CURRENTLY AT CROSSROADS:
  • This is the peak of the "Aster Show" at Crossroads. Just how many shades of purple are there?

Looking Ahead: The Song & Dance of Summer

Bear Clan Singers and Dancers
Bear Clan Singers and Dancers

On the first Friday of every summer month, Crossroads sponsors a free, family-friendly outdoor event. This month we are proud and honored to welcome The Bear Clan Singers and Dancers, a renowned family of Ho-Chunk performers. They will share a small part of their nation’s rich history through performances. Following the presentation, Crossroads will be hosting a small campfire at our council ring where people can socialize, tell stories, and make s’mores to enjoy!

These professional entertainers have won many awards and championships at pow wows all over the country. They have been taught the ways and meanings of their Woodlands dances as handed down through generations. 

People often ask what tribes had encampments at The Cove Estuary during the Woodland Period. Sovereign Tribal Nations as we know them today did not exist a thousand years ago, but archaeologists speculate that the people of The Cove were probably the ancestors of the Menomonee and maybe Ho-Chunk Peoples. 

Digging into the Past

This past week, our archaeology team has been sifting through organic material unearthed during our Spring Archaeological Experience, and based on the fruits, bones, shells and charcoal they are finding, it appears that the environmental conditions between one and two thousand years ago were much like they are today.

But since the retreat of the Ice Age glaciers, native people of the Door Peninsula have faced and persevered through numerous climate and lake level changes, and undoubtedly they survived droughts far more serious than this summer. 

A Forecast of Fun

Meteorologists are calling this the “Wisconsin Flash Drought of 2023” because after a moist spring we’ve had a remarkably dry summer, the result of masses a dry air moving over Wisconsin from Canada. On warm days, soil moisture evaporates quickly. What that means both long and short-term is still unknown. 

Lots of sunny weather has made outdoor activities possible every day, and we certainly are not in a drought of activities. This week, Crossroads will offer nature programs, volunteer opportunities, host summer camps and, next Friday, offer two presentations – a puppet show and our First Friday presentation—the Bear Clan Dancers and Singers.

Also, know that our trails are open all day, every day, free of charge.

summer trails
Ida Bay Preserve Orchard Loop Trail Marker

Upcoming Activities

Thursday, July 27

8:30 a.m. Pollinator Pals

If you like to garden and are interested in giving our native pollinators a helping hand, Crossroads at Big Creek could use your help! Volunteers are “editing” unwanted plants which will be replaced by native species. We provide the equipment. Meet at the Collins Learning Center.


6:30 p.m. Summer Explorers

Break out the bug nets and the boots! Come along with a Crossroads naturalist to explore the fascinating life living on the preserve. The whole family is welcome. Wear clothes that can get wet. Meet at the Collins Learning Center.


Friday, July 28

10:0 a.m. Friday Make-and-Take at Crossroads

Join a Crossroads naturalist and explore nature through artistic and creative activities. Each week, families will get to make and take home a nature-inspired craft. Free and open to the public. Meet at the Collins Learning Center.


Saturday, July 29 

9:00 a.m. Habitat Healers

Help heal the earth! Volunteers of all ages are invited to help with our land restoration efforts. Wear clothing and footgear that can get dirty and wet and bring a water bottle. Meet at the Workshop.


Monday July 31 

10:00 a.m. Nature Morning at Crossroads – Fossils from the Sea

Join one of our naturalists for some free, family-oriented activities and nature exploration. The topic will be Door County Fossils. Free and open to all ages. Meet at the Collins Learning Center.


Tuesday, August 1

10:00 a.m. Nature Morning at Crossroads – Butterflies

Join one of our naturalists for some free, family-oriented activities and nature exploration. 

This week the group will study the life cycle of butterflies. Free and open to all ages. Meet at the Collins Learning Center.


6:30 p.m. Crossroads Bird Club

Bird Club – a gathering of people who love birds – meets the first Tuesday of every month at 6:30 p.m. Whether you’re a life-long birder or newly interested we invite you to come learn about all things bird and birding-related.


Wednesday, August 2 

10:00 a.m. Nature Morning at Crossroads – Great Lakes Fish 

Join one of our naturalists for some free, family-oriented activities and nature exploration. This time we look at our Great Lakes fish. Discover the wonders of our Lake Michigan fisheries. Free and open to all ages. Meet at the Collins Learning Center.


Thursday, August 3

8:30 a.m. Pollinator Pals

If you like to garden and are interested in giving our native pollinators a helping hand, Crossroads at Big Creek could use your help! Volunteers are “editing” unwanted plants which will be replaced by native species. We provide the equipment. Meet at the Collins Learning Center.


6:30 p.m. Summer Explorers

Break out the bug nets and the boots! Come along with a Crossroads’ naturalist to explore the fascinating life living on the preserve. The whole family is welcome. Wear clothes that can get wet. Meet at the Collins Learning Center.


Friday, August 4 

10:00 a.m. Friday Make-and-Take at Crossroads

Join a Crossroads naturalist and explore nature through artistic and creative activities. Each week, families will get to make and take home a nature-inspired craft. This week we welcome special guest, Nancy Hawkins, a local puppeteer who will be reading “The House in the Woods.” Free and open to the public. Meet at the Collins Learning Center.


6:30 p.m. First Fridays: Bear Clan Singers and Dancers

The first Fridays of June, July and August are reserved at Crossroads for a fun, free, family-friendly outdoor event. This month we welcome The Bear Clan Singers and Dancers, a renowned family of Ho-Chunk performers. They will share a small part of their nation’s rich history through performances passed down through generations.

Following the presentation, Crossroads will be hosting a campfire at our council ring where people can socialize, tell stories, and make s’mores to enjoy. This event takes place in our outdoor amphitheater. Bench seating is available. Bring a camp chair or blanket, if you’d like. (Note: The Outdoor Amphitheater is a 5-minute walk from the parking lot. 2041 Michigan St., Sturgeon Bay.)

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