TRAIL NEWS:
  • Trails are clear, but muddy in places. Big Creek is full of sucker, Canada buffaloberry is in bloom, and in the evenings, woodcocks are dancing at the Astronomy Campus.

Looking Ahead: Summer Stars & Memories

Crossroads at Big Creek is the perfect place to make summer memories, and this week, the opportunities for making childhood memories abound.

Aside from, say, Christmas, most of my childhood memories were made in the summer. I remember when my grandpa took my family to a planetarium show and then, during the following evenings, all the grandkids would lie on blankets out in an open field and try to identify the constellations (or catch fireflies—I am easily distracted by interesting insects. We put them in olive jars and watched them blink as we drifted off to sleep.)

I fondly remember splashing in a creek, chasing frogs, capturing butterflies with a net and hunting for fossils. My special talent was finding four-leaf clovers. Actually, it still is.

With the neighbor kids and my siblings, I loved to make forts in the woods and to go to a park on crafts days. Or just sit on a dock. I sincerely hope the kids of today will grow up having cherished childhood memories, and this week at Crossroads, they will have plenty of chances.

Looking to the Stars

The Door Peninsula Astronomical Society schedules a special viewing night at the Astronomy Campus each month on the Saturday evening closest to the new moon. While organizers are mindful of bedtimes routines, stargazing really can’t start until dusk, which in July is around 9:00 p.m. But it is summer!

Folks who attend these events are enthralled by the images from the telescope in the Leif Everson Observatory. This may be a chance to see Comet C/2023 E1 ATLAS, which is not impressive, but hey, how often do we get to see a comet? The images can be viewed on the big screen in real time. It’s pretty exciting. 

But it also is just plain cool to see a planet or nebula through the eyepiece of a smaller scope or a pair of astronomical binoculars, so Society members will be in the StarGarden with their personal green laser pointers, giving “tours” of the night sky. If it is cloudy, and probably, even if it isn’t, our DPAS intern will present planetarium shows. This event is most certainly a memory-maker.

Making Memories

Our Make and Take event on Friday will make memories for small children because preceding the make and take craft activity, our favorite puppeteer, Nancy Hawkins, and her puppets will share the story of “The Lion and the Mouse.”

Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays, Crossroads offers Nature Mornings at Crossroads at 10:00 for learners of all ages. On Thursday evenings at 6:30, families can become Summer Explorers with outdoor activities.

Finally, kids will develop memories and self-esteem if they participate as volunteers with our Pollinator Pals and Habitat Healers programs. We encourage volunteers of ALL ages and we have discovered that kids can be very good helpers

Boys and Girls Club Summer Camp Levoy kids making memories exploring Big Creek
Boys and Girls Club Summer Camp Levoy kids making memories exploring Big Creek

Upcoming Activities

Friday, July 14 

10:00 a.m. Friday Make and Take/Puppet Show

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, with her puppets, will share the story “The Lion and the Mouse.” Free and open to the public. Meet at the Collins Learning Center, 2041 Michigan St., Sturgeon Bay.


Saturday, July 15

10:00 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. Instruction, equipment, and gloves provided along with cookies and lemonade at the end! No need to register in advance and all ages are welcome. Meet at the Workshop at 2041 Michigan Street, Sturgeon Bay.


9:00 p.m. Door Peninsula Astronomical Society Viewing Night

Join members of the Door Peninsula Astronomical Society to view the beautiful night sky of Door County – using naked eye and small telescope viewing –  or see images from the new telescope on the large flat screen. This may be your chance to see comet C/2023 E1 ATLAS, but if it is cloudy, come anyway. DPAS will offer Planetarium shows. Free and open to the public. The fun starts at dusk—which in July is around 9:00 p.m. Free and open to the public. The Astronomy Center is located at 2200 Utah St., Sturgeon Bay.


Monday, July 17

10:00 a.m. Mornings at Crossroads – Rocks and Caves of Door County

Join one of our naturalists for nature exploration. In this session, participants will uncover the secrets of Door County geology by learning about rocks and caves. Free and open to the public. Meet in the Collins Learning Center, 2041 Michigan St., Sturgeon Bay.


Tuesday, July 18

10:00 a.m. Mornings at Crossroads: Butterflies

Join one of our naturalists for nature exploration. The topic for this session is butterflies – masters of transformation. Seek our summer butterflies in Crossroads’ gardens, meadows and fields. Free and open to the public. Meet in the Collins Learning Center, 2041 Michigan St., Sturgeon Bay.


6:30 p.m. Door County Beekeepers Club Monthly Meeting

All are welcome. Meet at the Collins Learning Center, 2041 Michigan St., Sturgeon Bay.


 Wednesday, July 19

10:00 a.m. Mornings at Crossroads – Glaciers to Great Lakes

Join one of our naturalists for nature exploration. This time we look at glaciers and our great lakes – The glaciers provided Wisconsin with an amazing gift – our Great Lakes! We’ll explore how glacial ice has transformed our landscapes. Free and open to the public. Meet in the Collins Learning Center, 2041 Michigan St., Sturgeon Bay.


Thursday, July 20

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! On Thursday mornings from 8:30 – 10:30 a.m. Pollinator Pals gardening volunteers are meeting at the Collins Learning Center to work on restoring the front Pollinator Garden. We will provide instruction, any needed equipment and coffee. If Thursdays don’t work for you but you are interested in helping at other times, contact Laurel at laurel@crossroadsatbigcreek.org.


6:30 p.m. Summer Explorers

Break out the bug nets and the boots! Join with a Crossroads’ naturalist in exploring the fascinating life living on the preserve. The whole family is welcome as we take a stroll, collecting bugs, searching for frogs, crayfish and much more. Dress for stream walks and the weather. Free and open to the public. Meet at the Collins Learning Center, 2041 Michigan St., Sturgeon Bay.

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