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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 Education 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.

Photo of the Tualatin River.
Tualatin River Watershed Series
What makes your home your home? Washington County holds 13 percent of Oregon’s population. Learn what makes it such a dynamic place to live through the eyes of a geographer, biologist and a farmer. Sign up separately for lecture and/or field trip offerings. Field trips are limited to 10 participants and transportation is provided. 12 years - Adult.
Location: Jackson Bottom Wetlands Education Center
Instructor: Steve Engel
Course: 57557 | Wednesday | 1/24 | 7 - 8:30 pm | Class I | Physical Setting
Course: 57558 | Wednesday | 2/21 | 7 - 8:30 pm | Class II | Important Bird Areas
Course: 57559 | Wednesday | 3/28 | 7 - 8:30 pm | Class III | Agriculture
Fees: $12 Resident, $8 Senior Resident, $18 Non-resident, $15 Senior Non-resident
Field Trip: 57560 | Saturday | 1/27 | 10 am - 2 pm | Class I
Field Trip: 57561 | Saturday | 2/24 | 10 am - 2 pm | Class II
Field Trip: 57562 | Saturday | 3/31 | 10 am - 2 pm | Class III
 Field Trip Fee: $30
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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 ID gulls by their plumage, leg color, bill and body size. Class includes a field trip by carpool. 16 - Adult. 
Location: Jackson Bottom Wetlands Education Center
Instructor: John Rakestraw
Course: 57563 | Saturday | 1/20 | 9 am - 12 pm
Fee: $20 Resident, $15 Senior, $25 Non-Resident, $22 Senior
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Photo of an owl sitting in a tree. Owls of Oregon
Owls have amazing adaptations that allow them to rule the night, communicate with one another and occupy a variety of habitats. Fifteen species occur in Oregon and chances are there is an owl living near you! A Wednesday evening program is followed by a Saturday field trip. Register for each one separately. 12 - Adult.
Location: Jackson Bottom Wetlands Education Center
Instructor: Steve Engel
Course: 57564 | Wednesday | 1/17 | 7 - 8:30 pm | Lecture
Fee: $12 Resident, $8 Senior, $18 Non-resident, $15 Senior
Course: 57565 | Saturday | 1/20 | 4 - 8 pm | Field Trip
Field Trip Fee: $20 Resident, $15 Senior, $25 Non-Resident, $22 Senior
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Photo of a Mason Bee on yellow flowers. 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 - Adult.
Location: Jackson Bottom Wetlands Education Center
Instructor: Ron Spendal
Course: 57566 | Saturday | 2/10 | 1 - 3 pm
Fee: $12 Resident, $8 Senior, $18 Non-resident, $15 Senior
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Photo of Jackson Bottom wetlands. History of Jackson Bottom
A wildlife preserve at the edge of a large city is something special. How did that come to be? Local author, Tonya Macalino, fills us in on the history of Jackson Bottom. 12 - Adult.
Location: Jackson Bottom Wetlands Education Center
Instructor: Tonya Macalino
Course: 57567 | Wednesday | 2/15 | 7 - 8:30 pm
Fee: $12 Resident, $8 Senior, $18 Non-resident, $15 Senior
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Photo of a bald eagle perched in a tree. Raptors & Cranes of Sauvie Island
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 - Adult.
Location: Jackson Bottom Wetlands Education Center
Instructor: Steve Engel
Course: 57568 | Saturday | 2/17 | 10 am - 3 pm
  Course: 57742 | Saturday | 2/10 | 10 am - 3 pm
Fee: $40
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Photo of a Mason bee nesting station. Raising Mason Bees
Mason bees are easy and interesting to raise. Nesting needs and options will be presented as well as the care of the bee during their life cycle. Following some simple guidelines you will be able to start, grow and maintain a mason bee population for pollinating your garden and landscape. 12 - Adult.
Location: Jackson Bottom Wetlands Education Center
Instructor: Ron Spendal
Course: 57569 | Saturday | 3/3 | 1 - 3 pm
Fee: $12 Resident, $8 Senior, $18 Non-resident, $15 Senior
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Photo of a small brown bird. Little Brown Birds
How do you tell all those little brown birds apart? Sparrows, finches, 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 - Adult.
Location: Jackson Bottom Wetlands Education Center
Instructor: John Rakestraw
  Course: 57586 | Saturday | 3/3 | 9 - 12 pm
  Fee: $20 Resident, $15 Senior, $25 Non-Resident, $22 Senior
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Photo of a small bird perched on the branches of a tree. 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 - Adult.
Location: Jackson Bottom Wetlands Education Center
Instructor: Laura Whittemore
  Course: 57570 | Saturday | 3/10 | 10 am - 1 pm|
  Fee: $20 Resident, $15 Senior, $25 Non-Resident, $22 Senior
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Photo of a guitarist strumming a guitar. Welcome Spring Jam Session
Gather on our beautiful deck to enjoy sights and sounds of spring. Bring your favorite instrument or pastime such as painting, cribbage, knitting, puzzles and help us celebrate the return of spring. All ages, children must be accompanied by an adult.
Location: Jackson Bottom Wetlands Education Center
Instructor: Steve Engel
  Course: 57571 | Saturday | 3/24 | 1 - 4 pm
  Fee: Free – drop-ins welcome.
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Photo of a red-headed bird. Animal 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 - Adult.
Location: Jackson Bottom Wetlands Education Center
Instructor: Steve Engel
  Course: 57572 | Tuesday | 3/27 | 11 am - 12:30 pm | Animal tracks
  Course: 57573 | Tuesday | 3/27 | 1 - 2:30 pm | Birds
  Fee: $10
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Photo of a song bird. The Mystery of Bird Song
How do birds learn to sing such beautiful songs? And why do they produce so many different types of vocalizations? David Lukas will help answer these questions and share some insights into the magical world of bird song—from the ways we study bird song, to the anatomy of how birds produce sounds, to some of the social behaviors that explain common bird vocalizations. David Lukas is a professional naturalist and well-known author. His many books include the definitive guidebooks Bay Area Birds, Sierra Nevada Birds, and Sierra Nevada Natural History and Language Making Nature, which explores the art of creating new words for speaking of the natural world. 12 - Adult.
Location: Jackson Bottom Wetlands Education Center
  Instructor: David Lukas
  Course: 57585 | Wednesday | 4/4 | 7 - 8:30 pm
  Fee: $10
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Photo of a beaver in the water chewing on a twig. Beavers
The animal that brought the first white explorers to the area is abundant in the Tualatin River watershed. Learn about their adaptations, behaviors and social life. Evening program followed by weekend field trip. Register for each one separately. 12 - Adult.
Location: Jackson Bottom Wetlands Education Center
Instructor: Steve Engel
  Course: 57574 | Wednesday | 4/18 | 7 - 8:30 pm
  Fee: $20 Resident, $15 Senior, $25 Non-Resident, $22 Senior
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Photo of a drawing of lavendar wild flowers. 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 - Adult.
Location: Jackson Bottom Wetlands Education Center
Instructor: Alice Hill
  Course: 57576 | Saturday | 4/21 | 1 - 4 pm
  Fee: $22 Resident, $16 Senior, $26 Non-Resident, $20 Senior
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Photo of a bird perched in a tree. 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 class focuses on resident species. The May 26 class (summer session) focuses on migrant species. 16 - Adult.
Location: Jackson Bottom Wetlands Education Center
Instructor: Laura Wittemore
  Course: 57577 | Saturday | 4/14 | 11 am - 2 pm
  Fee: $20 Resident, $15 Senior, $25 Non-Resident, $22 Senior
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Photo of a bird flying over water. Loon Migration Outing
Each spring thousands of Common, Pacific and Red-throated Loons fly north along our coastline to their nesting grounds. We can view them from the mouth of the Columbia River and feel the thrill of spring all around us. Transportation provided for this special outing, limited to 10 participants. 16 - Adult.
Location: Jackson Bottom Wetlands Education Center
Instructor: Steve Engel
  Course: 57578 | Friday | 4/27 | 9:30 am - 6 pm
  Course: 57743 | Friday | 5/4 | 9:30 am - 6 pm
  Fee: $75

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