Educational Opportunities

Please come out and join us for one of our nature events!  Updated information and any last minute changes to these events can be found at this website. Details for each event are found below the table.

Winter/Spring 2019 Stewardship Education Events

Event Location Date Time
New Zealand Mud Snails: A Threat to Michigan’s Rivers and Lakes Paint Creek Cider Mill, 4480 Orion Rd January 17 6:30 pm
Stewardship Winter Potluck Paint Creek Cider Mill, 4480 Orion Rd January 31 6:30 – 8 pm
Monarch Butterfly Ecology and Conservation Paint Creek Cider Mill, 4480 Orion Rd February 7 6:30 pm
Volunteer Prescribed Fire Crew Training Paint Creek Cider Mill, 4480 Orion Rd February 23 9 am to 2:30 pm
Watch the Woodcock Dance: A Celebration of Spring Bear Creek Nature Park, 740 W. Snell Rd. April 26 7:30 pm

New Zealand Mud Snails: A Threat to Michigan’s Rivers and Lakes

  • Emily Bovee and Kennedy Phillips, Aquatic Ecology Lab at Oakland University
  • January 17, 6:30 pm at the Paint Creek Cider Mill

The Great Lakes region contains 20% of Earth’s freshwater, but this enormous ecosystem is threatened by aquatic non-native species. These non-native species have altered every level of the food web and reduced the diversity of native species. Annually, aquatic invasive species impose costs of over 100 million dollars in the Great Lakes region. The New Zealand Mud Snail is the latest invasive species. Initially found in the western United States in the 1980s, the New Zealand Mud Snail has recently invaded Michigan rivers, including the Au Sable River, an internationally renowned trout stream. This presentation will discuss the impacts of aquatic invasive species in the Great Lakes and focus on New Zealand Mud Snails, including current research at Oakland University to better understand the impacts of these invaders. Emily Bovee and Kennedy Phillips are graduate students in the Aquatic Ecology Lab at Oakland University.

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Natural Areas Stewardship Winter Potluck

  • Thursday, January 31, 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm at the Paint Creek Cider Mill

Trying to shake that winter gloom? Come join us for a celebration of last year’s achievements as we warm ourselves with some hearty conversation and great food. Learn about upcoming event and projects while connecting with others involved in our programs. RSVP appreciated to bvanderweide@oaklandtownship.org or 248-651-7810 ext. 401 by Tuesday, January 29.

 

Monarch Butterfly Ecology and Conservation

  • Nate Haan, Michigan State University Department of Entomology
  • Thursday, February 7, 6:30 pm at the Paint Creek Cider Mill

Monarch butterflies are one of the most interesting and recognizable insects in the world. Every year they migrate thousands of miles, from our backyards in Michigan to mountains in central Mexico. They also have fascinating interactions with their toxic milkweed host plants. Unfortunately, monarchs have declined in recent decades and the overwintering population in Mexico is only around 20% of its former size. Nate Haan is a postdoctoral research associate at Michigan State University who does research on monarch butterflies. He will share about their natural history and ecology, as well as some of the current research on their decline and what we can do to save them.

 

Volunteer Fire Crew Training

  • Saturday, February 23, 9:00 am to 2:30 pm at the Paint Creek Cider Mill

If you are interested in volunteering with our prescribed fire crew, join us for this training workshop. We will cover reasons for using prescribed fire, preparations for conducting a fire, necessary tools, roles of each burn crew member, and ignition patterns. Weather permitting, we will do a small demonstration burn after lunch. New crew members are required to attend; past volunteers are encouraged to attend as a refresher. Snacks provided, but please bring your own lunch. RSVP required to bvanderweide@oaklandtownship.org or 248-651-7810 ext. 401 by Thursday, February 21.

Heidi dripping fire
A volunteer uses a drip torch during a prescribed burn at Bear Creek Nature Park.

Watch the Woodcock Dance: A Celebration of Spring

  • Friday, April 26, 7:30 pm at Bear Creek Nature Park, 740 West Snell Road

We’ll savor s’mores and watch “timberdoodles” do their cool aerial mating dance! While we wait for sunset, we’ll enjoy snacks, a spring evening, and some cool facts about woodcock biology. As the light fades we will watch with hushed anticipation for this avian spectacle. Bring a comfortable lawn chair, binoculars, and layers to add as the night cools down.

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