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.
  •  

What’s Happening: Seasons of Change

Playing Board games at the Collins Learning Center

Family-friendly programs will abound at Crossroads at Big Creek this weekend. Friday night, Crossroads will offer a Winter Board Game Bash for all ages. The weekly Saturday Science program will feature activities about bubbles, and on Sunday afternoon, the Door County Library will present an Author Talk featuring children’s book author/illustrator Duncan Tonatiuh. And then, on Tuesday, Wild Ones of the Door Peninsula and the Master Gardeners join to offer a program called, “Soak It Up, Rain Garden Basics.”

The free Sunday afternoon program will give families opportunity to learn a bit about the history of Mexico from Tonatiuh whose distinctive art style and compelling storytelling is published in both English and in Spanish.

Bubbles in Nature?

And for learners of all ages, what can be more fun than blowing bubbles? This week’s Saturday Science program will introduce a number of concepts about these floating iridescent spheres which enhance our beverages, make ice cream soft enough to eat, carry oxygen to our lungs and the oceans, and much, much more. To quote Professor James Bird, “There is no doubt that bubbles connect our world in ways large and small.”

Any time now, especially on windy days, we will start seeing bubbles in Big Creek. Not isolated delicate bubbles, but large mounds of suds that smell rather like fish. The fish smell actually is good news because it means the foam in the creek is harmless and natural. When dead plant parts – leaves, sticks, logs – decompose, they release organic surfactants, not unlike soap, which release the surface tension of the water so bubbles form. Mounds of suds add energy (and hiding places) to the creek.

But not all foam is good for a body of water. Human-made suds (which sometimes smell quite nice—OR NOT) can come from industry, or from soaps, paints, and fertilizers and pesticides that run off our lawns and parking places. The obvious solution is to stop using harmful chemicals, but there is another way to at least reduce the chemicals that wash into storm drains or directly into the bays.

Rain Gardening

On Tuesday, February 27, at 6:30 p.m., the Wild Ones of the Door Peninsula and the Door County Master Gardeners will bring Naturalist Karen Newbern to Crossroads to present, “Soak It Up, Rain Garden Basics.”

Newbern will explain how creating a rain garden is a simple way to help reduce runoff from our home landscapes, keeping excess nutrients and other pollutants out of the waters that surround us. She will discuss what a rain garden is (and isn’t), how to plan and construct one, and suitable plants to include and also talk about the environmental benefits of rain gardens beyond reduced runoff and improved water quality.

We at Crossroads cannot predict winter weather, but we will post conditions on our website so if there is snow, visit www.crossroadsatbigcreek.org for conditions, closures, etc.

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

Friday, February 23

6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. Winter Boardgame Bash

Sometimes there’s nothing better than a warm fire in the fireplace, hot chocolate, and a good board game to play with family or friends. We’ll have tables set up with a variety of board games including Wingspan, Sushi Go, Science Trivia, and more. Open to all ages. No reservation necessary. Meet in the lab of the Collins Learning Center. Crossroads, 2041 Michigan St., Sturgeon Bay.


Saturday, February 24

2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. Science Saturday: Bubbles

Blowing bubbles is entertaining, but bubbles also can introduce a number of science concepts, not to mention developing motor skills and coordination. Participants will view a short video and then will participate in a variety of bubble activities for all ages. Free and open to the public. Meet in the lab of the Collins Learning Center, 2041 Michigan St., Sturgeon Bay.


Sunday, February 25

2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. Door County Library Author Talk

This Sunday afternoon program will give families the opportunity to learn a bit about Mexican history from Duncan Tonatiuh whose distinctive art style and compelling storytelling is published in English and in Spanish. This promises to be an exciting afternoon and it is free and open to the public. Meet in the Lecture Hall of the Collins Learning Center, Crossroads, 2041 Michigan St., Sturgeon Bay.


Tuesday, February 27

6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. “Soak it up, Rain Garden Basics”

A rain garden is a simple way to help reduce runoff from our home landscapes, keeping excess nutrients and other pollutants out of the waters that surround us. In this program, we will discuss what a rain garden is (and isn’t), how to plan and construct one, and suitable plants to include. We’ll also talk about the environmental benefits of rain gardens beyond reduced runoff and improved water quality. 

The Newbern in-person lecture is presented in collaboration with Crossroads at Big Creek, Wild Ones of the Door Peninsula and the Door County Master Gardeners. It is free and open to the public. Meet in the Collins Learning Center, Crossroads, 2041 Michigan St., Sturgeon.

Leave a Comment