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What’s Happening: Connecting to Nature

Naturalist and Author, Emily Stone

Suddenly, it’s summertime. So at Crossroads, much of our programming moves outside. Similarly, our partnering organizations, the  Door County Master Gardeners Association and Wild Ones-Door Peninsula discontinue lectures during the growing season—UNLESS a special opportunity presents itself.

And during the first week of June, Crossroads and our plant-loving partners have had  two opportunities that are just  too special to pass up.

Exploring Nature Connections

In collaboration  with Wild Ones and Master Gardeners, Crossroads will host a lecture/author talk by  the award-winning nature writer/naturalist Emily Stone on Tuesday, June 4 at 6:30.   

I learned about Emily Stone last January at the Wild Ones’  “Toward Harmony of Nature Conference”  The Fox Valley Chapter had announced that the keynote speaker, Emily Stone, was a storyteller, and I confess, when I registered,  I was far more interested in the presentations covering recent research and cutting-edge science about native plants.

But Emily was enchanting! To quote the jacket of one of her books of essays, “she transports you across the moat into a magical world where nature is better than fiction. Elfin skimmer dragonflies dart above the incredible community cupped inside a single leaf. A leaf miner grows up before your eyes. Lichen surrender in order to survive……”

During intermission I sought out my colleague Karen Newbern….also a Wild Ones Board member. “We’ve got to get her to Door County!”  And Karen smiled.  “Maybe we can. She’s a friend of mine.”

And as it turned out, Emily had always wanted to visit Door County, but about the only time she could get free—she is the Naturalist and Education Director at the Natural History Museum in Cable, Wisconsin—would be the first week in June.

So after touring natural wonders of the Door  Peninsula with Karen and me,  Emily Stone will present a beautifully illustrated and science-based—and we promise—engaging and memorable author talk at Crossroads. The Tuesday evening lecture will be free and open to the public. Copies of Emily’s  two books will be available for purchase.

The Plight of Pollinators

Several months ago, Laura Kayacan from the Door County Library, approached Crossroads. It seems We Energies had offered a series three live webinars featuring the nationally known author Melinda Myers to public libraries in Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula. Would Crossroads, Master Gardeners and the Door County Seed Library be willing to screen these webinars?

We agreed agreed to host the webinar series, but having overdosed on webinars during the pandemic, I confess that I was not wildly enthusiastic. But, the first two webinars were extraordinary and very helpful, so I can hardly wait for Wednesday, June 5 at 6:30 pm when Crossroads will screen the Live Webinar “Unappreciated Pollinators.” 

According the the library website: “The plight of honeybees and monarchs fills the news, but many more pollinators are often overlooked yet critical to the production of food, fiber, and other raw materials we depend upon. Native bees, moths, bats, beetles, flies, and birds are also important. “

Melinda Meyers will discuss “a variety of pollinators, their role in the environment, and their impact on people. Plus, we will discuss ways to co-exist with these often overlooked and sometimes feared or dreaded animals.” As as extra inducement, The Seed Library will give a packet of sunflower seeds to each attendee. 

Even though these programs will be indoors, we are certain that  attending them will enhance your outdoor activities all summer.

First Fridays at Crossroads

Even music goes outdoors in summer. The Crossroads First Friday Event on June 7 will be offered at a bedtime-friendly 5:30 pm. at the Outdoor Amphitheatre. The popular family musician Randy Peterson, whose high energy concerts have been enjoyed by children and families at countless schools, libraries, festivals and concert stages for years will perform.  His shows are a fast-moving mix of music, humor and storytelling that are geared for kids, but which all ages enjoy. After about an hour of music, families are invited to walk the short distance to the Council Ring to enjoy a campfire, s’mores and fellowship. The program is free and open to the public. 

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

Tuesday, June 4

6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. Wild Ones Lecture/Author Talk: “Natural Connections”

Do you love finding adventure and intrigue in strange places? Join naturalist and author Emily Stone to be transported across the moat into a magical world where nature is better than fiction. By using science to tell stories, Emily wields a magic that makes the whole world feel more alive.

Emily Stone is a naturalist by birth, training, profession and passion. As the Naturalist/Education Director at the Cable Natural History Museum in Cable, Wisconsin, Emily writes a weekly “Natural Connections” column published in more than 15 local and regional newspapers. She has earned multiple Excellence in Craft awards from the Outdoor Writers Association of America, including for her second Natural Connections book. Recently, she was honored as the recipient of the 2023 Walter Kuhlmann Award for her outstanding efforts in environmental education.

This program sponsored by Wild Ones-Door Peninsula, the Door County Master Gardeners Association, and Crossroads at Big Creek. Free and open to public. Meet in the Collins Learning Center, Crossroads, 2041 Michigan, Sturgeon Bay.


Wednesday, June 5

6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. Live Webinar: “Unappreciated Pollinators” with Melinda Meyers.

The plight of honeybees and monarchs fills the news, but many more pollinators are often overlooked yet critical to the production of food, fiber, and other raw materials we depend upon. Native bees, moths, beetles, flies, and birds are also important.

We will look at a variety of pollinators, their role in the environment, and their impact on people. Plus, we will discuss ways to co-exist with these often overlooked and sometimes feared or dreaded animals. The Door County Seed Library will give a free packet of sunflower seeds to be planted in a sunny location.

This free webinar is underwritten by We Energies and co-sponsored by the Door County Library, Crossroads at Big Creek, Door County Master Gardeners and the Door County Seed Library.


Saturday, May 25

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.)

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