Press Release

Contact: Lori Whalen

Phone: (949) 645-8489






Newport Beach, Calif., Jan. 9, 2019 – The Environmental Nature Center (ENC) is presenting "Hummingbird Parenting" on January 17, from 5:30-8:30pm. The class is the first in a series providing parents with tools for encouraging their children’s healthy development through play and sensory learning in nature. The class will feature ENC Executive Director Bo Glover, ENC Nature Preschool Director Sue Bierlich and Jill Johnson, Preschool Teacher & "Accidental Activist." More info and registration can be found at

The benefits of nature play are proven, but sometimes parents don’t know where to begin. 

  • Children who spend time in nature are healthier. Outdoor play increases fitness and builds healthy bodies.
  • Outdoor environments are important to children’s development of independence and autonomy.
  • Nature play improves children’s social skills and results in higher academic achievement.
  • Children who spend time in nature have better language skills, more self-discipline and competency skills.
  • Learning outside increases students’ ability to think critically and creatively.

"If we want our children and grandchildren to connect with nature today, we’ll need to be more proactive than in the past, when electronic devices did not dominate our culture," said Sue Bierlich, ENC Nature Preschool Director. "We need to encourage our kids to leave their electronic devices behind and play the old fashioned way – build forts, dig tunnels to China, make mud pies, smell damp bark, eat wild berries, listen to the variety of bird songs, and sit under trees to observe insects live out their lives in miniature worlds."

5:30-5:45pm: Check In
5:45pm-6:00pm: Welcome/Intro – Bo Glover, ENC Executive Director
6:00pm-6:30pm: Hummingbird Parenting – Sue Bierlich, ENC Nature Preschool Director
6:30pm-7:00pm: Speaker & light meal – Jill Johnson, Preschool Teacher & Accidental Activist
7:00pm-7:30pm: Nature Play Activity "Mud Kitchen" – Valerie Bain & Sue Bierlich
7:30pm: Debrief/Announcements (Wine & S’mores at the Fire pit)

About the ENC

Founded in 1972, the ENC is a fascinating combination of 15 California native plant communities, wildlife habitat, walking trails, and sustainably designed, LEED Platinum certified learning center. For over 45 years, the ENC has been shaped and caressed into a 5-acre landscape for learning, a sanctuary from life's pressures and a place of preservation and instruction. Serving over 28,000 students and thousands of visitors annually, the ENC is recognized as a leader in science and social science education providing opportunities for increasing our community's knowledge, understanding and appreciation of the natural world.

With a mission of providing quality education through hands-on experience with nature, the ENC inspires all generations to protect the natural world by serving as our community's foremost authority on ecological responsibility, sustainable practices and environmental education.  The ENC is a non-profit 501(c)-3 public benefit corporation.  For more information call 949-645-8489, or visit The ENC is located at 1601 16th St. in Newport Beach.