summer outdoor education

Summer environmental education programs are now complete for 2022. School year programming will begin in September or join us for a seasonal community field trip.

Knee High Naturalists (ages 3-5)

These fun and interactive sessions include a story, short hike or activity, crafts, and more. Parents are asked to stay with their children. Registration is required. 

Tuesdays are at Spring Lake Park from 10 – 11:30am
Thursdays are at Resort Township East Park from 10 – 11:30am

Tuesday, June 28

10:00 – 11:30am

Spring Lake Park

Ponds are teeming with life and fun to explore. Hop on over to find out about frogs, toads and salamanders. Learn what makes them amphibians, where they hang out, what their favorite meal is and meet some up close.

Thursday, June 30

10:00 – 11:30am

Resort Township East Park

Ponds are teeming with life and fun to explore. Hop on over to find out about frogs, toads and salamanders. Learn what makes them amphibians, where they hang out, what their favorite meal is and meet some up close.

Tuesday, July 5

10:00 – 11:30am

Spring Lake Park 

What small creatures live in a meadow? Come explore with us as we use nets to collect and observe the insects that call this grassy place home. We will also learn about birds and some of their amazing flying facts, the family life of birds and, much more bird lore. Come ready to use your senses to discover the amazing world of birds and insect and why they fascinate us.

Thursday, July 7

10:00 – 11:30am

Resort Township East Park

What small creatures live in a meadow? Come explore with us as we use nets to collect and observe the insects that call this grassy place home. We will also learn about birds and some of their amazing flying facts, the family life of birds and, much more bird lore. Come ready to use your senses to discover the amazing world of birds and insect and why they fascinate us.

Tuesday, July 12

10:00 – 11:30am

Spring Lake Park

Summer brings so many different sights, sounds, smells and feelings! Engage your

Knee High Naturalist’s senses through fun activities and observations in the natural world. We will use our imaginations to become different animals and explore the way they sense their world.

Thursday, July 14

10:00 – 11:30am

Resort Township East Park

Summer brings so many different sights, sounds, smells and feelings! Engage your Knee High Naturalist’s senses through fun activities and
observations in the natural world. We will use our imaginations to become different animals and explore the way they sense their world.

Tuesday, July 19

10:00 – 11:30am

Spring Lake Park

Following our walk, children will create a unique found object work of art using a variety of materials and techniques. The colors, patterns, and beauty of nature often inspire creativity. Participants will explore colors, patterns, and textures by engaging different senses and creating arts and crafts using natural materials.

Thursday, July 21

10:00 – 11:30am

Resort Township East Park

Their beautiful colors attract people and animals, but there’s more to flowers than just a pretty face. Let’s discover their parts, what they need to grow and what unique job they do for nature.

Tuesday, July 26

10:00 – 11:30am

Spring Lake Park

Knee high naturalists will explore a meadow to find out what plants and animals live there, where they hide and what makes them special. Nets will help capture some of the smallest of critters for observation before being returned to their grassy home. Participants will make a meadow-themed craft to bring home.

Thursday, July 28

10:00 – 11:30am

Resort Township East Park

Knee high naturalists will explore a meadow to find out what plants and animals live there, where they hide and what makes them special. Nets will help capture some of the smallest of critters for observation before being returned to their grassy home. Participants will make a meadow-themed craft to bring home.

Tuesday, August 2

10:00 – 11:30am

Spring Lake Park

From seeds and fruit to shade and animal homes, trees are vital to us and our natural communities. We’ll learn about our most magnificent plants and discover what makes them special through several activities including a fun tree treasure hunt.

Thursday, August 4

10:00 – 11:30am

Resort Township East Park

Let’s use our imagination to create a special home from natural materials for the forest fairies and gnomes. These houses will be left in the woods for the magical creatures they are built for, but we will make a special project to take back to our own homes.

ALL PROGRAMS FULL! Youth Explorer Series (ages 6-12)

Our Youth Explorer Series (YES Program) is intentionally designed to expose our nature-loving youth to activities and skills they can carry with them throughout their lifetime. Adventures vary in length, time, and age-appropriate topics. Registration is required as space is limited. 

Thursday, June 30

10 – 11:30am

Offield Family Working Forest Reserve (Quick Rd.)

The northern Michigan woods are full of life and beautiful songs!  Join experienced birder, Mary Trout, on this fascinating and fun expedition in search of all things birds.  Your young birder will learn about bird identification, nests, the family life of birds and more!  If you have a smart phone bring that along too.  Mary will be covering the eBird App and how to use it.  Binoculars provided but feel free to bring your own.

Thursday, July 7

9am – 12pm

Uh-ni-nah-tig ziibing Nature Preserve, Brutus

Trout Unlimited is partnering with LTC to offer this incredible opportunity to youth! Taking place on a pristine stretch of the Maple River, this program shows how to fly fish, read the river, and tie flies. All gear is provided. Space is limited. Children will be in the river casting. Please wear appropriate footwear and clothing for wading in the river. A towel and change of clothes is also recommended.
*Recommended for ages 9-12

Thursday, July 14

10am – 12pm

Charles A. Ransom Nature Preserve, Charlevoix

This program focuses on shelter building, the 10 essentials, and the mindset needed in survival situations. We will cover the importance of being prepared before venturing out into the woods. We will also take a short hike. Sturdy shoes are recommended.

Thursday, July 21

10 – 11:30am

Offield Family Working Forest Reserve, Harbor Springs

Mountain biking is a fun way to get out in nature! This property offers well maintained trails through rolling hardwoods. The trail is not extreme and hill climbing is minimal. Designed for children with little mountain biking experience up to an intermediate level. Bring your own bike – a mountain bike is recommended. Extra water, appropriate footwear, and helmets are required. *If your child does not have a bike and would like to attend, please let us know.

Thursday, July 28

10:00 – 11:30am

Round Lake Boat Launch (Powell Rd.), Harbor Springs

You won’t want to miss this amazing opportunity to explore Round Lake via kayak! Life jackets are required. Some kayaks and life jackets are available. Space is limited.
*Recommended for ages 9-12

Thursday, August 4

10:00 – 12:00pm

Agnes S. Andreae Nature Preserve, Indian River

Our adventure will begin with a hike along the Pigeon River to a gorgeous lookout and one of our nation’s only nature megaphones. The hike is two miles in total. If tromping through the woods and playing along a river sounds like fun, then this is the program for you! Dress for hiking, in clothes you won’t mind getting wet.