Oct
20
2:00 PM14:00

Michigan's Exotic Zoo

Join us for an exciting afternoon with live animals from around the world as Javon Stacks brings his exotic zoo to you. A kangaroo, monkey, and eagle owl are just some of the intriguing creatures you will see up close during this entertaining and informative program. Advance registration requested at 734-475-3170.

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Oct
27
2:00 PM14:00

Sandhill Crane Tour

Local expert Bill Wells will show a film about Sandhill Cranes and answer some of your questions about their fascinating behaviors.  Afterwards, he will lead a driving tour to view cranes in the fields around the Waterloo Recreation Area.  Visitors can expect to see large flocks of these magnificent birds at close range.  Bring binoculars and cameras.   Advance registration requested at 734-475-3170.

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Nov
10
2:00 PM14:00

Alligators and Their Kin

The Critchlow Alligator Sanctuary will bring live reptiles and amphibians for this lively, hands-on program.  You will have the opportunity to see large and small alligators up close along with some of their intriguing relatives.  Learn about the fascinating characteristics and habits of these creatures and how they survive in the wild.  Advance registration requested at 734-475-3170.

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Oct
6
2:00 PM14:00

Seven Outdoor Skills Everyone Should Know

Sure, your iPhone has an app for everything, and you won’t get lost using your GPS. But what if your batteries die?  In this hands-on workshop, Meg Gower and Ryan Dibble will show you ways to navigate, as well as basic survival skills.   Learn how to make fire without matches, build a shelter, locate water, signal, and more.  Aimed at ages 10 to adult.   Advance registration  required at 734-475-3170, as this program is limited to 25 people.

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Sep
29
2:00 PM14:00

Who Needs Adaptations?

Whether they have fur, feathers or scales, all animals need special features that allow them to find food, avoid predators, and survive in their environment.  Learn about some of these amazing adaptations in this hands-on program with live animals brought to you by Science Alive.  Advance registration requested at 734-475-3170.

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Sep
22
2:00 PM14:00

Fall Mushroom Hunt

Come search the woods to find and collect fall mushrooms!  Afterwards, mushroom expert Phil Tedeschi will talk about what you have collected and identify those that are edible or poisonous.  Bring a basket or paper bag and waxed paper for collecting.  Due to the nature of the program, advance registration is required at 734-475-3170.   Limited to 30 people. 

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Sep
15
2:00 PM14:00

Captivating Caterpillars

Spiny and smooth, colorful and camouflaged, hairy and hairless, caterpillars are an amazingly diverse group of animals! Join naturalist Faye Stoner for this program to explore the world of caterpillars around us. We will begin indoors looking at caterpillar traits to help with identification and learning how they protect themselves, what local plants they eat, and more. Afterwards, we will take a walk around the Discovery Center to learn special techniques for finding caterpillars. You are welcome to bring along any caterpillars you might have found recently to share with others. Program suitable for ages 8 and up .Advance registration required, as this program limited to 35 people.

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Sep
1
12:00 PM12:00

Retro Picnic - Celebrating 100 Years!

Celebrate 100 years of Michigan's state parks with a reminder of the simple pleasure of outdoor picnics. The day will be complete with contests, prizes, live music, live animals, and lots of outdoor fun. Prizes will be awarded for the most collectible picnic basket, most retro picnic blanket and best picnic spread. We encourage you to dress up and go all out. Bring your picnic, and meet at the Discovery Center.  For additional information, please contact the Center at 734-475-3170. 

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Jun
9
2:00 PM14:00

Herps! Michigan's Amphibians and Reptiles

Nature Discovery will bring a variety of live snakes and turtles that can be found in our state.  Observe these intriguing creatures up close as you learn about their diverse life styles and how they survive in Michigan.  Following the program, you will have the opportunity to handle some of them and watch them eat..  Advance registration requested at 734-475-3170.

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Jun
2
2:00 PM14:00

Rockhound Basics

Discover what you can learn about ancient Michigan from looking at a rock.  Geologist Larry Bean will show you how to “read” the story told by rocks and help you to identify specimens at a local quarry.  We will meet at the Discovery Center before driving to the quarry to do some collecting.  Advance registration requested at 734-475-3170.

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May
19
2:00 PM14:00

A World of Animals

Brendan Finerty of Jackson’s Wild World Zoo will be presenting this entertaining, hands-on program.  You will get a close-up look at a wide variety of live animals from around the globe – from the hottest desert to the deepest jungles to the highest mountains   Advance registration requested at 734-475-3170.

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May
5
2:00 PM14:00

Edible Plants Foraging Walk

Find out what Mother Nature has to offer as we join Rachel Misfud from Will Forage for Food to look for edible, medicinal, and otherwise useful plants and mushrooms on the Discovery Center trails..  The walk will be leisurely, but participants need to be able to handle uneven, shrubby or muddy ground, as we may leave the trail to search for these plants.  Advance registration requested at 734-475-3170.

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Apr
28
2:00 PM14:00

Strange Creatures of the Spring Pond

Come and meet the many fascinating and little-known creatures that live in our spring ponds – from delicate fairy shrimp to ferocious diving beetles.  No boots required, as we will be viewing these in our special “pour-a-ponds” outside on the deck.  Advance registration requested at 734-475-3170.

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Apr
14
2:00 PM14:00

Michigan Birds of Prey

Survival at its finest!  Francie Krawcke of Michigan Avian Experience will bring a bald eagle along with other raptors to reveal their remarkable survival adaptations and behaviors.  In addition to seeing these magnificent birds, you will have the opportunity to feel feathers and explore bird skulls, feet, and bones.  Advance registration requested at 734-475-3170.

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Apr
7
2:00 PM14:00

Bees of Michigan

Bees play an extremely important role in our ecosystems and agriculture.  Dr. Meghan Milbrath will talk about the lifestyles of both native bees and honey bees and the threats to their survival.  Learn what you can do to promote beneficial native bees in your landscape, as well as whether putting a honey bee hive in your yard is right for you.  Advance registration requested at 734-475-3170.

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Mar
31
2:00 PM14:00

Critters in the Garden

If your flowers or vegetables are being eaten by critters, this program is for you!  DNR wildlife educator Holly Vaughn will highlight some of the animals that are commonly considered to be pests or nuisances and talk about what you can do to keep them out of your yard or garden.  Advance registration is requested at 734-475-3170.

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Mar
24
2:00 PM14:00

Animal Magic

The popular animal rescuer and magician, Mark Rosenthal, will entertain, educate and astound you with his combination of live animals and magic.  View some of the exotic animals  that he cares for in his sanctuary, and learn how they survive in their  native lands around the world.  Advance registration is requested at 734-475-3170.

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Mar
9
10:00 AM10:00

Old Time Maple Sugar Festival

It’s time for that traditional rite of spring – tapping maple trees.  Watch a short film about how maple syrup is made, and then go on a guided walk to see various methods of collecting sap and how it is boiled down to make syrup.  Antique equipment for making syrup will be on display from the Waterloo Farm Museum, and maple products will be available for purchase.  Contact the Center at (734) 475-3170 for more information.  Free admission.

 

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Mar
3
2:00 PM14:00

Secrets of Survival

Join us for this entertaining and informative program as Paul McCormack introduces you to a variety of live animals. Take a close-up look at these creatures as you learn about their specialized body parts that help them survive in the wild.  Please register in advance at 734-475-3170.

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Feb
17
2:00 PM14:00

Notes from the Underground: Our Living Soils

You may not realize as you walk in a forest that the soil beneath your feet is alive and evolving.  Forest ecologist Robert Ayotte will discuss the formation of our soils since the last Ice Age and how they have generated entire forest ecosystems.  Learn about the different types of soil in our local forests and how they are threatened by invasive species and climate change.  Dress for the weather, as we will take a walk to see examples at the end of the program.  Please register in advance at 734-475-3170.

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Feb
10
2:00 PM14:00

What's for Lunch?

It’s eat or be eaten in the Wild Kingdom!  Lansing’s Potter Park Zoo will bring live animals to show some of the amazing strategies they have for catching food and how they avoid becoming dinner themselves.  Learn about camouflage, stalking techniques, and more.     Please register in advance at 734-475-3170.

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Jan
27
2:00 PM14:00

Winter Orienteering

Bring the family and challenge yourselves to an afternoon adventure in the forest.  Winter is a great time of year for learning how to use a compass to find your way in the woods. Following the program there will be an optional longer hike to test your new skills. Suitable for all ages and skill levels.  Compasses will be provided or bring your own.  This program has limited space, so you MUST register in advance at 734-475-3170.   Limited to 35 participants.

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Jan
20
2:00 PM14:00

Wildlife of the Americas

Get acquainted with a variety of live animals from North, Central, and South America and discover fascinating details about their lives in the wild.  Randy Baker from Naturalist Endeavors will discuss how humans have impacted these animals and the importance of maintaining healthy habitats for them.  Please register in advance at 734-475-3170.

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Alligators and Their Reptile Relatives
Nov
11
1:30 PM13:30

Alligators and Their Reptile Relatives

This program will be repeated at 3:00 p.m.   Join us for an exciting, hands-on presentation of live reptiles from the Critchlow Alligator Sanctuary.  You will have the opportunity to see large and small alligators up close along with other intriguing reptiles.  Learn about the fascinating characteristics of these creatures and how they survive in the wild.  Advance registration required at 734-475-3170 with choice of program time.

Cost: $2/person or $5/family with State Recreation Passport.  Waterloo Natural History Association members admitted free.

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Sandhill Crane Tour
Oct
28
2:00 PM14:00

Sandhill Crane Tour

Local expert Bill Wells will show a film about Sandhill Cranes and then lead a driving tour to view them in the fields around the Waterloo Recreation Area.  Visitors can expect to see large flocks of these magnificent birds at close range.  Bring binoculars and cameras.  

Cost: $2/person or $5/family with State Recreation Passport.  Waterloo Natural History Association members admitted free.

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Drawing Class with Live Raptors
Oct
21
2:00 PM14:00

Drawing Class with Live Raptors

Jen Koppin, artist and educator, and Francie Krawcke, raptor educator, team up to offer you an opportunity to develop your drawing skills using live raptors.   Francie will bring an impressive great horned owl and a beautiful kestrel from Michigan Avian Experience during the second portion of the program.  Limited drawing supplies will be available, so bring your own paper and sketching tools.  Due to the nature of the program, advance registration is required.  Limited to 25 people.

Cost: $2/person or $5/family with State Recreation Passport.  Waterloo Natural History Association members admitted free.

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Animal Acoustics
Oct
14
2:00 PM14:00

Animal Acoustics

Nature is full of the sounds of animals – songs, screeches, buzzes, growls, and countless more.  For this interactive program, the Howell Nature Center will bring a variety of noisy animals to the Discovery Center.  While you listen to the sounds these animals can make, you will learn how they help these creatures to survive and what adaptations they have for hearing the sounds of others.   Advance registration strongly encouraged at 734-475-3170.

Cost: $2/person or $5/family with State Recreation Passport.  Waterloo Natural History Association members admitted free.

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Self-guided Color and Sandhill Crane Tour
Oct
10
to Nov 25

Self-guided Color and Sandhill Crane Tour

Large numbers of Sandhill Cranes can be seen in parts of the Waterloo Recreation Area through late November.  Beginning October 10, visitors may pick up free maps to the best fall color routes and crane viewing areas around the Waterloo Recreation Area.  A film “The Sandhill Crane Story” will be shown on request.  

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Seven Outdoor Skills Everyone Should Know
Oct
7
2:00 PM14:00

Seven Outdoor Skills Everyone Should Know

Sure, your iPhone has an app for everything, and you won’t get lost using your GPS. But what if your batteries die?  In this hands-on workshop, Meg Gower and Ryan Dibble will show you ways to navigate, as well as basic survival skills.   Learn how to make fire without matches, build a shelter, locate water, signal, and more.  Aimed at ages 10 to adult.   Advance registration  required at 734-375-3170, as this program is limited to 25 people.

Cost: $2/person or $5/family with State Recreation Passport.  Waterloo Natural History Association members admitted free.

 

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Sensing Animals
Sep
30
2:00 PM14:00

Sensing Animals

How do wild animals perceive the world?  Many of them can see, hear, or smell things better than humans.  In this hands-on program, Science Alive will bring live animals to demonstrate the amazing ways their senses allow them to learn about and survive in their environments.   Advance registration strongly encouraged at 734-475-3170.

Cost: $2/person or $5/family with State Recreation Passport.  Waterloo Natural History Association members admitted free.

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Fall Mushroom Hunt
Sep
23
2:00 PM14:00

Fall Mushroom Hunt

Come Search the woods to find and collect fall mushrooms!  Afterwards, mushroom expert Phil Tedeschi will talk about what you have collected and identify those that are edible.  Bring a basket or paper bag and waxed paper for collecting.  Due to the nature of the program, advance registration is strongly encouraged at 734-475-3170

Cost: $2/person or $5/family with State Recreation Passport.  Waterloo Natural History Association members admitted free.

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Nature Play Area Grand Opening
Sep
16
2:00 PM14:00

Nature Play Area Grand Opening

Bring your family to celebrate the Discovery Center's new Nature Play Area and a nature trail compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.  Research shows the value of connecting children with nature, and that playing in natural areas stimulates a passion for conservation natural materials.  The trail is half a mile long and is designed for wheelchair and stroller accessibility.  There will be a ribbon-cutting ceremony to officially open this area at 2:15.  We will have refreshments in the Discovery Center and guides along the trail.

Admission is free.  State Recreation Passport required for parking.

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