Educational Opportunities

Please come out and join us for one of our 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. You’ll need to pre-register for these events at oaklandtownship.recdesk.com

Please join us for one of our 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. You’ll need to pre-register for these events at oaklandtownship.recdesk.com

Winter and Spring 2023 Stewardship Education Events

EventLocation DateTime
Natural Areas Stewardship Winter PotluckPaint Creek Cider Mill, 4480 Orion RdJanuary 126 to 8 pm
WINTER TALK: “Manoomin: The Story of Wild Rice in Michigan,” Barbara J. BartonOakland Township Hall, 4393 Collins Rd, Rochester, MI 48306January 266:30 pm
WINTER TALK: “Creating Community: Native Plants, Pollinators, and People,” Marilyn Trent, Rochester PollinatorsOakland Township Hall, 4393 Collins Rd, Rochester, MI 48306February 166:30 pm
Prescribed Fire Crew Volunteer TrainingPaint Creek Cider Mill, 4480 Orion RdFebruary 189 am to 2:30 pm
Bird Nest Monitoring TrainingPaint Creek Cider Mill, 4480 Orion RdMarch 232 to 3:30 pm
Birders at Draper
Wednesday bird walks are a great way to meet other nature-minded people.

Natural Areas Stewardship Winter Potluck

  • Thursday, January 12, 2023. 6 to 8 pm.
  • Paint Creek Cider Mill, 4480 Orion Rd, Rochester, MI 48306

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 natural areas stewardship programs. RSVP appreciated to bvanderweide@oaklandtownship.org or 248-651-7810 ext. 401 by Tuesday, January 10.

WINTER TALK – Manoomin: The Story of Wild Rice in Michigan

  • Barbara J. Barton
  • Thursday, January 26, 2023. 6:30 pm
  • Oakland Township Hall, 4393 Collins Rd, Rochester, MI 48306

Author Barbara J. Barton will share her book Manoomin: The Story of Wild Rice in Michigan. She will introduce the audience to the history, culture, biology, economics, and spirituality surrounding this sacred plant. She begins her story in the days before European colonization and travels in time through the logging and industrialization eras. Barton explores the worlds of the Anishinaabek and the colonizers as she contrasts their different perspectives and relationships with Manoomin. Participants also learn about Michigan’s historic wild rice beds, why many of them vanished, and how both tribal and non-tribal people have sought to restore and protect Manoomin across the landscape.

Barb Barton is an award-winning singer songwriter, author, and filmmaker. She is also an endangered species biologist, beekeeper, and wild foods forager. Her book Manoomin: The Story of Wild Rice in Michigan is the winner of a Michigan History Award, Michigan Notable Book Award, American Library Association Choice List of Outstanding Academic Titles, and Independent Publishers Bronze Medal.


WINTER TALK: “Pollinator Conservation in Our Backyards and Local Parks”

  • Marilyn Trent, Rochester Pollinators
  • Thursday, February 16, 2023. 6:30 pm
  • Oakland Township Hall, 4393 Collins Rd, Rochester, MI 48306m

Since 2019, Marilyn Trent and a host of dedicated volunteers with Rochester Pollinators has been actively building community by inviting citizens to engage in action to support ecology in their own backyards. They are doing this by creating sustainable native habitats for Michigan butterflies, birds and bees.

Their primary focus is on introducing native plants into the landscape in both private and public gardens. These are absolutely necessary for pollinator life cycles. To support and spur this mission onward, Rochester Pollinators has offered numerous educational programs addressing why native plants and pollinators are important and ways to support them, offering opportunities for hands-on work to restore native habitat and providing various ways to connect citizens with quality native plants and seeds for their own projects. To date, they have: Supported the planting of 6 public gardens in Rochester that feature native plants, gathered over 1000 subscribers to their newsletter and 1700 followers on social media, given away thousands of milkweed plants and seeds, facilitated the planting of thousands more native plants in the Rochester Area, worked with over 100 volunteers, shared numerous practical ways to support pollinators through the seasons, engaged in outreach and support in numerous other local communities, partnered with other local institutions and organizations to pool expertise, resources, and plan larger projects

In this presentation, Marilyn Trent will provide a brief overview of the work of Rochester Pollinators, and share practical actions that citizens anywhere can take to make a difference. Marilyn Trent is the founder of Rochester Pollinators. She has been a businesswoman for over three decades, running her own design agency, Trent Creative, that has offices in both Rochester and Detroit. She is currently serving on Rochester City Council; is an Advisor for the Executive Committee and Board of Directors of the Rochester Chamber of Commerce; is Conservation Chair of the DAR Stoney Creek Chapter; is on the Flagstar Advisory Committee; and is the North Oakland Wild Ones’ PR Committee Chair.


Volunteer Fire Crew Training

  • Saturday, February 18, 2023, 9:00 am to 2:30 pm
  • Paint Creek Cider Mill, 4480 Orion Road, Rochester, MI 48306
  • Register required at oaklandtownship.recdesk.com

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. New crew members are required to attend; past volunteers are encouraged to attend as a refresher. Snacks provided, but please bring your own lunch. 

New volunteer fire crew members
Fire Crew Volunteers Walter, Alex, Jon, and Dena (L-R)

Bird Nest Monitoring Training

  • Thursday, March 23, 2 pm to 3:30 pm
  • Paint Creek Cider Mill, 4480 Orion Rd, Rochester, MI 48306

Become a citizen scientist and make a difference!  Learn how to safely and properly monitor bird nests, both in nest boxes and other nest types. By monitoring a nearby nest, you can help scientists study the biology of North America’s birds and how it might be changing over time. Every spring and summer, volunteers from across the country visit nests and report their findings to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s NestWatch program. For more about NestWatch, please visit www.nestwatch.org. Some nest box monitoring opportunities may be available in our parks in 2023, but you can also monitor nests in your own backyard. Register on RecDesk.

An Eastern Bluebird pair on a nestbox with an insect in the female’s beak.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s