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

What’s Happening: A Start to Summer

kids at recent Science Saturday Program. Photos shared with parent/guardian permission.

Memorial Day Weekend is considered by many to be the beginning of Summer.  For us at Crossroads, it means the school year is winding down, and we enter a different phase of programming. This  summer, we  will offer a variety of programs and events for learners of all ages.

We start this weekend by joining forces with other environmental organizations by participating in the 2024 Door County Festival of Nature. A hike/paddle program will offered at the Big Creek  and Cove Estuary Preserves,  and our staff will be leading hikes at other sites as well.

Additionally, on Saturday afternoon, Crossroads will offer a free Family Fossil Hunt from 1:00-4:00. At this drop-in event, each participating family will be given a Door County fossil identification pamphlet  and will join the naturalist  to develop the “fossil-hunting eye” (pattern recognition skills) by hunting for and learning to identify Silurian fossils near the entrance  of the Collins Learning Center at Crossroads, 2041 Michigan, Sturgeon Bay.

Welcoming June

During the first week in June, Crossroads joins with the Master Gardeners, Wild Ones-Door Peninsula and the Sturgeon Bay Library to present two evening program. On June 4, at 6:30 award-winning nature writer Emily Stone will present “Natural Connections” and the following night, Crossroads will host the library-sponsored program” Unappreciated Pollinators”, a live webinar presentation featuring Melinda Meyer.

Our First Friday Series of  free, fun, family-friendly performances held at our Outdoor Amphitheatre will, obviously, begin on the first Friday of June at 5:30  pm with a concert featuring Family Musician, Randy Peterson. 

Appropriately on June 15,  the 15th Anniversary Crossroads Trail Run will welcome runners and walkers of all ages and abilities to choose a 2k, 5k, or 10k distance.  For more details and to register (or volunteer), visit the Crossroads at Big Creek website.

This summer, Crossroads is proud to present a “Resources of Landowners Series” during which resource professionals from a variety of organizations will discuss restoration practices and resources. The first lecture will be June 20 ad 4:30 PM. Mike Grimm will present the program “Introduction to Land Management Plans and Bio-Inventories.” Each of the seven presentations will be take place at the Collins Learning Center at Crossroads.

During much of the summer, Crossroads will offer  environmental programs of the Boys and Girls Club summer camps, but we also offer free family programing with Summer Naturalist Joan Wilke and Make and Take Workshops starting in early July.

A Swale Life

Out in the preserves, while local students are graduating, local tadpoles in the ponds and swales are in various stages of metamorphosis, and hopefully they will  graduate to adult frogs and toads  before the ephemeral ponds dry up for the summer.

We worried in early spring that we might not even have frogs this year, but late season precipitation recharged the ponds…. for now. For how long, we don’t know.  

One might think that a pond destined to dry up would be the worst possible place for frogs to lay eggs. But no! Temporary ponds are the most productive habitats for spring-breeding frogs. Ponds that dry up every summer cannot support fish. It’s that simple.  Tadpoles have a much better chance of surviving when predators are absent.

Although our while our summer program looks full, be sure to watch our website or follow us on Facebook for Pop-up Hikes and other educational and recreational opportunities.

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

Wood Frogs being monitored as part of our wetland surveys

Upcoming Activities

Saturday, May 25

1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Family Fossil Hunt 

At this drop-in event, each participating family will be given a  Door County fossil identification pamphlet  and will join the naturalist  to develop the “fossil-hunting eye” (pattern recognition skill) by hunting for and learning to identify Silurian fossils in near the entrance  of the Collins Learning Center. Meet in front of the Collins Learning Center, 2041 Michigan, Sturgeon Bay.

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