Irvine Nature Center

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Irvine Nature Center
New center - front.jpg
Type nature center
Location 11201 Garrison Forest Road
Owings Mills, Maryland
Coordinates 39°25′59″N 76°46′05″W / 39.433°N 76.768°W / 39.433; -76.768Coordinates: 39°25′59″N 76°46′05″W / 39.433°N 76.768°W / 39.433; -76.768
Area 116 acres (0.47 km2)
Created 1975
Founder Olivia Irvine Dodge
Hiking trails 6 miles (9.7 km)
Website explorenature.org

Irvine Nature Center is a nature center in Owings Mills, Maryland.[1] The center, which is set on 116 acres (0.47 km2) of land in the Caves Valley Historic District, includes a 17,200-square-foot (1,600 m2) green exhibit hall, classrooms, outdoor classroom, amphitheater and trails. Irvine has 65,000 visitors a year.[2]

The center is renowned for holding green weddings.[3] There are also family nature programs, summer camps and the Nature Preschool. Irvine is one of the first in the country to hold a Nature Preschool Conference for educators looking to add nature to their education to the 3-5 year old set.

History[edit]

Irvine Nature Center was founded by Olivia Irvine Dodge in 1975 in an old barn on the grounds of St. Timothy's School in Stevenson, Maryland. Its purpose was to teach children about the vulnerability of the planet.[4]

Today, Irvine is the only private, non-profit nature center in the region. Its mission is educate and inspire current and future generations to explore, respect and protect nature.

The center relocated to Owings Mills in 2008.[5][6] The reason for the move was that St. Timothy's school, which owned the land of the Stevenson location, sold it. The state of Maryland, which had owned the current location, donated it to the center for its use.[7] The land was formerly part of the Rosewood Center. The current site has a diverse array of Piedmont habitats, including open wetlands, upland forest, meadow, forested wetlands and farmland, and includes also the headwaters of the Jones Falls and Gwynns Falls watersheds.

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