Irvine Nature Center’s mission is to provide hands-on natural science and environmental educational programs for both children and adults highlighting Maryland’s Piedmont Region habitat and wildlife. These programs include school field trips and classroom presentations, after-school and Saturday programs for pre-school and elementary age children, teacher workshops, summer camps, scout programs and volunteer naturalist training.
Its hands-on interactive exhibit, live animal habitats and terrapin nursery were developed in conjunction with the Maryland Science Center.
The Nature Preschool at Irvine is a licensed pre-school for children between the ages of 3 and 5 years old emphasizing early childhood education through a nature-based curriculum.
The Nature Center Building is situated on a five-acre parcel within the total 116-acre property. This 11,000 square foot new building combines the organization’s administrative headquarters and educational facilities into a single structure. Constructed using the US Green Building Council’s LEED guidelines as a frame of reference, the project incorporated many sustainable building materials, systems and construction practices. These include geothermal heat pump systems, an aerobic and anaerobic wastewater treatment system, a vegetative green roof, low VOC (toxic emissions) materials, energy and water efficient products, pervious paving and the use of recycled and salvaged materials.