Drop in at Joppa Flats for an up-close winter wildlife experience! On select weekend and school vacation days, Joppa Flats volunteer Deb La Roy presents demonstrations on bird research and banding. After capturing wild birds in the Joppa backyard, Deb brings them inside to measure, weigh, examine, and then release them. The unique band that Deb places carefully on each bird’s leg connects other bird researchers with the data she’s collected. You’ll learn about your own backyard birds and why they’re here while watching scientific research in action.
Brighten up your yard this winter with a bird feeder handmade by you and your child. Each family will receive a kit containing all the necessary parts to build a feeder that will attract chickadees, titmice, nuthatches, cardinals, and many other birds to your yard. A short slide presentation will highlight the birds that commonly come to feeders. We'll also observe the sanctuary feeders to see which birds are looking for food. Instructors will circulate to provide assistance.
Come celebrate the longest night and shortest day of the year with Joppa Flats! Miss Mary and Miss Susan offer stories, songs, crafts made of evergreens, and thematic snacks for everyone to enjoy. Learn why we have seasons, and why different cultures around the world created legends and rituals to mark the longest night of the year. Join us for a festival of light to beckon the sun to return!
Throughout time, people have come together to celebrate the shortest day of the year and welcome the lengthening days ahead. Sanctuary staff and volunteers invite you to join us for this beautiful candlelit event. Lantern making begins at 4:00 pm, followed by some solstice stories and folklore. With lanterns in hand, we will stroll the trails to light up the night. We will serve hot cider and cocoa at the bonfire on our return.
The Geminid meteor shower is one of the most prolific of the annual meteor showers, rivaling in strength the better-known Perseid meteor shower of mid-August. This year, the Geminids reach maximum activity on the night of December 13, when as many as 120 shooting stars might be seen each hour under clear skies far removed from city lights and completely free of light pollution. We'll meet several days ahead of the peak activity to discuss the general nature of meteor showers, their origins, and the best ways to observe them. Weather permitting, we'll step outside afterward in an attempt to catch a glimpse of the Geminid shower in its early stages. There will also be viewing of the night sky through a large reflector telescope.
Come be a winter wildlife detective and learn the tracks and signs of local animals. During the introduction you will make your own wildlife tracks ID guide and get to look at and touch real wildlife clues. Then we will head out on the trails to follow tracks and signs left by wildlife such as deer, rabbits, coyotes, beavers, and more.
In every kind of weather, our favorite thing is to head outdoors to our spectacular local habitats to see what's new! We love to find things, think about colors, shapes and patterns, and wonder why this place is a special home to wildlife. Each nature exploration will focus on the importance of a sense of place. Local and migrating birds, other wildlife, collecting techniques, and environmental awareness will be presented in a fun, energetic format that adults and children alike will enjoy.
These fun-filled morning programs are perfect for you and your active preschooler! Our structured activities include hands-on science, music and movement, a thematic snack, and an outdoor adventure if the weather complies. Keep learning with coloring pages and follow-up activities to continue the fun at home.
Find out why Native Americans call the November moon the Beaver Moon. Spend an evening walking in the crisp autumn air searching for fishers and racccoons and scanning the barren treetops for the silhouettes of owls. Smell the wood smoke and hear the crunch of leaves underfoot, reminding us that winter is just around the corner. We'll stop in the wetlands to observe beavers making their final winter preparations. What a perfect way to spend a quiet evening with your family before the rush of the holidays begins.
Join naturalists from Joppa Flats Education Center on a nocturnal hike and learn about nocturnal animal senses, the moon, and the stars! We'll go on a short walk to Spencer-Peirce-Little Farm's back field to stargaze before returning to Joppa Flats' back yard for hot cocoa around the fire pit.
Sunday, December 16
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