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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 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.

   
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: 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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 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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Photo of the Camas plant.



Flora of Jackson Bottom
Jackson Bottom has many habitats that are home to a wonderful array of plants, from low growing wild ginger and trillium to towering and flowering Pacific dogwood. Learn basic concepts for categorizing plants and key identifying features for many forbs, shrubs, and trees encountered on our walk. Plan to walk two miles at a leisurely pace. This class takes place outdoors. Hand-outs will be provided. Children must be accompanied by an adult. 10 years — Adult.
Location: Jackson Bottom Wetlands Nature Center
Instructor: Steve Engel & Tom Brandt
  Course: 7213 | Saturday | 5/11 | 10 am — 1 pm  
  Fee: $18 Resident, $22 Non-Resident, $14 Senior Resident, $20 Senior Non-Resident
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Photo of male Common Yellow Throat bird.
Birding by Ear

Learn to identify the songs and calls of birds like the Swainson’s thrush, black-headed grosbeak, lazuli bunting, yellow warbler and more. These summer visitors arrive during the month of May to nest and raise their young. The June class also explores the language of bird families as many of our resident species are tending their young just out of the nest. Each class is a separate offering, sign up for one or both. 16 years — Adult.   

Location: Jackson Bottom Wetlands Nature Center
Instructor: Laura Whittemore
  Course: 7214 | Saturday | 5/25 | 10 am — 1 pm 
  Course: 7215 | Saturday | 6/15 | 10 am — 1 pm
  Fee: $22 Resident, $27 Non-Resident, $17 Senior Resident, $24 Senior Non-Resident
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Photo of bee on yellow flowers.
Local Native Pollinators
Learn about the interesting variety of local native pollinators and when to look for them in our area. Information on how to attract them to your garden and landscape is provided. The instructor has been raising and studying mason bees at Jackson Bottom for four years and his classes on our local insects are always information packed and interesting. Children must be accompanied by an adult. 10 years — Adult.
Location: Jackson Bottom Wetlands Nature Center
Instructor: Ron Spendal
  Course: 7216 | Saturday | 6/8 | 10 am — 12 noon
  Fee: $12 Resident, $18 Non-Resident, $8 Senior Resident, $15 Senior Non-Resident
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Photo of Great Blue Heron.
Great Blue Heron Walks

View the Owl Woods Heron Colony. Last year 37 pairs of herons and 20 pairs of Egrets nested in this stand of Douglas fir trees on the east edge of Jackson Bottom. Enjoy close-in viewing of nesting herons, egrets, and heron offspring. Be prepared for a two mile (round-trip) leisurely walk over mostly flat terrain. Dress for the weather, the trails may be muddy. Bring binoculars. A variety of other birds including bald eagles, osprey, and songbirds may be seen. Children must be accompanied by an adult. 10 years — Adult.

Location: Jackson Bottom Wetlands Nature Center
Instructor: Rick Balazs
  Course: 7217 | Saturday | 6/8 | 9 am — 12 noon
  Course: 7218 | Saturday | 6/15 | 3 am — 6 pm
  Fee: $5
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Photo of raptors in a nest.
Nesting Raptors of Jackson Bottom

Osprey, bald eagle, American kestrel, and red-tailed hawks all nest in or near Jackson Bottom. Learn about the natural history of each of these birds of prey and take a walk where several of them may be observed. Class begins indoors and spends up to two hours on the trails. Children must be accompanied by an adult. 12 years — Adult.

Location: Jackson Bottom Wetlands Nature Center
Instructor: Steve Engel
  Course: 7219 | Saturday | 6/29 | 10 am — 1 pm
  Fee: $18 Resident, $22 Non-Resident, $14 Senior Resident, $20 Senior Non-Resident
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Photo of swallows on a birdhouse.
Swallow Families of Jackson Bottom
There are over 50 tree swallow families nesting at Jackson Bottom Wetlands Preserve. Now is the time of year when baby swallows are outgrowing their nest boxes and emerging into a world of flight. Soon they will be flying all the way to Mexico for the winter! Come learn about swallow natural history and take a walk to observe these industrious little birds that eat their weight in insects every day! Children must be accompanied by an adult. Children under 12 years free. All ages.
Location: Jackson Bottom Wetlands Nature Center
Instructor: Steve Engel
  Course: 7220 | Saturday | 7/13 | 10 am — 11:30 am
  Fee: $9
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Photos of swallows on a birdhouse.

Familias de Golondrinas de Jackson Bottom

Hay más de cincuenta familias de golondrinas anidando en Jackson Bottom Wetland Preserve. Hoy es el tiempo del año cuando los bebés de golondrinas están superando el tamaño de sus nidos y están emergiendo a un mundo de vuelo. ¡Pronto estarán volando todo el camino hasta México por el invierno! Ven y aprende más sobre la historia natural de las golondrinas y da un paseo para observar los parajitos laboriosos que pueden comer su peso en insectos todos los días! Niños acompañados por un adulto son bienvenidos, y la entrada es gratuita para menores de 12 años. Para todas las edades.

Location: Jackson Bottom Wetlands Nature Center
Instructor: Steve Engel
  Course: 7221 | Sábado | 7/13 | 6 — 7:30 pm
  Fee: $9
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Instructor canoeing on the Tualatin River.
Canoe the Tualatin River!

Have you ever wondered what the world looks like floating down the Tualatin River? During the hottest part of the summer experiencing the cool shade and refreshing water of the river is like a trip to another planet. Great blue herons and belted kingfishers can be seen while a variety of songbirds call and sing from the overhanging vegetation. The river banks also are home to beaver, otter, mink, muskrat, nutria, and turtles. No experience necessary. All equipment and instruction is provided. Children must be accompanied by an adult. 12 years — Adult.

Instructor: Steve Engel
Location: Meet at Rood Bridge Park boat launch
  Course: 7222 | Saturday | 7/13 | 2 — 4 pm
  Location: Meet at Farmington Road boat launch
  Course: 7226 | Thursday | 8/22 | 6 — 8 pm
  Fee: $45
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Photo of three shorebirds.
Fall Shorebird Identification Class

Learn the basic principles of shorebird identification in this combination classroom and local field trip experience. Between July and October a dozen or more species of shorebirds pass through Oregon and this class prepares you to recognize them all, wherever your fall birding may take you. 16 years — Adult.

Location: Jackson Bottom Wetlands Nature Center
Instructor: John Rakestraw
  Course: 7223 | Saturday | 8/3 | 9 am — 12 noon
  Fee: $22 Resident, $27 Non-Resident, $17 Senior Resident, $24 Senior Non-Resident
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Photo of dragonfly.
Dragonfly Identification Workshop
A one-day workshop for beginning and intermediate dragonfly lovers. An indoor presentation on general life history, anatomy, and behavior of the common species of the area is followed by a field trip into the Preserve to look for dragonflies. In previous years we’ve seen between 13 and 18 species. The instructor has studied and presented on dragonflies and damselflies of the Pacific Northwest for over 23 years. 16 years — Adult.
Location: Jackson Bottom Wetlands Nature Center
Instructor: Jim Johnson
  Course: 7224 | Saturday | 8/10 | 11 am — 4 pm
  Fee: $35 Resident, $40 Non-Resident, $27 Senior Resident, $30 Senior Non-Resident
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Photo of Spotted Sandpiper.
Oregon Coast Field Trip

You have studied your shorebirds, now travel to the coast to witness the southbound migration of these and other avian world wanderers. We travel by van to key estuaries on the north Oregon coast where thousands of sandpipers rest and feed. This trip is timed to the full moon high tide to ensure the best shorebird viewing opportunities. 16 years — Adult.

Location: Meet at Hillsboro Airport MAX Station
Instructor: Steve Engel
  Course: 7225 | Saturday | 8/17 | 9 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
Location: Meet at Rood Bridge Park boat launch
Location: Meet at Rood Bridge Park boat launch

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