Contact information below. The following are some of the classes and events for the Grass River Natural Area for August. All classes are held at the Grass River Natural Area Center 6500 Alden Highway Bellaire. Cost for classes is $5 unless otherwise indicated. For more information and to pay for classes, go towww.grassriver.org or call 231-533-8314.
Wetland WatercolorsThursday August 2, 2012 – 10:00 am
Families-Let your watercolors flow across the paper, much as Grass River and Finch Creek run through our wetlands. We’ll supply the paints and paper, you bring your imagination to create your own view of the landscape and the plants and animals that love it here at GRNA.
River RunFriday August 3, 2012 – 10:00 am
Families-Take a boat ride down Grass River and then into Clam Lake. Along the way we will test these waters to find out how healthy they are for the critters that live there. We will check for dissolved oxygen, nitrates phosphates, temperature, pH, and clarity. We know the Loons and some fish can swim there, but how about people? Bring a lifejacket.
Hootin’ and Howlin’ Tuesday August 7, 2012 – 10:00 am
Kids-Hoots and howls are for coyotes and owls. Bees dance when they get the chance. Woodpeckers drum and some monkeys hum. Children will discover the wonders of animal communication and learn to hoot like a Barred owl too.
History Walk Wednesday August 8, 2012 – 10:00 am
Families-Take a history walk on one of the Grass River trails. We’ll journey back in time when glaciers covered the earth. Then, you’ll learn about the Native American people, and how they lived and cared for the land illustrated by some of their stories. We’ll talk about the fur traders, and their influence on the area. Next, we’ll learn about the farmers, pioneers, and loggers. We’ll discuss the changes each of these groups made to this land, as we walk the trail. Finally, we’ll discuss what we can do today, to protect the Grass River Natural Area.
Nature Photography Thursday August 9, 2012 – 10:00 am
Families-Bring your digital camera and/or smart phone for a photo shoot at Grass River. We will take a little professional instruction and then go out on the trails to create some images. When we get back you’ll select your favorite, print it and make it part of a nature photography display at the Grass River Center.
Pond Adventure Friday August 10, 2012 – 10:00 am
Families-Give frog catching a try! Scoop up a pollywog or two. Be on the look out for dragonfly larvae. Experience the surprise of dipping your net into a patch of pond weeds and coming up with a load of MACRO INVERTIBRATES! It doesn’t get any better than this. Come wearing old clothes and shoes you can get wet.
Nasty Neighbors Saturday August 11, 2012 – 10:00 am
Families-Let’s face it, from our point of view some of the prettiest plants out there are not “good guys”. Come find out why. You’ll learn to identify invasive and poisonous plants and discover what we can do about them. You’ll also get to take home a native plant.
Constellation Cruise I Saturday August 11, 2012 – 9:00 pm
Families-Cruise down Grass River at sunset and watch the stars come out. The night sky above and the river below will combine to make this a magical evening. Observe and hear stories about the summer constellations. We will also be on the look out for nocturnal creatures that call Grass River home. Parents, please bring life jackets for your children. Space limited to 8 persons; register early at 231-533-8314. Adults: $15, Children under 12: $7. Meet at DeWitt Marina.
Purple Loosestrife Roundup Wednesday August 15, 2012 – 9:00 am
Volunteers-Help us eradicate this beautiful, but invasive flowering plant. We’ll paddle along the shores of Grass River and stomp around the swamp on this seek and destroy mission. If you can provide your own transportation (canoe or kayak), that’s great. But definitely wear long pants and old sneakers to walk on the floating sedge mats. It’s actually a fun time and you’ll be making a huge contribution toward protecting the natural area from this prolific invader. No experience necessary!
Tai Chi Thursday August 16, 2012 – 10:00 am
Adults & Kids 5+-Instructor Ardeth Inman will lead you through the movements of Thi Chi Chih which translates to “knowing thyself through movement.” It activates, circulates and balances the subtle energies, integrating body and mind. Both relaxing and energizing, it works on many levels with a cumulative effect. The more you do the better you feel.
Row, Row, Row Your Boat Friday August 17, 2012 – 10:00 am
Families-Explore Grass River with our row boat! Destination beaver lodge and bouncy bog! A naturalist will row, but you can too. Adventure awaits on the Grass River. Hands on aquatic insect exploration with a naturalist on the dock when waiting for your trip in the boat. Two trips of 4 people are available. Adult must accompany children. Bring your own life jacket.
A Wild Foods Hunt at Grass River with gourmet delectables prepared by Arlene Westhoven Saturday August 18, 2012 – 9:30 am
All Ages-Grass River Natural Area will present a series of Mushroom Forays to help develop your mushroom ID skills. All hunts will be at Grass River Natural Area from 9:30 to noon. Each foray will begin with an ID skills “brush up.” Meet at the Center.
Thursday August 30, 2012 – 10:00 am
Decorate a gourd to create a home for your backyard feathered friends.