike on Irvine’s 211 acres. Good for all ages. All are welcome. No registration necessary. 

Instructors: Irvine Naturalists and Animal Caretakers
Saturday, April 22nd
9:00AM-5:00PM – trails & outdoor exhibits open
10:00AM-2:00PM – Exhibit Hall open
1:00PM-3:00PM – special activities including planting, composting and more!
Cost: Free

*BIRDING: Weekly Warbler Walks
Irvine’s mix of woods, wetlands and meadows make it a top local birding destination. Enjoy the peak of spring bird migration and a chance to see orioles, warblers, tanagers and more on these weekly walks with Irvine’s Director of Education and lifelong birder. This program is intended for ages 10+.

Instructor: Brian Rollfinke, Director of Education
Offered Monday, May 1st, Monday, May 8th, Saturday, May 13th, and Sunday, May 21st
Cost:$10/participant per date
Pre-registration is encouraged. Program will be canceled if minimum is not met.

*Spring Lunch & Learn: Fleeting Flowers and Gossamer Wings
Join us for a presentation by Irvine’s Master Gardener, Clare Walker, PhD, plus enjoy a delicious catered lunch from ACE Catering and guided tours of the Woodland Garden.

Presentation – Fleeting Flowers and Gossamer Wings Like spring ephemeral flowers, many of our spring butterflies appear small and delicate yet are tough enough to thrive in Maryland’s spring weather that swings between summer and winter temperatures. In this talk we will admire the fleeting beauty of both flowers and butterflies as we explore how their lives are intertwined. The presentation is followed by a guided tour of the Irvine Woodland Garden where blooms will be at their peak with displays of trilliums, geraniums, larkspur, phlox and more.

Presenter: Clare Walker, PhD, Master Gardener, Master Naturalist
Wednesday, May 3rd
12:00 – 1:30PM
Cost: $30/members*; $40/non-members *Discount for Pacesetter members and above
Tickets required – register today!


*SPRING NATURE EXCURSION: Canoe at Eden Mill and Explore Shenks Ferry Wildflower Preserve 
The third in our NEW SERIES of Quarterly Adult 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.

Start with a tranquil morning of canoeing on the scenic Deer Creek in northern Harford County. We will launch from Eden Mill Nature Center, using their canoes and gear. Two certified canoe instructors will provide a no-stress paddling lesson before we start out and accompany us throughout our two hours on the water. Our guide will be renowned local naturalist Frank Marsden, founder and long-time Director of Eden Mill and an extraordinary nature photographer. Nobody knows the Deer Creek like Frank, and every outing with him becomes a memorable and fascinating lesson in natural history, ecology, and ‘becoming one’ with nature.

After lunch, head to Shenks Ferry Wildflower Preserve along the Susquehanna River. Known for its stunning variety of spring ephemerals, Shenks Ferry offers one of the most splendid displays of forest wildflowers in the eastern U.S., especially in April and May. Dr. Clare Walker will lead the way as we explore the delights of these short-lived blooms. Be sure to bring your camera! Finally, stop for an evening meal at a relatively new and highly-rated farm restaurant in York County. The Spring Nature Excursion departs from Irvine and participants travel together in the Irvine bus. This program is intended for adults.

Instructors: Brian Rollfinke, Director of Education, & Dr. Clare Walker, Master Gardener/Master Naturalist
Saturday, May 6th
Cost: $80 + $15 Fee/Donation to Eden Mill Nature Center + Cost of Dinner


Native Plant Sale & Workshop
Irvine’s Native Plant Sale and Workshop is back! We’re thrilled to offer a morning of in-person, outdoor, hands-on learning, focused on NATIVE PLANTS.

THE SALE: The plant sale will be open to the public beginning promptly at 9AM, ending at 1:30PM. Come explore many native varieties from four area nurseries and get guidance from professionals on what will work best for your garden conditions. A wide variety of native ferns, perennials, and woody plants to choose from. [NO FEE TO ATTEND]

THE WORKSHOP: Expand your native plant knowledge! Whether you want to learn about native species, hone your plant identification skills, use natives to attract pollinators, solve problem areas in your yard, or refresh your landscaping in exciting new ways… there is a session for you. Participate in one, two, or three sessions, plus take time to shop for native plants to bring home. Preview the workshop schedule HERE  to learn more. Registering for three sessions will save you an additional $10 on your total workshop fees AND grant you exclusive early access to the plant sale from 8-9AM.

  • Learn from professional growers, ecologists and Master Gardeners – 10 workshop sessions to choose from. Workshops will run from 9:00am-12:30PM – sign up for one or multiple.
  • Shop for native plants with expert guidance from four area nurseries, who will help you select the perfect plants for your yard’s growing conditions. Gain early access to the plant sale when you register for three sessions!
  • Build your own container garden with native plants.

Why garden with native plants? “Restoring native plant habitat is vital to preserving biodiversity. By creating a native plant garden, each patch of habitat becomes part of a collective effort to nurture and sustain the living landscape for birds and other animals.”  – Audubon

Saturday, May 20th
Cost: FREE to shop; workshops range from $20-65 {Early bird pricing: now – May 10}

Free Admission & Parking all day


*LUNCH & LEARN: Urban Agriculture– A Community Journey to Food Security & Sustainability
Irvine Nature Center is thrilled to welcome Farmer Chippy and team to share the story of the Plantation Park Heights Urban Farm. Founded in June 2014, PPHUF was born out of a group of Caribbean American citizens’ desire to affect change and have a positive impact on the lives of young Black and Brown adults in northwest Baltimore. Converting vacant lots into a six-acre farm and mobilizing an inter-generational volunteer workforce, Farmer Chippy has provided an oasis of cleaner, greener foods within one of the city’s food deserts, and established a safe space in which to cultivate healthy young minds and train youth in sustainable urban farming practices.

Recognized by the American Farm Bureau as a 2021 Ag Innovation Challenge honoree, Plantation Park Heights Urban Farm’s AgriHood Baltimore is thriving, making crucial impacts in the Park Heights neighborhood, offering healthy foods throughout communities of Baltimore, and being held up as a national model for urban agriculture.

Please join us for Urban Agriculture – A community journey to food security & sustainability where Farmer Chippy will share his inspiration and motivation for cultivating food and youth.

Plus enjoy a delicious catered lunch from ACE Catering.

Guest Presenter: Farmer Chippy and Plantation Park Heights Urban Farm team
Wednesday, May 31st
Cost: $30/members*/$40 non-members

*Discount for Pacesetter members and above

Tickets required – REGISTER TODAY!


*BIRDING: A Nest Quest
Did you know that there are about NINETY nest boxes on Irvine’s property and that well over half of them get utilized every spring/summer? In fact, since 2008, we have documented almost 3000 baby birds fledging from our boxes! The vast majority come from three species of ‘secondary cavity nesters’: House Wrens, Tree Swallows, and Eastern Bluebirds.

In May and June, these songbirds are busy setting up breeding territories, building nests, and beginning to lay eggs for this year’s broods. Come witness the nesting process up close (Eggs! Babies!) as you learn about Irvine’s extensive network of boxes and the species that raise their families within. Find out how you can contribute to a nationwide ‘citizen science’ database by tracking nesting birds in your own yard and submitting your findings to Project NestWatch. Then, take to the trails and learn how volunteers statewide are collaborating on the Third MD/D.C. Breeding Bird Atlas. Find out how you can take part-at Irvine or even in your own backyard-by venturing out into nature this summer in search of nesting activity among any birds you encounter. You’ll be contributing to a crucial long-term database, from which scientists study population trends of species throughout the state. No prior birding experience necessary. For adults and children, ages 10+.

Instructor: Brian Rollfinke, Director of Education
Saturday, June 10th


NATURE EXCURSION: Guided Hikes at Soldiers Delight Natural Environmental Area
A unique opportunity for an intimate look at the Endangered Serpentine Ecosystem of Soldiers Delight. Experience the truly distinctive and globally rare ecosystem of Soldiers Delight Natural Environment Area, with the guidance of experts, Laura Van Scoyoc, President of Soldiers Delight Conservation, Inc. (SDCI), and Dr. R. Wayne Tyndall. Both have dedicated years to studying, restoring, and conserving the unique flora and rich biodiversity which thrives in the unusual substrate of serpentine bedrock. As you encounter wildflowers that grow in few other places, you will learn about the unusual circumstances which created this special habitat and witness first-hand the results of efforts of conservationists who are working hard to preserve it for generations to come, even in the face of a changing climate and overuse of trails during the pandemic. Find out more about this unique habitat in our May Eat, Drink, & Learn event.

Two hikes will be offered: Saturday, a shorter, gentler, 1-mile walk on easier terrain, for those who would like to experience the barrens, without trekking across rockier sections of the habitat. Sunday, the entire 2.5-mile circumference of the Serpentine Trail, portions of which are fairly uneven and more challenging to traverse. Both hikes will be led by Laura Van Scoyoc, and possibly Dr. R. Wayne Tyndall, retired Plant Ecologist with the Maryland DNR and scientific advisor to SDCI. Participants are invited stay after for a casual Q&A with Laura. Bring a snack/lunch to enjoy post-hike.

Instructor: Laura Scoyoc, President of SDCI
Saturday & Sunday, June 17-18th
10:00 (length varies)


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 – June 25th (no class Apr 9, Apr 23, Apr 30)
9:30 – 10:30AM
Cost: $10/participant
Register for one or more session dates. Preregistration available, walkups welcome.

Healing in the Wild: A Day Retreat for Grief and Loss in Nature
Healing in the Wild allows for a safe space where people can gain tools to cope with the pain of loss. We’ll explore resources to call upon when feelings of grief seem overwhelming. This day retreat will provide a place to connect with others and the natural world. This unique retreat is a way for nature to provide the deepest peace and solace for people on the grief journey. The day retreat is open to anyone experiencing loss, including the death of a loved one, loss of a job, divorce, loss of a pet, and other types of loss.

“Spirituality and nature can play an important role in soothing symptoms of grief, including anxiety, stress, and depression. Studies have shown that even contemplating imagery of natural scenery can significantly lower stress hormone levels. Imagine what actually walking into Mother Nature’s embrace can do to your psyche at a time when you most need solace, peace, and quiet.” -Jennifer Alan, Balanced Rock.

This program is intended for ages 18+.

Instructors: Dr. Heidi Schreiber-Pan, Ph.D, LCPC, ACS, Clinic Director of Chesapeake Mental Health Collaborative, Anne Contee, LCPC, and Phillip McKnight, Certified Mindfulness Meditation Teacher 
Saturday, April 8th
Cost: $150+ optional lunch for $25, preregistration required

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 23rd
Cost: FREE, preregistration required

World Tai Chi Day
People in 100s of cities and 80 nations on 6 continents will take part in the celebration of tai chi. “One World… One Breath” is the global event’s motto, with the sole purpose of promoting personal and global health and healing. The day will take place at wedding point overlooking the valley of the Irvine campus. The Qi-MaryP Qigong team will lead the local event celebrating and practicing various forms of these two 4,000 year old Tai Chi/Qigong moving mediations set to calming music. No experience is needed; all are welcome. This program is intended for adults.

Instructors: Mary Pinkard, NQA Level II Instructor, and Michele Tsonis,GFI
Saturday, April 29th
9:30 – 10:30AM
Cost: $10/participant
Preregistration available, walkups welcome.

Pangu Yoga
Journey into the universe within and all around, using a unique blend of yoga and shen (qi, or life force, of a spiritual nature) to connect our minds and bodies to a greater spirit. Preparing ourselves with a mantra which awakens us to the practice of kindness and cultivation of the heart, Pangu Yoga creates an embodied experience which ties graceful movement to breath, intertwining visualizations of nature, while your practice is surrounded by the natural wonders of Irvine Nature Center. Bring a yoga mat (and blanket, optional). We will take our time moving and breathing with this powerful life force and make sure we end with plenty of time for deep relaxation to further integrate our experience.

The yoga movements and techniques are simple and accessible to all levels of ability. No experience with yoga or qi gong is needed. 

Instructor: Kelly Stickney, Yoga Therapist and Instructor, Pangu Shengong (qi gong) and Pangu Yoga Instructor
Offered Sundays, April 30th, May 7th, and May 14th
Cost: $20/session or $45 for all 3 sessions

Forest Bathing Mini Retreat: The Forest is the Therapist, the Guide Opens the Doors – canceled
In its most basic form, Forest Therapy mobilizes the human body’s innate affinity for natural environments to restore healthy physiological functions. Intentionally spending mindful time in nature can help heal relationships with ourselves, our community, and our more than human world. Join this group on a leisurely saunter through gentle terrain for a distance no more than a quarter mile over this two-hour ‘mini retreat.’ Along the walk, the guide offers prompts inviting guests to bring awareness into the senses. Each in their own way, participants often find themselves immersed in the present moment with a sense of embodiment or connection to land and sky. Sharing circles increase the group’s capacity for noticing what there is to notice in themselves and their natural environment. Herbal tea brewed directly from plants on the land is served during a closing ceremony allowing participants to share in community and integrate their experience into everyday life. Join NAFT certified Guide, Teddy Martello, on a pathway to personal health and wellbeing, as well as one towards pro-environmental and pro-social change at a societal level. This program is intended for ages 13+.

Instructors: Ted Martello, Certified FT Guide
Saturday, May 6th
Cost: $20/participant


Sunset Sound Bath and Herbal Tea Meditation 
Come join us for a sound bath and herbal tea meditation with Lionel Matthews from Tranquility Sound Therapy and community herbalist Kate Galarza. We’ll start the night with a tea meditation. Kate will serve an herbal tea blend infused with calming and nourishing plants. We’ll use our senses to experience the infusion and discuss the therapeutic actions of each plant. After the meditation, enjoy a peaceful sound bath as the practitioner will utilize crystal and Tibetan singing bowls, gongs, ocean drums and the natural sounds of nature as tools to bring the mind and body to a blissful meditative state. Be sure to carve out some time to nourish YOURSELF so you can nourish the loved ones around you. This program is intended for adults.

Instructors: Lionel Matthews, Sound Healing Therapist and Kate Galarza, Community Herbalist
Friday, June 2nd
Cost: $25/participant

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