Irvine Natural Science Center

Behind the Scenes

January 17, 1999|By Karin Remesch

Mission: To inspire appreciation and respect for the natural world, increase awareness of environmental issues and encourage sustaining the Earth's ecosystems. The center is located on a 234-acre site in Stevenson with an abundance of natural resources including gardens, streams and nature trails. The facility houses a classroom, live and interactive exhibits, a hands-on museum, children's corner and gift shop. Throughout the year, the center offers outdoor education for students, public programs, a 10-week summer camp, teacher education and classroom outreach programs.

Latest accomplishment: The center received a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency grant for promoting innovative environmental education. The $56,500 grant was awarded for the center's Natural Connections program, which offers Baltimore City elementary school children hands-on outdoor learning experiences. Irvine staff and volunteers teach high school students to lead the schoolyard ecology lessons for the younger students.

On the horizon: An initiative to emphasize the Jones Falls Watershed. High school students will study local streams, earn student service learning hours and map their stream-quality findings on Irvine's Web site (http://www. explorenature.org/). Beginning at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 21, Irvine starts a series of three lectures on the Jones Falls Watershed that continue the third Thursday of each month. And April 17, the center will take part in the annual Jones Falls Clean-Up.

About the center: Membership: 1,400 households. Attendance: 13,000 annually. Operating budget: $550,000. Endowment: $750,000.

Where and when: 8400 Greenspring Ave., Stevenson, on the campus of St. Timothy's School. Hours: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday, noon to 4 p.m. Sunday. Call 410-484-2413.

Lynn Jordan, president of the board of directors: "I cannot imagine a more exciting or genuinely satisfying place to be part of than Irvine. On the forefront of local environmental education, we are continuing to build on our 25-year experience by expanding our programs and envisioning an expanded role with a new site and facility within the next few years."

Members of the board

Nancy B. Allchin

Jeanne B. Baetjer

William Balfour

Joan Slatkin Barton

Angus Burton

Bruce D. Cornbrooks

Anne LaFarge Culman

Marion DeGroff

Gary Heath

Suzanne B. Hopkins

John B. Howard

Robert H. Johnson

Ellen H. Kelly

Cornelia R. Levering

Mary Sue McCarthy

Cecily Chilton Matthai

Julie Matthews

Richard Pais

Donald S. Pettit

Gregory C. Pinkard

Ursula Powidzki

William Sasser

C. Van Leuven Stewart

Judy Van Dyke

Dr. Polly Walker

Thomas J. S. Waxter III

William H. Winstead III

Peggy Wolf

Jean R. Worthley

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