Thursday, December 30, 2010
Yesterday I attended a fun workshop called Growing Up Wild to sharpen my 3 -5 year old teaching skills. It was great because to teach an educator how to teach a 3 year old, we got to act like 3 year olds. Here are some great tracks that we noticed during the day:
Here is some information about the classes
(Some classes may include a story or craft.):
February: (ABC Savenger Hunt and Nature Walk)
Tuesday, 8 and 22
Thursday, 10 and 17
March: (squirrels and creek adventure)
Tuesday, 8 and 22
Thursday, 17 and 24
April: (rain and wildflowers)
May: (garden and bones)
Tuesday, 3 and 17
Thursday, 5 and 19
All of our classes are held at the Environmental Education Center. All children must be accompanied by an adult. Younger siblings welcome! The cost per class is $5 (CR) or $7 (NCR). $1 discount with the Playmore Card.
Please call or email us for more information!
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
People would ask Chris and I why we don't offer any programs for teenagers. All of our programs stop at 14 years old, with our Mountain Explorations trip. Well, here is your chance to be part of a brand new program called: T.I.N. - TEENS IN NATURE
Here is the run down on this amazing program:
Who: All teenagers, ages 14-18 yers old
What: T.I.N. - Teens in Nature 2011 Leadership and Job Skills Program in Nature
Where: We always meet at the Environmental Education Center at West Point on the Eno Park. Depending on the day we will take a van to different volunteer sites to some of Durhams finest green organizations.
Why: To gain leadership and job skills, boost your college application and/or resume, make new friends, get community service hours
When (all programs are from 10am-4pm):
January 29: This is a mandatory session where everyone get to know each other through leadership and team building games at West Point on the Eno Park
Choose from 5 of the 6 topics (or you can choose all 6)
February 12: Animal research and conservation at the Duke Lemur Center
March 12: Forest Management at Hill Demonstration Forest with NCSU Department of Forestry and Environmental Resources
March 26: Community Garden and Reuse/Recycling at St. Phillips Community Garden and The Scrap Exchange
April 23: Community Enrichment with the Durham Bike Cooperative
May 7: Stream Monitoring with Haw River Assembly and City of Durham, Stormwater Services May 14: Sustainability and Farming at a working farm in Rougemont, NC
This is also the last day so we will have a celebration at West Point on the Eno Park.
How: Fill out our simple application at the park office at West Point on the Eno or email me at email@example.com
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
Monday, December 20, 2010
Join us next Tuesday, December 28th for a day of great of hiking the trials at Hanging Rock State Park. We will see waterfalls, cliffs, and unique mountain plant life.
We will leave West Point on the Eno Park at 7:30am and return at 5:30pm. All you need to bring with you are warm clothes, a snack, a lunch, a water bottle and your sense of adventure. Please call or email us to sign up. 919-471-1623, option 2 or firstname.lastname@example.org
(This Wednesday is the last day to sign up)
Friday, December 17, 2010
But the tracks are so long and squirrels have tiny feet.
Here is something to think about: The snow from the morning turned into rain which will eventually make the tracks disappear. Before they do that, the tracks will expand.
Lo and behold, it is a squirrel.
On Tuesday, December 28th we will be heading to Hanging Rock State Park. The trip is for 10-14 year olds (sorry parents). Once we are at Hanging Rock we will hike, see waterfalls, cliffs and the unique mountain plant life. We will leave from West Point on the Eno Park at 7:30am and return at 5:30pm. The cost is $13 for city residents and $18 for non-city residents. (If you have a playmore card the cost will be $12/$17, respectively)
Thursday, December 16, 2010
It is a beautiful morning at West Point on the Eno. When I got here at 8am, I was the first one to make new tracks in the snow. I can't wait to check out the trails to see who has been out and about this morning. Stay tuned for more photos.
Thursday, December 9, 2010
On Friday there will be a Night Hike from 8pm-10pm. Bundle up because it is going to drop to 28 degrees. You may also bring a flashlight for your comfort.
Then on Saturday morning from 10am-12pm the program will be Winter Preparations. Join me on a hike as we talk about what the flora and fauna of the park are doing during this cold time of year.
I look forward to seeing you this weekend.
Please call 919-471-1623, option 2 if you have any questions.
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
Monday, November 22, 2010
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Also, we have not forgotten about the other programs we led this past weekend, we are just getting our pictures together before we tell you more about what happened on those programs. So much is going on right now. As always you can click the Environmental Education Link on the right to see what programs we have coming up and where they meet.
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Here are our Habitat Heroes after 2 hours of pulling Japanese Stilt Grass:
This group has committed to caring for a piece of land at West Point for 3 years. They hope to bring it back to its natural state:
Here is some general information about invasive and exoctic plants and how to go native.
What is a native plant?
Plants that were here in North America before European settlement.
What is an exotic plant? Also called non-native plants are those not orginally located in North America or in a specific region like North Carolina. In NC we have exotic plants from Asia or western Europe because these regions have similar climates and environmental conditions to those found in the states.
How did the exotic plants get here?
While some have ended up here accidentally, we brought many of them here ourselves. For example, Japanese Stilt grass was used as packing material around Porcelain when it was brought here by boat in the early 1900s. Did you know that Japanese Honeysuckle is not a native plant? You may enjoy the sweet drops of honey from the blooms, but just remember that planting that vine instead of a native vine like Jessamine, can be detrimental to native plants and wildlife.
Native plant and an alternative:
Invasive plants can be attractive to wildlife, but not good for them. Why?
Invasive plants can be attractive to wildlife, but they may not provide the best nutrition for them. Areas that are covered in one (like the picture above with our Habitat Heroes) or a few exotic plants can be harmful because habitats with low plant diversity are poor for wildlife.
GO NATIVE! What does that mean?
By planting native plant species into your landscape you will help take care of the wildlife by providing the best nourishment. Through careful planning you can plant a landscape that is beautiful, low maintenance and will be in harmony with the environment. \
Monday, November 15, 2010
We also saw this Red-backed salamander under a log:
And here are two other environmental educators showing the children two different mushrooms. If you look closesly you can see the red one and white one:
One of the environmental educators had her late uncles HUGE magniying glass for the kids to use. They really loved it!
Saturday afternoon, (4) cub scouts from Pack 137 became Habitat Heroes by removing Japanese Stilt Grass. They will do this 3 times a year for 3 years to ensure that they bring back a natural habitat for the flora and fauna. Keep your web brower stationed to us, to see pictures of our Habitat Heroes and to learn about non- native plants and how to go native.
Then on Saturday night (16) participants came out to Lake Michie to join us for the Starry Starry Night program. We had a clear night which allowed for some fun stories about the constellations. Also, Saturday was the beginning of the Leonids Meteor Shower which will last till November 20th but be at its peak on November 17th and 18th. We had quite the show of shooting stars. Through the telescope we were able to see the craters of the quarter moon and Jupiter with three of its moons.
DON'T FORGET: December 21st is the Winter Solstice and a Total Lunar Eclipse.
Sunday was another fun sunny day that started out with a historical program called the History of Spruce Pine Lodge and the surrounding area. We were joined by (4) people who had a chance to see where the old Bahama Road was located and why the town is called Bahama. You will have to join us another time when we offer this program to see the old road bed, but I will let you know here, how Bahama got its name. It was named after three prominent families that lived in the area: the (Ba)ll, (Ha)rris, and (Ma)gum. This became it's name in the late 1890's after the owners of the railroad didn't like the original name: Hunkadora.
The last program of the weekend ended with (12) people who came out to learn about Winter Life. On this hike we talked about winter tree identification, winter animal activity and played a few games.
Throughout the week, I will talk more about Habitat Heroes, History of Spruce Pine Lodge and Winter Life.