SEVEN PONDS NATURE CENTER
SPRING PROGRAMS for 2020
Spring is here! The trees are budding, the flowers are blooming, the birds are singing, and the frogs are croaking, chirping, and peeping. Visit the nature center to see the greening of Seven Ponds!
The cost for most of the programs listed below is included in the admission fee unless otherwise specified (general admission is free to members and children under 12 years of age).
Click on the program title to register online.
***ALL PROGRAMS THROUGH APRIL 12 HAVE BEEN CANCELLED***
Saturday, March 7, 10:00 AM - 11:30 PM
The days are getting longer and warmer, and the animals are “waking up.” Let’s see what signs we can find of their activities on this walk. Please register online or drop in the day of the walk.
Sunday, March 15, 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM
Erin go Bragh! Come out and create a special planter that you will fill with shamrocks to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. Cost is $5 per person. Please register online as space is limited.
Yoga at the Ponds - Peaceful Moon Yoga beginners/basic yoga class.
Wednesdays, March 18 through April 22, 6:00 PM – 7:00 PM
Unwind, rejuvenate and relax with Cat Minolli and the ‘Peaceful Moon’ series. These classes are designed for newcomers and beginning yoga students and/or those who wish to become re-acquainted with the practice. Participants will experience the mind, body, spirit connection while learning basic yoga poses in a serene environment. You don't have to be able to touch your toes or twist into a pretzel to participate, however many postures are done from a seated or prone position on the floor.
This gentle practice incorporates some aromatherapy and focuses on slowing down, reconnecting with the breath and body. Sessions will help participants release tension, improve flexibility, balance, and range of motion, and center and regroup for another week. Introduction to Sun Salutations will be included in the class. Participants should wear comfortable clothing and bring a yoga mat or a blanket. Pillows, additional blankets and any other "creature comforts" are also welcome. Drop in fee is $10; register for the six-week series for $50. Please register online or drop in the day of the class.
Friday, March 20, 7:30 PM - 9:30 PM
Light has exceeded dark and the wildlife is “rejoicing.” For this evening we will explore the vernal pools and forests looking for nocturnal critters as we are serenaded by the frogs. Please register online.
Land Stewardship Day
Come help with non-native invasive plant removal here at the nature center. Learn about these plants, and why it’s important to manage them on your own property. These days are great opportunities for community service hours and Master Gardener hours. Bring gloves and water.
Sunday, March 29, 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM
Spring has sprung and it makes for perfect weather for a stroll around the trails. Let’s see what nature has in store for us as it wakes up from a long winters nap. Please register online or drop in the day of the walk.
Wednesday, April 1, 8:00 AM
DESTINATION TO BE DETERMINED
No fooling – we’re going birding today! According to the calendar, spring will have arrived by April 1 – but in Michigan, Mother Nature doesn’t always check the calendar. We're keeping our plans flexible, so we can go where the birds are! We’ll plan on birding somewhere in the local area, exploring and discovering which birds have arrived. We should find waterfowl, we may find shorebirds, and we could pick up some early songbird migrants. All bird watching levels are welcome. Bring your binoculars and field guide. Come dressed for the weather, pack a few snacks, and be prepared for a birding adventure! This is a carpooling trip; plan for an 8:00 AM departure from the Seven Ponds parking lot. Please register online.
Saturday, April 4, 9:00 AM
All Seven Ponds members are welcome as we review the center's activities for the past year, honor outgoing board members, and elect new board members and officers.
Saturday, April 4, 3:00 PM
Join us for a salamander day of discovery at Jonathan Woods. We will be looking for many examples of the six species that reside in the rich woods while learning about their natural history and conservation. Meet at Seven Ponds and carpool to the site. Limit 12. Please register online.
Saturday, April 11th, 9:00 AM
Early morning is one of the best times to view wildlife on the lakes. Dress for the weather. Fee: $5.00 per person ($3.00 for members) Minimum: 5 years old to ride and 10 years old to paddle. Please register online by April 9th.
Saturday, April 18
1:00 PM Nature Discovery -Live Reptile and Amphibian Presentation
You won't want to miss this! Nature Discovery will be bringing live Michigan native herps.
3:00 PM Salamander Count a Jonathon Woods
We will be looking for many examples of six species who reside in the woods, learn about their natural history and conservation. Space is limited, please register online today. We will meet at the front desk and carpool to JW.
5:00 PM Singing Frog and Toad Survey
In Michigan, we have 13 species of frogs and toads. Listening for them is how this population is surveyed, too.
Wednesday, April 22, 8:00 AM
SUTHERLAND NATURE SANCTUARY & DeBUCK’S SOD FARM
Migration should be picking up by the third week of April, so we’ll head out to a nearby nature sanctuary to see what is moving through. Sutherland offers a nice mix of deciduous and coniferous forest, along with a marshy wetland traversed by a boardwalk. DeBuck’s Sod Farm is a private farm that allows birders (with permission) to scan the fields for various shorebirds, waterfowl, and songbirds that may be present. All bird watching levels are welcome. Bring your binoculars and field guide. Come dressed for the weather, including boots for muddy conditions, and pack a few snacks. This will be a carpooling trip; plan for an 8:00 AM departure from the Seven Ponds parking lot. Please register online.
Saturday, April 25, 1:00 PM
Seven Ponds Nature Center is partnering with the Polly-Ann Trail to host an interpretive dog walk. Join a naturalist to explore the trail with your best friend. Dogs must be well behaved, socialized, and kept on a 6 ft. leash at all times. Please register online.
Saturday, May 2, 10:00 AM
So many fun stories evolved with our native wildflowers. Mysterious, comical, and downright useful info will be discussed. Please register online or drop in the day of the walk.
Friday, May 8, 6:00 AM
Twilight is a great time to be out on the water. The animals are active and the slanted sunlight leaves a golden hue reflecting off the water. Fee: $5.00 per person ($3.00 for members) Minimum: 5 years old to ride and 10 years old to paddle. Please register online by May 7th.
Saturday, May 9, 11:00 AM
The wildflowers are just starting to show their faces. We will explore our trails and spend some time in our Woodland Wildflower Area to see what is growing. Please register online or drop in the day of the walk.
Wednesday, May 13, 7:00 AM
LAPEER STATE GAME AREA
The state game area offers a wide range of habitats – from grassy fields and wetlands, to dense brush and mature forests. This diversity of habitat provides refuge and feeding areas for a great variety of both migrant and resident songbirds. We’ll expect to find a good number of warblers, vireos, tanagers, orioles, sparrows, and more as we explore the area. All bird watching levels are welcome. Bring your binoculars and field guide, and be sure to wear footwear appropriate for spring conditions. This is a carpooling trip; plan for a 7:00 AM departure from the Seven Ponds parking lot. Please register online.
Saturday and Sunday, May 16 & 17
10:00 AM to 4:00 PM
Show the earth some love! We will have hands on activities from Owl Pellet Dissection to a Trail Mix Making Station. Crafts include Seed Bombs, Make Your Own Flower Press and more.
The Native Plant Sale will have a large selection of woodland and prairie flowers to purchase, with knowledgeable people to answer all your questions.
Stings will be having a Bake Sale and Re-sale Shoppe and Friends of Herbs will have teas, soup mix and more for sale too.
Spring Birding Trip to the Saginaw Bay Area
Wednesday, May 20, 5:00 AM – 8:00 PM (estimated return time)
Saginaw Bay is widely considered one of the finest birding areas in all of Michigan. The region is a known migrant route, and hotspots line the entire length of the shoreline of the bay. Our travels will have us arriving at Fish Point State Wildlife Area shortly after sunrise. Here we should find a wide range of migrating shorebirds, waders, and songbirds. From here we’ll work our way west, stopping next at the Joseph M. Soehnel Nature Trail in Hampton Township. We’ll enjoy our picnic lunch at Bay City State Recreation Area, then check out the trails at nearby Tobico Marsh. Our final stop will be Nayanquing Point State Wildlife Area, where we hope to round out our full day of birding with more shorebirds, songbirds, waders, and the marsh’s specialty: Yellow-headed Blackbird.
We will be using a 15 passenger van for this trip. Cost for this all-day trip is $35 for Seven Ponds members, $40 for non-members. Space is limited (12); please pre-register online. Birding on this trip will include a fair amount of walking throughout the course of the day. We will bring the nature center’s spotting scope and a cooler. Pack your own snacks and beverages, along with a picnic lunch. We’ll make a quick stop for dinner on-the-go on the ride back to Seven Ponds. Dress for the weather and don’t forget your binoculars and field guide.
Friday, May 22, 6:30 PM
Join us as we explore the world of botany and booze… as we’ll learn every great drink starts with a great plant. We will spend the evening exploring the woods of Seven Ponds discussing the plants’ botanical, medicinal, and culinary histories. We will use our new knowledge to make and sample botanical cocktails. All participants must be at least 21 years of age. Please bring an appetizer to pass. Fee: $20.00 ($17.00 for members) includes drink samples, recipes, and a “Tipsy Naturalist” glass. Space is limited. Please sign up online by May 11.
Saturday, May 23, 10:00 AM
Join us for a “hop” in the woods as we listen for the sounds of our frog and toad friends. We will identify our local frogs and toads by sound and if we are lucky we will get to see some of our hopping friends. Please pre-register online or sign-up the day of at the desk.
Monday, May 25, 9:00 AM-5:00 PM
We will be open on this holiday for you to come out with your picnic lunch and tour the grounds.
Wednesday, May 27, 7:00 AM
JONATHAN WOODS & RICHIE POND PRESERVE
For this late-May bird walk, we’ll explore two of the nature center’s satellite properties. A mature hardwood forest, Jonathan Woods is a 145-acre preserve that includes a large, leatherleaf bog and a cold water brook with a hemlock stand. Greatly affected by past glacial activity, the terrain here is rolling and hilly. Past bird walks here have turned up Red-headed and Pileated woodpeckers, Great Crested Flycatcher, Scarlet Tanager, and Northern Waterthrush, among many other birds. Before returning to the nature center we’ll make a stop at Richie Pond Preserve, a grassland area that includes a small marshy area along Richie Pond. Here we hope to find birds of the open grassland, including Bobolink and Eastern Meadowlark, along with nesting Eastern Bluebirds and Tree Swallows. Bring your binoculars and field guide, and be sure to wear footwear appropriate for spring conditions. This is a carpooling trip; plan for a 7:00 AM departure from the Seven Ponds parking lot. Please register online.
Friday, May 29, 9:00 PM
These beauties of the night are diverse in so many ways. On this walk we will talk about moths of all different kinds and set up “traps” to attract moths in for viewing. Cecropia moths will be emerging around this time of year. Maybe we will get the chance to see one or two. Space is limited please pre-register online.