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Want to register for a class?

Questions about classes?

Contact Steve Engel, Nature Program Supervisor, 503-681-6283 or steve.engel@hillsboro-oregon.gov.

Nature Classes at Jackson Bottom Wetlands Preserve

Located one mile south of downtown Hillsboro, the Preserve is composed of 635 acres of wetlands and upland forest accessible by four miles of hiking trails. A pollinator garden and water-wise demonstration garden are located next to the Nature Center, which is open from 10 am - 4 pm daily. It features an indoor classroom, nature store, interpretive displays including an actual bald eagle nest, restrooms and drinking fountains. Nature classes are designed for adults and teens who attend with an adult, unless otherwise noted. Most class sizes are limited, so register early!

Roving Naturalists at Jackson Bottom

These volunteers are out on the trails with a friendly smile, information on seasonal points of interest and answers to your questions. Check in with the front desk when you arrive to learn if a roving naturalist is on duty and where they might be found.

Mason Bee Cocoons.

Mason Bee Cocoon Cleaning Workshop
This workshop provides a quick overview of mason bees and their most common pest, the Krombein mite (also known as the pollen mite). Attendees are encouraged to bring their nesting devices to extract the cocoons and clean them with a dry sand process. Mason bee nesting trays used at Jackson Bottom Wetlands will also be available so attendees can get a hands on experience. Attendees will take home mason bee cocoons. 10 years - Adult.
Location: Jackson Bottom Wetlands Nature Center
Instructor: Ron Spendal
Course: 59327 | Saturday | 12/8 | 12 - 2 pm
Fee: $12 Resident, $8 Senior Resident, $18 Non-Resident, $15 Senior Non-Resident
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Photo of five types of twigs.
Winter Twig Identification
When the leaves are missing, what can you rely on to identify our common deciduous trees and shrubs? Learn the characteristics of twigs, bark, and fruit that distinguish salmonberry from ocean spray and alder from ash. This class begins indoors and then ventures outside where you can put your new-found knowledge to the test. 12 years — Adult.
Location: Jackson Bottom Wetlands Nature Center
Instructor: Steve Engel
Course: 6294 | Saturday | 1/5 | 1 - 3 pm 
Fee: Free, pre-registration required.
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Photo of a Gull.
Gull Identification
There is no such thing as a “Seagull” and yet there are a dozen species of Gulls in Oregon during winter. With the help of bird expert John Rakestraw learn how to identify gulls by their plumage, leg color, bill, and body size. Class includes a field trip by carpool. 16 years — Adult.
Location: Jackson Bottom Wetlands Nature Center
Instructor: John Rakestraw
Course: 6295 | Saturday | 1/12 | 9 am - 12 pm
Fee: $22 Resident, $27 Non-Resident, $17 Senior Resident, $24 Senior Non-Resident
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 Photo of a Barn Owl.

All About Owls
Owls have amazing adaptations that allow them to hunt at night and occupy a wide variety of habitats worldwide. This class answers all your questions about these fascinating creatures AND features LIVE OWLS as ambassadors and teachers, courtesy of PERCH, a non-profit dedicated to education about birds of prey. 12 years - Adult.
Location: Jackson Bottom Wetlands Nature Center
  Instructor: Steve Engel
  Course: 6297 | Wednesday| 1/23 | 7 - 8:30 pm Lecture and live owls.
  Fee: $14 Resident, $18 Non-Resident, $11 Senior Resident, $15 Senior Non-Resident
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Photo of Red-breasted Sapsucker.
Forest Birds in Winter
Song birds love the Pacific Northwest lowlands for the mild winters. We have many more species in winter than similar forests in colder parts of the country. This class focuses on how to identify our common species and how they survive the winter season. After an indoor presentation we investigate coniferous and deciduous forests at local parks to see what we can find. Class includes field trip by carpool. 16 years — Adult.
Location: Jackson Bottom Wetlands Nature Center
Instructor: Laura Whittemore
Course: 6296 | Saturday | 1/26 | 10 am - 1 pm
Fee: $22 Resident, $27 Non-Resident, $17 Senior Resident, $24 Senior Non-Resident
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Photo of a Great Horned Owl.

Owling Field Trip
We venture forth into the night searching for local owl species. With luck we will encounter one or more species perched in view and/or calling to their mate. No guarantees of success but entering into their night-time environment is the only way to find out! Transportation provided. 12 years - Adult. 
Location: Jackson Bottom Wetlands Nature Center
Instructor: Steve Engel
Course: 6298 | Saturday | 1/26 | 4 - 8 pm
 Fee: $40
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Photo of Mason Bee Cocoons in tray.
Introduction to Mason Bees
Learn the basics of mason bees. This class is designed to provide an understanding of the mason bee, its needs, and its usefulness. It provides the information necessary to advance into learning how to raise mason bees. 12 years - Adult.
Location: Jackson Bottom Wetlands Nature Center
Instructor: Ron Spendal
Course: 5072  | Saturday | 2/9 | 1 - 3 pm
Fee: $12 Resident, $16 Non-Resident, $8 Senior Resident, $14 Senior Non-Resident
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 Photo of a Crane.

Cranes & Raptors of Sauvie Island Field Trip
Sandhill cranes gather in noisy flocks and hawks, eagles, and falcons hunt for their prey. Geese, ducks, and swans are also there and a coyote may make a sly appearance. Transportation is provided. Limited to 10 participants. 12 years - Adult.
Location: Meet at Fair Complex/Hillsboro Airport Park & Ride
Instructor: Steve Engel
Course: 6304 | Saturday | 2/9 | 10 am - 3 pm
  Course: 6306 | Sunday | 2/17 | 10 am - 3 pm
  Fee: $50
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Photo of Holly Robinson.
Storytelling
Make your stories come alive! By working with existing fables and legends we discover how and why they capture our imaginations and speak to our hearts and minds. Understanding story structure, such as the classic Hero’s Journey, helps you make a story your own and one you can tell over and over. Holly Robison is a professional storyteller and inspiring instructor who delights in introducing people to the art of being a storyteller. Children must register with an adult. 12 years - Adult.
Location: Jackson Bottom Wetlands Nature Center
Instructor: Holly Robison
Course: 6301 | Saturday | 2/16 | 12:30 - 4 pm 
Fee: $35 Resident, $45 Non-Resident, $27 Senior Resident, $40 Senior Non-Resident
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Photo of an owl perched in a tree.
¡Búhos increíbles!
Observa de cerca a los búhos y aprende de estas fascinantes criaturas de primera mano. Muchos se hacen estas preguntas sobre los búhos: ¿pueden voltear su cabeza en un círculo completo? ¿Todos cazan solo de noche? ¿Qué tal ven en la oscuridad? Si alguna vez has tenido curiosidad acerca de los búhos, esta es tu oportunidad de descubrir la verdad sobre ellos, cortesía de PERCH, una organización sin fines de lucro dedicada a la educación sobre las aves de rapiña. Para todas las edades.
Location: Centro de la naturaleza Jackson Bottom
Instructor: Alina Blankenship
  Course: 6299 | sábado | 23/2 | de 1 a 2 pm | Presentación de búhos en vivo, en español.
  Fee: $8
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 Photo of an owl.  Amazing Owls!
See live owls up-close and learn about these fascinating creatures first hand. People always wonder: can owls turn their heads all the way around? Do all owls hunt only at night? How well can they really see in the dark? If you have ever wondered about owls here is your chance to find out the truth about them, courtesy of PERCH, a non-profit dedicated to education about birds of prey. All ages.
Location: Jackson Bottom Wetlands Nature Center
Instructor: Alina Blankenship
  Course: 6300 | Saturday | 2/23 | 2 - 3 pm | Live Owls, Presentation in English.
  Fee: $8
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Photo of a Mason Bee.
Raising Mason Bees
Mason bees are easy and interesting to raise. Nesting needs and options are presented as well as the care of the bee during their life cycle. Following some simple guidelines you can start, grow, and maintain a mason bee population for pollinating your garden and landscape. 12 years — Adult.
Location: Jackson Bottom Wetlands Nature Center
Instructor: Ron Spendal
  Course: 6310 | Saturday | 3/9 | 1 - 3 pm
  Fee: $12 Resident, $16 Non-Resident, $8 Senior Resident, $14 Senior Non-Resident
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 Photo of a Yellow-rumped Warbler. Spring Birding Tune-up!
Spring, the most fascinating time of year for bird watching. Tune-up with this special class designed to improve your birding skills and increase your awareness of migration patterns, songs, and tricky identifications. Suitable for intermediate to advanced bird watchers. 16 years — Adult.
Location: Jackson Bottom Wetlands Nature Center
Instructor: Laura Whittemore
  Course: 6312 | Sat | 3/16 | 10 am - 1 pm
  Fee: $22 Resident, $27 Non-Resident, $17 Senior Resident, $24 Senior Non-Resident
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 Photo of a Bewicks Wren. Little Brown Birds
How do you tell all those little brown birds apart? Sparrows, finches, and wrens are among the vexing identification challenges faced by new bird watchers. Let John Rakestraw, local guide and author, help you figure out how to identify them. 16 years — Adult.
Location: Jackson Bottom Wetlands Nature Center
Instructor: John Rakestraw
  Course: 6317 | Saturday | 3/23 | 9 am - 12 pm
  Fee: $22 Resident, $27 Non-Resident, $17 Senior Resident, $24 Senior Non-Resident
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 Photo of an English Ivy Basket. Basket Weaving with English Ivy
Weave a simple basket using invasive English Ivy (Hedera helix). This class features a NEW creel style basket. Help restore and maintain native habitat by removing the ivy from a local park then recycle the vines into a functional work of art. In the morning we learn how to gather ivy and how to prevent it from growing back. Then we gather indoors and learn to weave our baskets into the afternoon. 16 years — Adult.
Location: Jackson Bottom Wetlands Nature Center
Instructor: Peter Bauer, Rewild Portland Staff
  Course: 6462 | Sunday | 3/24 | 9 am - 4 pm
  Fee: $40 Resident, $50 Non-Resident, $35 Senior Resident, $45 Senior Non-Resident
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 Holes in tree branch done by birds. Spring Break Tracks and Birds
A special offering for parents with children out of school and looking for something fun to do together. Spend time outdoors and learn about birds and how to identify animal tracks. Two programs offered back to back, sign-up for one or both! Both children and adults must register. 8 years — Adult.
Location: Jackson Bottom Wetlands Nature Center
Instructor: Steve Engel
  Course: 6320 | Wednesday | 3/27 | 11 am - 12:30 pm Animal Tracking
  Course: 6322 | Wednesday | 3/27 | 1 - 2:30 pm Birding
  Fee: $10
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 Photo of Bird on a Branch. Birding by Ear
Learn to identify birds by their songs in Laura Whittemore’s “Birding by Ear” class. Tune up your ears with an indoor presentation then go outside to listen carefully to the songs and calls around us. April classes focus on resident species. 16 years — Adult
Location: Jackson Bottom Wetlands Nature Center
Instructor: Laura Whittemore
  Course: 6324 | Saturday | 4/6 | 10 am — 1 pm
  Course: 6325 | Sunday | 4/14 | 10 am — 1 pm
  Course: 6328 | Saturday | 4/27 | 10 am — 1 pm
  Fee: $22 Resident, $27 Non-Resident, $17 Senior Resident, $24 Senior Non-Resident
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 Drawing of wildflowers. Field Sketching
Learn to see the world in a different way through attention to details, patterns, and relationships in nature and capture what you see in a sketchbook journal. Only a few materials are needed to record your outdoor adventures in quick lines, colors, and notes. 16 years — Adult.
Location: Jackson Bottom Wetlands Nature Center
Instructor: Alice Hill
  Course: 6332 | Saturday | 4/13 | 1 — 4 pm 
  Fee: $22 Resident, $27 Non-Resident, $17 Senior Resident, $24 Senior Non-Resident
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 Photo of a Swallow perched on top of a bird house. Help the Swallows!
Dozens of tree swallows make their nests in the boxes we provide at Jackson Bottom. A finished nest will have many feathers incorporated into it. Where do the birds find these feathers? All over the place! Today we will give them a hand by providing feathers for them to snatch out of the air and take to their nests. 6 years — Adult.
Location: Jackson Bottom Wetlands Nature Center
Instructor: Steve Engel
  Course: 6336| Saturday | 4/13 | 12 — 1:30 pm
  Fee: $10
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 Photo of a Swallow perched on top of a bird house. ¡Ayuda a las golondrinas!
Decenas de golondrinas hacen sus nidos en las cajas que proporcionamos en Jackson Bottom. Un nido terminado tendrá muchas plumas. ¿En dónde encuentran estas plumas las golondrinas? ¡Por todas partes! Hoy las ayudaremos proporcionándoles plumas para que las arrebaten del aire y se las lleven a sus nidos. Edad mínima: 6 años.
Location: Centro de la naturalezaJackson Bottom
Instructor: Steve Engel
  Course: 6337 | sábado | 13/4 | de 10 a 11:30 am
  Fee: $10
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 Photo of a Least Sandpiper. How to Identify Shorebirds
The shorebird group includes plovers, sandpipers, oystercatchers, whimbrels, and willets, just to name a few. At first glance they all look the same but once you know what differences to look for and why, identifying these fascinating birds becomes much easier! Take the class and/or sign up for the field trip to the coast. 12 years — Adult.
Location: Jackson Bottom Wetlands Nature Center
Instructor: Steve Engel
  Course: 6333 | Wednesday | 5/1 | 7 — 8:30 pm
  Fee: $14 Resident, $18 Non-Resident, $11 Senior Resident, $15 Senior Non-Resident
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 Photo of three Dowitcher's. Shorebird Migration Field Trip
Each spring thousands of shorebirds fly north along our coastline on their way to Arctic nesting grounds. Being in the right place at the right time provides the opportunity to view them up close. This field trip is timed to the best tides available during the peak of the shorebird migration. Transportation is provided, limited to 10 participants. 12 years — Adult.
Location: Meet at Fair Complex/Hillsboro Airport Park & Ride
Instructor: Steve Engel
  Course: 6335 | Saturday | 5/4 | 10 am — 6 pm 
  Fee: $80
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Fee: $14 Resident, $18 Non-Resident, $11 Senior Resident, $15 Senior Non-Resident
Fee: $14 Resident, $18 Non-Resident, $11 Senior Resident, $15 Senior Non-Resident
Fee: $40
Fee: $40

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