The kids and I have been serving as volunteers at Fenner Nature Center over the last couple of weeks. I wanted to write this note to let you know of some exciting things going on over at the center. The new directors are here, Jim and Carol McGrath of Nature Discovery, have come on board with Fenner. They bring years of nature and wild life experience. Their enthusiasm and knowledge are a welcome sight bringing new animals, new programs and a little updating to boot.
I hope each of you will take advantage of the following opportunities as they are gems. I don't know about you but I want Fenner to be around for many generations. It's time we utilize this valuable resource to ensure that it's doors remain open for many many years to come.
If you are looking for a safe place to volunteer as a family, this may be the place you are looking for. To get your foot in the door, they are having a work day on Saturday March 14th 9am-12pm. Dress ready to work outdoors. I hope to see you there!
P.S. The following events were taken from the Fenner newsletter. Want to be added to the once monthly email, stop by Fenner and add your name to the bright pink paper. That way you won't miss a thing.
LIVE AT FENNER: All About Bluebirds
Sunday, March 15, 1:00pm.
$4/person. $2 for members, at the door.
Forty years ago, the Eastern Bluebird was considered
rare. Today, however, this beautiful thrush is a common
sight in rural landscapes as well as in city parks –
including Fenner! In this informative Powerpoint
presentation, find out what caused their precipitous
decline and how an educated public helped restore
populations to healthy numbers once more. Fenner
naturalist Jim McGrath will also discuss bluebird ecology,
including foraging and nesting behavior, and talk about
what you can do to make your yard or neighborhood more
habitable to them.
After the presentation, Chris Hull, a long-time Fenner
volunteer-naturalist who has erected and maintained
bluebird nesting boxes on the property, will take
participants on a guided bluebird walk.
LIVE AT FENNER: Vernal Ponds Awaken
Sunday, March 29, 1:00pm.
$4/person. $2 for members, at the door.
Vernal or ephemeral ponds are the most biologically
rich habitats in Michigan, yet over three quarters of
them have been destroyed. As soon as the ice melts, a
host of life explodes in the vernal waters, including
breeding frogs, salamanders and a dizzying array of
invertebrate life. Fenner director and naturalist Carol
McGrath will show Powerpoint photos in
combination with live specimens to help participants
become more intimate with the awakening, happening
now, of this amazing but delicate ecosystem.
At the presentation’s conclusion, a table of post-thaw
vernal pond life, including several species of frogs,
salamanders and aquatic invertebrates will be available for viewing and up-close inspection.
FUN FRIDAYS: March into Spring!
March 6, 13, 20, 27 from 10:30-11:30am
$6/parent & 1 child ($2/each additional child), $4/parent & 1 child for Fenner members
It’s an early learning experience for children up to 6 years old with a parent. Get a group of friends
with young ones together and come over to Fenner for a nature lesson with a hands-on activity in our
updated cozy little ones learning center. We now have more live animals, lots of soft learning toys,
books and magazines. On nice days we’ll include a short interpretive walk to learn about interesting
things that are happening in nature right now, as winter brightens toward spring. Coffee and tea will
be available for adults. Call or email us to sign up. Drop-ins welcome, too.
MAPLE SYRUP FESTIVAL: Saturday & Sunday, March 20 & 21, 11am to 4pm
After an especially long and snowy winter, the occurrence of this year’s vernal equinox is something
to celebrate. This year’s annual event features more stuff to do than ever! Here are some…
* Regularly scheduled guided “maple-sugaring” walks.
* Regularly scheduled guided “birding by ear” walks (bring binoculars!).
* Live Birds of Prey program, featuring different raptors each day (small entry fee).
* Live, interactive Michigan Reptiles & Amphibians exhibit, featuring over 30 species!
*Nesting box exhibit.
* Wildlife artists and crafters tables.
* Face-painting and kids’ crafts.
* Pancake finger-foods that include (you guessed it) maple syrup.
* More food and drink…
The festival is FREE. Bring your family and friends, and don’t forget the camera!