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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!

 Climate Change Sign

 

Climate Change in Oregon
This series of classes explores the science behind current climate related events and theories and looks at some of the ways that a changing climate is now, and may in the future, impact life in Oregon and other locales. The goal of the series is to increase understanding, empowerment, and accountability for the individual. More details available at registration. 16 years — Adult.
 
Location: Jackson Bottom Wetlands Nature Center
Instructor: Steve Engel and guest speakers
  Course: 8359 | Wednesday | 12/11 | 7 — 8:30 pm — What's Next
  Fee: $12 Resident, $8 Senior Resident, $18 Non-Resident, $15 Senior Non-Resident
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 Harbor Seal Marine Mammals of Oregon
Just in time for the south bound migration of the mighty Gray Whale this evening class explores the world of whales, seals, and sea lions that occur just off, and sometimes on, our coastline. Get introduced to the six marine mammal species you can expect to find easily and several more that require extra effort and or luck. 12 years — Adult.
Location: Jackson Bottom Wetlands Nature Center
  Instructor: Steve Engel
  Course: 8184 | Wednesday | 12/4 | 7 — 8:30 pm
  Fee: $12 Resident, $8 Senior Resident, $18 Non-Resident, $15 Senior Non-Resident
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 Animal Tracks on Tee-Shirt Trackify Your Tee Shirt!

Trackify your own tee-shirt, handkerchief, or other cloth item with life-size tracks of wild animals! A perfect gift for the wildlife lover on your holiday list! Life-size animal track stencils are provided, plus fabric paint and brushes; bring your own light-colored cotton or cotton-blend tee shirt or other item of clothing to decorate. 6 years — Adult.

Location: Jackson Bottom Wetlands Nature Center
  Instructor: Steve Engel
  Course: 8187 | Saturday | 12/7 | 10 am — 1 pm
  Fee: $10 Resident, $15 Non-Resident
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 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 in this important aspect of mason bee caretaking. Attendees will take home their own mason bee cocoons. 10 years — Adult.

Location: Jackson Bottom Wetlands Nature Center
  Instructor: Ron Spendal
  Course: 8181 | Saturday | 12/14 | 12 — 2 pm
  Fee: $12 Resident, $8 Senior Resident, $18 Non-Resident, $15 Senior Non-Resident
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Photo of a twig.
Winter Twigs

The natural world is mostly dormant and quiet in the depths of winter. Deciduous trees and shrubs drop their leaves, ceasing photosynthesis until spring. You may think it is difficult to identify these plants in winter, but each species has telltale characteristics you can learn to recognize. Naturalist Ivan Phillipsen helps you get your bearings in the winter woods with information on the bark, buds, and overall shapes of leafless trees and shrubs. Some species covered will be big leaf maple, red alder, Oregon white oak, beaked hazelnut, and many more! 12 years ‒ Adult.

Location: Jackson Bottom Wetlands Nature Center
  Instructor: Ivan Phillipsen
  Course 8911: Saturday | 1/11 | 10:30 am ‒ 1:30 pm
  Fee: $12 Resident, $16 Non-Resident, $8 Senior Resident, $14 Senior Non-Resident
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Bird Fossil
Rise of the Birds: 200 Million Years of Avian Evolution

Since birds arose in the Jurassic Period they have become incredibly diverse and successful, spreading to every part of the planet. Take a tour of bird evolution, from their dinosaur origin to the present-day processes of hybridization and genetic divergence among populations. Topics include the origin of feathers, adaptations for flight, adaptive radiation, beak adaptation, flightlessness, and population genetics. 12 years ‒ Adult.

Location: Jackson Bottom Wetlands Nature Center
  Instructor: Ivan Phillipsen
  Course 8898: Wednesday | 1/15 | 7 ‒ 8:30 pm
  Fee: $12 Resident, $16 Non-Resident, $8 Senior Resident, $14 Senior Non-Resident
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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 local non-profit dedicated to education about birds of prey. 12 years ‒ Adult.

Location: Jackson Bottom Wetlands Nature Center
  Instructor: Alina Blankenship, Steve Engel
  Course 8889: Wednesday | 1/22 | 7 ‒ 8:30 pm | Lecture and live owls
  Fee: $12 Resident, $16 Non-Resident, $8 Senior Resident, $14 Senior Non-Resident
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Owl sitting 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, Steve Engel
  Course 8894sáb. | 1/2 | de 1 a 2 pm | Presentación de búhos en vivo, en español
  Fee: $8
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Great Horned Owl.
Incredible 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 local non-profit dedicated to education about birds of prey. All ages.

Location: Jackson Bottom Wetlands Nature Center
  Instructor: Alina Blankenship, Steve Engel
  Course 8890Saturday | 2/1 | 2:30 ‒ 3:30 pm | Live Owls ‒ Presentation in English
  Fee: $8
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Mason Bee
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 8901Saturday | 2/8 | 1 ‒ 3 pm
  Fee: $12 Resident, $16 Non-Resident, $8 Senior Resident, $14 Senior Non-Resident
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Map of Animal Migrations.
Animal Migrations

Birds do it, insects do it, mammals do it, and even fish do it! Migrate, that is. Why? How? Where? When? A light-hearted look at migration in the wild kingdom, from spectacles to secretive movements that many animals make in order to survive and thrive. 12 years ‒ Adult.

Location: Jackson Bottom Wetlands Nature Center
  Instructor: Steve Engel
  Course 8891Wednesday | 2/12 | 7 ‒ 8:30 pm | Birds
  Course 8903Wednesday | 3/25 | 7 ‒ 8:30 pm | Fish & Insects
  Course 8909Wednesday | 4/15 | 7 ‒ 8:30 pm | Mammals
  Fee: $12 Resident, $16 Non-Resident, $8 Senior Resident, $14 Senior Non-Resident
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Sandhill Crane
Field Day - Sauvie Island

In this wildlife haven, sandhill cranes gather in noisy flocks and hawks, eagles, and falcons hunt for their prey. Geese, ducks, and swans are there and a coyote may make a sly appearance. We visit three viewing areas that offer windows into this wild world. Transportation is provided. Limited to 10 participants. 12 years ‒ Adult.

Location: Meet at Fair Complex/Hillsboro Airport Park & Ride
  Instructor: Steve Engel
  Course 8895: Saturday | 2/15 | 10 am ‒ 3 pm
  Course 8907: Sunday | 3/22 | 10 am ‒ 3 pm
  Fee: $50
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Mason Bee Pollinator Nesting Station.
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 8904Saturday | 3/7 | 1 ‒ 3 pm
  Fee: $12 Resident, $16 Non-Resident, $8 Senior Resident, $14 Senior Non-Resident
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Lichens and Moss.
Lichens, Mosses, and Ferns

The forests of Oregon are famous for being carpeted in lush layers of lichens, mosses, and ferns. These primitive organisms are diverse and abundant in our region and play crucial roles in forest ecosystems. From providing food and shelter for animals to nutrients for the soil. Learn about the fascinating microcosm of lichens and simple plants, the key differences among the groups, and how to recognize our most common species. 12 years ‒ Adult.

Location: Jackson Bottom Wetlands Nature Center
  Instructor: Ivan Phillipsen
  Course 8896: Saturday | 3/14 | 10:30 am ‒ 1:30 pm
  Fee: $12 Resident, $16 Non-Resident, $8 Senior Resident, $14 Senior Non-Resident
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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 8902Saturday | 3/21 | 9 am ‒ 12 pm
  Fee: $22 Resident, $27 Non-Resident, $17 Senior Resident, $24 Senior Non-Resident
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Person writing in Nature Journal.
Nature Journaling

Discover a new way to look at Nature around you. Learn to loosely draw subjects that interest you while making careful observations. Record what you observe and describe your feelings, perceptions, or whatever you choose by combining drawing, painting, and written descriptions. Express yourself in your personal journal. 13 years ‒ Adult.

Location: Jackson Bottom Wetlands Nature Center
  Instructor: Alice Hill
  Course 8897Saturday | 3/21 | 1 ‒ 4 pm
  Fee: $22 Resident, $27 Non-Resident, $17 Senior Resident, $24 Senior Non-Resident
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Singing bird perched on a tree branch.
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 8906: Saturday | 3/28 | 10 am ‒ 1 pm
  Fee: $22 Resident, $27 Non-Resident, $17 Senior Resident, $24 Senior Non-Resident
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Birding singing while sitting 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 and early migrants. A May 30 class (summer session, mark your calendars!) focuses on neo-tropical migrants that arrive throughout May. 16 years ‒ Adult.

Location: Jackson Bottom Wetlands Nature Center
  Instructor: Laura Whittemore
  Course 8892: Saturday | 4/4 | 10 am ‒ 1 pm 
  Course 8893: Saturday | 4/25 | 10 am ‒ 1 pm 
  Fee: $22 Resident, $27 Non-Resident, $17 Senior Resident, $24 Senior Non-Resident
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Hand drawn picture of geese.
Wonder of Drawing Birds

Learn how to draw birds and forever enjoy making new discoveries about the world of birds surrounding you. Drawing focuses your attention in new and unexpected ways. The greatest reward comes from opening your mind’s eye to all nature has to offer. 13 years ‒ Adult.

Location: Jackson Bottom Wetlands Nature Center
  Instructor: Alice Hill
  Course 8910: Saturday | 4/4 | 1 ‒ 4 pm
  Fee: $22 Resident, $27 Non-Resident, $17 Senior Resident, $24 Senior Non-Resident
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Geese at Baskett Slough.
Field Day ‒ Ankeny & Baskett Slough National Wildlife Refuges
These Willamette Valley refuges offer a variety of habitats and an even greater variety of birds. A class and field trip in one, this field day focuses on the dynamic spring season when winter residents are preparing to leave and summer breeders are arriving. Transportation is by carpool. 16 years ‒ Adult.
Location: Meet at Trimet Park & Ride SW Travelers Lane, Tigard, OR
  Instructor: Laura Whittemore
  Course 8908: Saturday | 4/11 | 8 am ‒ 5 pm
  Fee: $54 Resident, $65 Non-Resident, $40 Senior Resident, $60 Senior Non-Resident
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Trail camera captures a mink.
Trail Camera Craft

Did you hear something in the backyard? Curious who has been visiting your compost pile? Want to get up-close photos without disturbing wildlife? Placing a camera trap can give you a glimpse into the secretive world of wildlife. This class covers types of trail cameras available, where and how to place them to get the best pictures, and slideshow of photos from the trail. Part of the class takes place outdoors. 16 years ‒ Adult.

Location: Jackson Bottom Wetlands Nature Center
  Instructor: Seth Winkelhake
  Course 8899: Saturday | 4/18 | 10:30 am ‒ 2:30 pm
  Fee: $22 Resident, $27 Non-Resident, $17 Senior Resident, $24 Senior Non-Resident
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Shore Birds
Shorebird Ecology and Identification

The shorebird group includes plovers, sandpipers, oystercatchers, whimbrels, and willets, just to name a few. Many species in this diverse group breed far to the north and migrate through Oregon in late April and early May. Learn what to look and listen for in order to tell them apart and then venture into the Preserve to practice and hone your new skills. 12 years ‒ Adult.

Location: Jackson Bottom Wetlands Nature Center
  Instructor: Steve Engel
  Course 8900: Saturday | 5/2 | 10 am ‒ 1 pm
  Fee: $22 Resident, $27 Non-Resident, $17 Senior Resident, $24 Senior Non-Resident
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Dowitcher Trio
Field Day – Oregon Coast

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 close-up. This trip is timed to the best tides available during the peak of the spring 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 8905: Thursday | 5/7 | 9:30 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
Course: 8357 | Wednesday| 10/9 | 7 — 8:30 pm Current Climate Impacts
Course: 8357 | Wednesday| 10/9 | 7 — 8:30 pm Current Climate Impacts
Course: 8357 | Wednesday| 10/9 | 7 — 8:30 pm Current Climate Impacts
Course: 8357 | Wednesday| 10/9 | 7 — 8:30 pm Current Climate Impacts

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