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Nature Newbies

Introducing our FREE nature newbies workshops designed for nature-curious individuals interested in building their confidence to explore outdoors and learn nature observation basics. No experience is necessary, all workshops will be introductory level with friendly and welcoming instructors. Deepen your connection with the natural world by slowing down and taking a closer look through the Art & Nature series, or get some steps in while walking in beautiful places (a.k.a. hiking) through the Introduction to Hiking series. All workshops are open to ages 14 and up. Snacks and supplies will be provided.

RSVPs are required. Please email info@friendsofthedunes.org or calling us at (707) 444-1397.

Art & Nature Series

Our Art & Nature series is perfect for those that want to slow down and tune into the wonders of nature. No previous art or outdoor experience is necessary for this three part series, introductory level instruction and supplies will be provided. Each workshop will cover beginning art techniques, an overview of supplies needed, and will incorporate time to practice and experiment with these new techniques. Snacks and some supplies will be provided, plus attendees will be entered into a raffle to win art supplies. Participants may sign up for individual workshops or the entire series. 

Journaling

OBSERVE

Nature Journaling Basics

September 24 from 10 am to 1pm

Humboldt Coastal Nature Center

The art of Nature Journaling requires us to slow down and take a closer look. We notice much more detail than if we had snapped a quick photo. Documenting our observations through art and writing also helps retain information. Join our friendly instructors as they share tips, techniques, and materials that help connect with our non-human neighbors by creating and maintaining a Nature Journal.

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EXPLORE

Watercolor in Nature

Water is essential to life, and also to art! As a versatile medium, watercolors are a great tool for creative depictions of our natural surroundings. During this workshop, explore beginner level painting techniques, learn about the different materials available, and practice new skills. Some beginner level materials will be provided, but please feel free to bring your own.

October 22 from 10 am to 1pm

Humboldt Coastal Nature Center

Pencil Sharpener

DISCOVER

Nature Sketching

Take your artistic nature observation to the next level with this workshop focused on nature sketching. Join experienced naturalist and artist, Maria Morrow, as she shares her expertise, tips, and favorite techniques. Paper, pencils, and erasers will be provided. Please feel free to bring your own materials as well.

November 19 from 10 am to 1pm

Humboldt Coastal Nature Center

Introdutction to Hiking

If you like to walk and enjoy nice views, you’ll love to hike!  The Introduction to Hiking series is perfect for those who want to get outside to explore outdoor areas, but aren’t sure where to start. Join us in a welcoming environment to learn about the fundamentals of hiking. These workshops will build off of each other, but they can also be taken independently depending on your prior knowledge and experience. Snacks will be provided and attendees will be entered into a raffle to win outdoor exploration supplies. Participants should be able to walk a moderate distance in soft sand while carrying their own supplies, such as water and extra layers of clothing. For those with limited mobility, please keep an eye out for our accessible hikes coming soon!

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Level 1

Hiking Basics

October 8 from 10 am to 1pm

Humboldt Coastal Nature Center

Hiking is as simple as walking, but it does help to be prepared when you are headed out on a trail. During this first workshop of the Introduction to Hiking series, we will cover hiking basics such as what to bring and wear, where to go, and how to gauge the length and difficulty level of hiking locations. After a short indoor tutorial, we will go on a slow and easy hike to the beach. This is a judgment-free zone, bring all of your hiking questions and we are here to help!

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Level 2

Observational Tools

New nature explorers may find themselves wondering what kind of trees are lining the trail, or the name of the bird that just crossed their path. During this workshop, our welcoming instructors will share some of their favorite tips and resources for safely observing and learning about our local plants and animals. No scientific or outdoor experience necessary, all you need is curiosity (and a smartphone helps as well). Be prepared for a short hike on soft sand to practice using these observational tools.

November 5 from 10 am to 1pm

Ma-le'l Dunes North

Reading a Compass

Level 3

Wayfinding & Navigation

One of the more intimidating aspects of hiking can be finding your way around without street signs and access to google maps. During this third workshop in the Introduction to Hiking series, we will cover basic navigation techniques such as reading maps and using a compass. After a brief indoor session to introduce these navigational tools, we will head out on the trail to put them to use! Be prepared for a moderate but slow paced hike in soft sand. 

December 3 from 10 am to 1pm

Samoa Dunes & Wetlands