TRAIL NEWS:
  • The trails are wet and Big Creek is "up."

What’s Happening: A Flowing Big Creek

With the school year winding down and the summer season beginning, things are changing at Crossroads at Big Creek. We no longer are hosting school field trips, but we are seeing more Door County visitors, more families, and quite a few runners of all ages, presumably training for the upcoming Crossroads Trail Run. But few things change as much or as fast as our namesake, Big Creek.

Transforming from a sluggish trickle at the end of winter to a roiling stream spreading into its floodplain, Big Creek changes almost as quickly as the weather, and there is indeed a correlation. From wind and air pressure (which pushes water into the estuary) to all forms of precipitation (anywhere in our watershed), weather influences the water level and velocity. And as the creek changes, so do the habitats around it.

Areas that were crusty and dry last summer are once again wetlands, teeming with birds and insects, and  lush with drifts of stunning summer wildflowers….buttercups, Canada anemones, and blue flag iris, to name a few.

Families are invited to get a bird’s eye view of several stretches of Big Creek by joining in the naturalist-led “Four Bridges Hike” on Thursday, June 6 at 4:00. The bridges and boardwalks at Crossroads are high above the creek, giving visitors stunning views of the wetlands, floodplains and riparian forests. Certainly, participants will see flowers and very possibly get glimpses of mammals, birds, and maybe even a few amphibians.  (Footwear that can get wet is advised.)  The program is free and open to the public and will start at the Collins Learning Center.

Then, on June 7 starting a bedtime-appropriate 5:30 pm, we will present  “First Friday at Crossroads” family-friendly outdoor concert featuring Randy Peterson.

Starting the Summer Nights off Right

The concert will be held in the Outdoor Amphitheater, a short 5 to 10-minute walk from the parking lot on our Meadow Trail.   The amphitheater has bench seating but folks are more than welcome to bring  camp chairs or blankets.

According to his bio, “Randy Peterson’s high energy concerts have been enjoyed by children and families at countless schools, libraries, festivals and concert stages for years.  His shows are a fast-moving mix of music, humor and storytelling that are geared for kids, but which all ages enjoy.”

Following the concert, Crossroads will be hosting a small campfire at the Council Ring so people can socialize, tell stories, and make s’mores

In the case of rain or high winds, the concert will move into the Collins Learning Center, but the campfire will be cancelled.

The Door Peninsula Astronomical Society will offer two programs this week. The monthly Viewing Night will begin at 7:00 pm Saturday, June 8 with planetarium shows and Astronomy Campus tours. If it is clear and when it is dark enough to see stars, night sky viewing will follow.

Tuesday, June 11, at 7:00 pm the astronomy society holds its monthly meeting at the Stonecipher Astronomy Center.  DPAS member Alec Bath will present Apollo – 1960’s Engineering challenges of landing on the Moon. This program is free and open to the public.

Crossroads at Big Creek Learning Center and Nature Preserve is located at 2041 Michigan Street, Sturgeon Bay. Crossroads is a 501(c)3 organization committed to offering education, conducting research and land restoration, and providing outdoor experiences to inspire environmental stewardship in learners of all ages and from all backgrounds. We welcome your support. 

As always, our trails are open all day every day, free of charge. Check the Crossroads website calendar for upcoming events and details.


Upcoming Activities

Thursday, June 6

4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. Pop-up Event: Four Bridges Hike

Families are invited to get a bird’s eye view of several stretches of Big Creek by joining in the naturalist-led nature program. The bridges and boardwalks at Crossroads are high above the creek, giving visitors stunning views of the wetlands, floodplains and riparian forests. (Footwear that can get wet is advised.)  The program is free and open to the public and will start at the Collins Learning Center, 2041 Michigan, Sturgeon Bay.


Friday, June 7

5:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. First Fridays at Crossroads: Randy Peterson Family Musician

Join us on the first Fridays of June, July and August for a fun, free, family-friendly outdoor event. On June 7, we welcome family musician, Randy Peterson.

Following the presentation, Crossroads will host a small campfire at our council ring where people can socialize, tell stories, and make s’mores to enjoy!

*Amphitheater bench seating is available. Bring a camp chair or blanket if you’d like. (Note: the Outdoor Amphitheater is a short 5 to 10-minute walk from the parking lot on our Meadow Trail.)


Saturday, June 8

7:00 p.m. DPAS Viewing Night

Starting at 7:00, planetarium shows are offered every half hour. Because seating is limited. Those waiting can tour the astronomy campus and observatory. At dark, around 9:00, DPAS members offer outdoor viewing and open the dome on the Leif Everson Observatory. Free and open to the public. 2200 Utah Street, Sturgeon Bay.


Tuesday, June 11

7:00 p.m. Monthly Meeting of the Door Peninsula Astronomical Society

Visitors are welcome at the monthly meeting of DPAS. This month, DPAS memberAlec Bath will present a program Apollo – 1960’s Engineering challenges of landing on the Moon.

How do you navigate 240,000 miles, landing two astronauts on the Moon and get safely back with less computing power than a pocket calculator?  How does a gyroscope work?  What is gimbal lock?  What is a correlation algorithm?  What modern-day technologies were borne out of the Apollo Space program?  Come and find answers to all of these questions and more. Weather permitting, night sky viewing will follow this program Free and open to the public.  2200 Utah Sturgeon Bay.

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