Plan Your Visit to Irvine
Trails, Wetlands & Exhibits
OPEN TO THE PUBLIC: Tuesdays – Sundays, 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM
ADMISSION: $5/person (age 6+) Members are FREE
INTRODUCING FREE FRIDAYS THANKS TO A GENEROUS DONATION FROM THE OROKAWA FOUNDATION
No dogs* or bikes allowed.
Indoor Exhibit Hall
Irvine’s Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Environmental Education Building offers our guests an indoor space for exploration. Visitors can engage with our animal caretakers and naturalists, enjoy seasonal nature activities, shop the Nature Store, and meet live animals. The Exhibit Hall is the home to many of Irvine’s animal ambassadors such as snakes, turtles, frogs, guinea pigs, and opossum.
The Robert L. Mardiney Aviary
Irvine’s Robert L. Mardiney Aviary is home to eight native raptor species: a Great Horned Owl, Barred Owl, Black Vulture, two Eastern Screech Owls, two Red Tailed Hawks, and a Red Shouldered Hawk. Having sustained injuries that make their release back into the wild impossible, each bird is a full-time resident of Irvine Nature Center and is cared for by Irvine’s dedicated Animal Care team who ensure their health and well-being year-round.
Irvine’s 211 acre property showcases the beauty of Maryland’s natural landscape. With nearly 8 miles of hiking trails, gardens featuring native plants, and our Outdoor Classroom built for child-led nature play, there’s an outdoor experience just waiting for you to explore at Irvine. During colder months, visit Irvine’s two bird feeding blinds to observe or photograph resident song birds.
Irvine’s Outdoor Classroom provides an open, natural space for children to engage in nature play. Fallen stumps and logs become balance beams, forts, and castles; mud, sand, and leaves become the ingredients needed to create five-star meals in our play kitchen. The Outdoor Classroom is perfect for children of all ages. Come out and play to see what your child can imagine and achieve! Please note: weekdays during the school year, the outdoor classroom is closed to the public, as our Nature Preschoolers utilizes this area.
Native American Site
In partnership with the Baltimore American Indian Center, Stevenson University, and local experts and historians, Irvine’s Native American Site offers visitors a unique glimpse at the dwellings, structures, and tools utilized by the First Americans. Located on Irvine’s new Bauer Preserve, all visitors are welcome to hike to the site daily during Irvine’s hours of operation. We also welcome field trips and groups to coordinate with our Education Team to plan your field trip or group outing to see the site, learn, and partake in fun crafts and games.
The property that Irvine calls home spent many years as farmland. As a result, since moving to this new space in 2008, Irvine’s staff has worked tirelessly to restore the land to its original state. Our Wetlands Restoration project commenced before our move, but has officially taken root and changed the surrounding landscape. Our wetlands now serve not only as a scenic trail stop, but also as a filtration system for the groundwater and streams on our property — including the headwaters of both the Gwynns and Jones Falls.
Butterfly & Moth Waystation
Irvine raises and sources native caterpillars, and the opening of the Butterfly and Moth Waystation is determined by the timing of their emergence. Irvine’s Butterfly and Moth Waystation allows visitors an up-close look at the habitat and life cycle of our native butterflies, including the monarch, swallowtail and painted lady, as well as various moth species such as the cecropia and promethea moths. Discover the amazing metamorphosis that these creatures make – from egg to caterpillar to chrysalis to butterfly. And, you’ll learn about the vital role both play in plant pollination and in the food chain. Now closed for the season, the Waystation will reopen in early summer 2024.
More than a hundred species of shade-loving native trees, shrubs, wildflowers, ferns and grasses have been planted here, and they are protected from an ever-growing deer population by a surrounding fence. The strong latticed gate at the entrance welcomes visitors into a stunning garden full of Maryland’s native plants. This beautiful spot is possible thanks to the St. George’s Garden Club and Irvine volunteers Ann Benz and Joan Hoblitzell. To take a stroll through the garden, take the lower trail that begins at the far left of the Outdoor Classroom. You’ll see the gates on your right.
* We love all animals here at Irvine Nature Center, but we do not allow pets on our property at any time. When you come to explore nature at Irvine, please be respectful of the native habitat, our resident animals, and fellow visitors by leaving your pet at home. Pet waste is often not disposed of properly and can harm our fragile ecosystems. In addition, pets may negatively impact natural fauna as well as the experience of other visitors. Thank you for your cooperation and understanding.