Learn About Nature Nearby

We protect what we love – We love what we know – We know what we

are introduced to and can explore!

Education is a major challenge for a lot of folks this fall, so we created this video and webinar series as some extra tools, particularly for those needing a little creative assistance in getting kids (and learners of all ages!) outdoors. The focus of this video series is on getting to know the nature around you and building the tools to learn more. We’ll be talking about how to read the history of your surroundings, using a dichotomous key to identify trees, and finding your way in the woods with map and compass! For each video, we’ve made an accompanying activity sheet to take into the Preserve with you on your own adventure!

Watch the videos below, download the worksheets, and then head out to the woods to explore on your own or with your pod. Don’t forget to share pictures and stories of your Nature Adventures with us when you’re back!

If you know of someone who could use these resources – teachers, parents, or other caregivers – please pass this email on and let them know there’s more coming.

Nature Adventures with Rob and Andrea

Join Rob from Michigan State University-Extension and Andrea from UPLC on adventures in the Vielmetti-Peters Reserve!

Download the worksheets directly from the YouTube page or here:

Compass Directions Cheat Sheet

Compass Course Worksheet

Deciduous Key

Confer Key

Ramblin’ with Rosie at the Bayou

Jo and her faithful companion, Rosie, ramble through the Chocolay Bayou Nature Preserve  teaching us about the plants that call the Preserve home!

Birding 101 at the Bayou

Dr. Tom Noren – retired hospital head, local birding expert, and Bayou volunteer Extraordinare – guides you through the Bayou teaching you tips and tricks for getting started with the exciting art of birding! While the birds we “got” on this video are spring birds, the same principles apply for year-round birding. 

BioBlitz – And Beyond!

Want to take an opportunity to explore the outdoors and get to know the plants, trees, and critters while contributing to local community science efforts? Join our Bioblitz and Beyond* project! Twelve organizations across the state joined together in July 2020 to recruit volunteers to visit one of their properties, using iNaturalist to catalog various flora and fauna. We recorded four lunch-in classses, covering topics like the basics of a bioblitz and how to use iNaturalist, Tree and Plant Identification, animal tracking, and what to do if you find Non-Native Invasive Species while you hike.

A bioblitz is a community science-led tally of living things in a given area. Multiple conservation organizations across the state are hosting bioblitz collection sites on local properties. The species tallies are collected by taking and uploading pictures of what you have seen on the property into the designated project on the iNaturalist site. It’s easy! All you need is an iNaturalist account, a camera and a wifi or cell connection in the field or at home for uploading! Participation during the bioblitz is on your own, at your own pace, at any time.