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: The Color Green

Sunrise Elementary students learning about trees

Wearing green, shamrocks, rainbows, and photosynthesis! Green is the color of the environmental movement and will be the theme of Crossroads programs during the week of St. Patrick’s Day. 

“The Color Green ” is the topic for our free weekly family program, Saturday Science. The program is designed for elementary-aged students, but learners of all ages are invited to participate in hands-on activities about rainbows, the colors of the spectrum and the miracle of photosynthesis. Each family will take home a green plant. Weather permitting, the group will go outside in search of the green already appearing outside in the preserve. 

The Importance of Green

Several weeks ago, the fifth grade from Sunrise School spent the day at Crossroads learning quite a bit about trees. One of the students remarked, “Green must be the most important color in all of nature.”

He was correct in understanding that green plants capture the energy of our Sun, making life as we know it possible. But ironically, in nature, green (and yellow) usually are the least important colors of the spectrum.

The kids seemed to know that sunlight is made up of all the colors of the rainbow. Usually, the leaves of plants absorb the light at the red and the blue ends of the spectrum to use for photosynthesis and then reflect the green light. That’s why most plants appear to be green. Blue and red light make plants grow.

Around St. Patrick’s Day and into early spring, especially if there is snow the ground (and there still might be…maybe), the green range of the spectrum becomes more important.

Researchers have good evidence that sunlight can penetrate snow well enough for plant growth to occur. But green and blue light seems to pass through snow better than red light. So, if a plant begins to grow under the snow, it benefits from absorbing blue and green light, and reflecting red.

In early spring, many tender young plants… rosettes of winter annuals, foliage of tulips and hepatica, maple seedlings, and poison ivy… are red… at least until they get full sun and their chlorophyll kicks in.

Green in the Community

Saturday night, March 16, starting at 7:00 pm our friends in the Door Peninsula Astronomical Society will hold a Viewing Night whether it is cloudy or not. Planetarium shows will feature Pluto, If the sky is clear, DPAS members will be outside helping folks explore the night sky using green lasers pointers to direct attention to stars, planets, and other objects.

Curiously, the human eye is more sensitive to green than to other colors in the spectrum. Even in low light, an intense beam of green laser pointer is easy to see. Green lasers pointers are not toys! Because misuse can damage eyes, DPAS guides are extremely careful.

Even the Door County Beekeepers will be thinking “green” this week. Honeybees and our very valuable wild native bees depend on green plants for the pollen and nectar that sustain them. And, in turn, green plants depend on bees.

In the program, “Project Bee Watch,” former UW Extension Agent Mark Feuerstein will discuss how Bee Watch helps crop producers to collaborate with beekeepers. Topics will include registering hives on the Bee Watch mapping database and methods of communication with landowners so they can manage herbicide/pesticide applications to protect bees and working hives.

Finally, “green” is sometimes used as slang for “money.” Recently, a generous couple, Bonnie and Dennis Connolly (and yes, for the record, Dennis is Irish!) offered Crossroads a pot of gold. Or more accurately, they offered a gift of $15,000 if we could raise a match. Crossroads is currently more than halfway to that goal, so if you love Crossroads and want to help keep it green, visit our webpage for more information on how to donate. You could celebrate St. Patrick’s Day by the Sharing of the Green.

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, March 14

7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. Fish Tales: Research, monitoring, and more with the Green Bay NERR

Dr. Emily Tyner, Director of Freshwater Science at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, will present “Research, monitoring, and outreach opportunities with a Bay of Green Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve (NERR).”

Join us in-person at Crossroads at Big Creek.  To participate via ZOOM or Facebook Live, go to https://doorcountylibrary.org/event to find the link. Collin Learning Center. Crossroads at Big Creek 2041 Michigan Street, Sturgeon Bay, WI, United States


Saturday, March 16

2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. Science Saturdays: The Color Green

The program is designed for elementary-aged students, but learners of all ages are invited to participate in hands-on activities about rainbows, the colors of the spectrum and miracle or photosynthesis. Each family will take home a green plant. Weather permitting, the group will go outside in search of the green already appearing outside in the preserve.

Free and open to learners of all ages. Meet at the Collins Learning Center, 2041 Michigan, Sturgeon Bay


7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. Door Peninsula Astronomical Society Viewing Night

Join members of the Door Peninsula Astronomical Society as they explore the beautiful night sky in the Star Garden or with images from the telescope. If skies are cloudy, planetarium show will focus on Pluto. But if it is clear, the observatory will be open and DPAS members will help visitors explore the night sky using green laser pointers. Free and open to the public Meet at the Stonecipher Astronomy Center 2200 Utah Street, Sturgeon Bay


Tuesday, March 19

6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. Door County Beekeeper Club: Bee Watch Program

The monthly meeting will feature a presentation by former UW Extension Agent Mark Feuerstein talking about the Bee Watch program and how crop producers can collaborate with beekeepers. 

Topics will include registering hives on the Bee Watch mapping database, and methods of communication with landowners so they can manage herbicide/pesticide applications to protect bees and working hives.

Free and open to the public. Meet in the Collins Learning Center, Crossroads 2041 Michigan, Sturgeon Bay.

Leave a Comment