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 2018 Stewardship Education Events

Event Location Date Time
Stewardship Winter Potluck Paint Creek Cider Mill Jan 18 6:30 pm
Native Bees talk – Caleb Wilson Paint Creek Cider Mill Jan 25 6:30 pm
Rain Garden Talk – Matt Demmon Paint Creek Cider Mill Feb 8 6:30 pm
Controlled Fire Public Meeting Paint Creek Cider Mill Feb 22 6:30 pm
Fire Crew Volunteer Training Paint Creek Cider Mill Feb 24 9 am-2 pm
Earth Day Woodcock Watch Cranberry Lake Park Apr 20 7:00 pm

Ecology & Conservation of Metro Detroit’s Bees: Protecting Wild Pollinators in Your Own Backyard

  • Caleb Wilson, Graduate Student, Oakland University
  • Thursday, January 25, 6:30 pm at the Paint Creek Cider Mill

Did you know that there are over 4,000 species of bees in the U.S., at least 450 of which are native to Michigan? Caleb Wilson will explore the fascinating world of wild bee species, debunking common myths and explaining our current understanding of recent, rapid bee population declines. His research focuses on understanding how the local environment at farms and community gardens impacts wild bee communities. Caleb will share how his research into the bees of the metro Detroit area can help us better understand and protect pollinators in our own back yards. Caleb Wilson is a Master’s student in Biology at Oakland. He began his research on urban bees while working toward a BS in Environmental Sciences at the University of Iowa. Caleb is an avid gardener and conservationist, working and volunteering in Japanese gardens, prairie restorations, student farms, and native plant gardens.

Mary Jamieson Bombus impatiens
Bombus impatiens on Allium flower. Photo by Caleb Wilson.

Water as a Resource in Your Landscape

  • Matt Demmon, Professional in Ecological Restoration and Native Landscaping, PlantWise LLC
  • Thursday, February 8, 6:30 pm at the Paint Creek Cider Mill

In the past, storm water has been viewed as something to be disposed of
as quickly as possible. This viewpoint has been changing significantly in
recent years. Matt Demmon from PlantWise, LLC, an Ann Arbor based
ecological restoration and native landscaping company, will share from
his 10 years of experience with rain gardens, rain barrels, green roofs,
detention basins, and more. Learn about the aesthetic, ecological, and wildlife
benefits realized by slowing down and capturing water in your landscape.

L-west rain garden
Residential rain garden. Photo by Matt Demmon, CNSP.

Controlled Fire: Why and How Do We Use Prescribed Burns?

  • Ben VanderWeide, Natural Areas Stewardship Manager, Oakland Township Parks and Recreation
  • Thursday, February 22, 6:30 pm at the Paint Creek Cider Mill

Regular prescribed fire benefits many of our forests, meadows, and wetlands. Learn more about reasons for using controlled fire in our natural areas, preparations for controlled fire, and how a controlled fire crew conducts a burn. We will also review the Oakland Township parks scheduled for controlled fire in 2018.

Volunteer Fire Crew

Volunteer Fire Crew Training

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 or 248-651-7810 ext. 401 by Thursday, February 22.

Watch the Woodcock Dance: an Earth Day Observation

  • Alex Kriebel, Stewardship Specialist, Oakland Township Parks and Recreation
  • Friday, April 20, 7:30 pm at Cranberry Lake Park south parking lot

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.

American Woodcock. Who wouldn’t want to see a cool bird like this? Photo by Flickr user guizmo_68. Used under Creative Commons License cc-by-2.0

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