Earth Friends

Earth Friends at Irvine is designed to connect children 5-14 yrs old with nature. We develop a foundation of skills for children ages 5-14 years old through interdisciplinary study and promote respect for nature and each other through nurturing student centered classes. Hikes, live animal encounters and on-trail investigations are integral to our learning each day.

Our array of nature based classes offer families a unique way to tailor nature school and home studies.  Courses may be taken separately or as a suite. At the culmination of each semester, your child will have documentation for their home school portfolio.

Review our Earth Friends Brochure for full descriptions. Classes for 2019-2020 are:

PROGRAMS FOR CHILDREN AGE 5 – 8:

Native Communities
This class introduces children to communities native to the Maryland area, and specifically Irvine. Topics in­clude Native Americans, colonial set­tlers, native plant communities, native animal communities, and ecosystem studies. Child-led investigations encourage deep curiosity as we explore the rich history in our Piedmont area.

Ages: 5-8 years old
Times: 1:00-4:00 p.m.
Fall 2019 Dates: Tuesdays, Sep. 10 – Dec. 10 (no class on 11/26)
Spring 2020 Dates: Tuesdays, Feb. 11 – May 12 (no class on 4/7)
Prices: $395/ session for Members; $475/ session for Non-members

Forest Explorers
The woodlands whisper their secrets during child- initiated exploration of Irvine’s vast 210 acre property. Children use tools and resources to discover the hidden wonders of the forest, meadow, streams, ponds and wetlands.

Ages: 5-8 years old
Times: 1:00-4:00 p.m.
Fall 2019 Dates: Wednesdays, Sep. 11 – Dec. 11 (no class on 11/27)
Spring 2020 Dates: Wednesdays, Feb. 12 – May 13 (no class on 4/8)
Price: $395/ session for Members; $475/ session for Non-members


Animals of Irvine
Biology and science skills abound as children study Maryland’s native animals including mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish. Activities align with the seasonal habits of animals. Exploration, observation, experimentation and documentation of discoveries are all part of our learning processes. We’ll go behind the scenes in Irvine’s animal care lab to get an up-close look at our animal ambassadors.  Then we’ll search for their cousins or the clues they leave behind out in the wilds of Irvine, animal guides in hand and boots on our feet.

Ages: 5-8 years old
Times: 1:00-4:00 p.m.
Fall 2019 Dates: Thursdays, Sep.12 – Dec. 12 (no class on 11/28)
Spring 2020 Dates: Thursdays, Feb. 13 – May 14 (no class on 4/9)
Prices: $395/ session for Members; $475/ session for Non-members

 

PROGRAMS FOR CHILDREN AGE 9 – 14:

Living off of the Land (Fall 2019)
Irvine’s 210 acres, once inhabited by Native Americans and colonial settlers, will become the landscape for learning life sustaining skills in this unique adventure program. Creativity, teamwork and problem solving skills will guide children as they explore the ecosystems, flora, and fauna of Irvine. Opportunities for building shelters, identifying and sampling edibles, class challenges and surviving the elements of nature will abound. This program runs exclusively outdoors.

Living Wetlands: Nurseries of Life (Spring 2020)
Irvine’s 210 acres transforms as winter snow melt, streams begin to flow and the wetlands come to life. Exploration, observation and documentation will guild children as they explore Irvine’s waterways and wetlands. Sights and sounds abound as flora and fauna sprout and grow all around. Students will develop a deeper understanding of the importance of these unique habitats and the importance of protecting them. This class will participate in citizen science project. This program runs exclusively outdoors.

Ages: 9-14 years old
Times: 1:00-4:00 p.m.
Fall 2019 Dates: Tuesdays, Sep. 10 – Dec. 10 (no class on 11/26)
Spring 2020 Dates: Tuesdays, Feb. 11 – May 12 (no class on 4/7)
Prices: $395/ session for Members; $475/ session for Non-members

 

WINTER 2020 SESSION FOR CHILDREN AGE 5 – 11:

 Winter Session: Winter Patterns in Nature
Hiking throughout Irvine’s woods, meadows and waterways in the wintertime, we will see the natural world differently! Without color and blooms, we will explore the fascinating new patterns of nature. Content areas may include winter mammals and birds, hibernation and adaptation, geometric patterns, tracking, ice sculpture and ice painting and water play in winter.

Ages: 5-11 years old
Times: 1:00-4:00
Dates: Tuesdays and Thursdays; January 7-30
Prices: $252/ session for Members; $294/ session for Non-members