Spring Forward: April at the Sanctuary

morgan bongard | wild green bay | april 2017

Volunteers lend a hand during the sanctuary's Easter event.A wise, old Arizona Indian chief once explained daylight savings time in this manner: “Only a white man would believe that you could cut a foot off the top of a blanket and sew it to the bottom of a blanket and have a longer blanket."

With the end of winter comes spring. With spring, love it or hate it, we move our clocks forward. We can argue about the loss of time, or about the way our daily coffee consumption increases two-fold, but no matter how you view it, the daylight hours seem to grow significantly. Those lengthening days beckon to us with a sense of renewal and adventure. As Bird City welcomes the arrival of many of our migrating birds, Green Bay has plenty of outdoor activities that will encourage you to get outside and enjoy the fresh air while enjoying time with family or friends of all ages. Below is a sampling of activities offered by the Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary that the can be enjoyed throughout the month of April.

Astronomy Night

The public is invited to join the Neville Astronomy Club for an interesting night of stargazing! Telescopes and volunteers will be set up on Resch Falls at the sanctuary. See the moon and its craters, mountains and rays. See Jupiter and its cloud bands and moons. See deep-sky objects such as star clusters, galaxies and nebula! This is a free, all ages event. Observation Building, April 1 at 7 p.m.

Trail Fitness Walks

Trail fitness walks are back! This popular event is held each Wednesday and is led by a naturalist on the sanctuary's wooded trail system. You'll have the opportunity to get some fresh air while getting exercise at the same time. The walk lasts about 45 minutes at a brisk pace along more than six miles of uneven and unpaved terrain. Watch nature awaken and be on the lookout for fresh tracks left by foxes, cottontails, ducks and deer as well as many of Wisconsin's migrating birds as they return to the area. Meet at the Nature Center. April 5, 19 & 26 at 12 p.m.

Annual Crane Count

Wisconsin is also known as Bird City and sandhill cranes are just one of the many species that spend time here. If you are an early bird (no pun intended) join the sanctuary for an early morning tour and become part of a team of people that will gather to look and listen for these beautiful birds. Meet at the sanctuary's director's home located on the sanctuary grounds proper. April 8, 5:30 to 7:30 a.m.

Easter at the Sanctuary

One of their most popular annual events, the Friends of the Wildlife Sanctuary will be hosting their annual Easter Event for youngsters ages 3-8 and their parents. Activities will include making Easter bags to later collect eggs in, crafting fun art projects, enjoying cookies and punch and hunting for eggs. There will be two times for the event: 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. or 11 a.m. or 12 p.m. Event takes place in the lower level of the Nature Center. Cost is $2.50 for residents and $3.75 for non-residents. Fee is per person (adults and children are separate).

Electronics Recycling Drive

Have you been hit with the urge to spring clean that garage or basement and reorganize your home? Perhaps you have some old electronics that you need to dispose of safely. The sanctuary is hosting its Electronics Recycling Drive and for two days you'll be able to dispose of these items in an environmentally safe manner. Bring your old computers, fax machines, printers, televisions and other electronic or household appliances to the sanctuary and volunteers will even help you unload your items. Drop off area is the lower lot of the Nature Center. April 21 & 22, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Earth Day

It's a day of celebration at the sanctuary! You and your youngsters are invited to participate in an entire day of interesting and fun activities that are also educational.

Included in this day's events are plenty of tours to interest the kiddies like Critter Counter, Otter Odyssey, the birds of Quills Thrills and a Bird of Prey Tour. Watch the ever-popular wolves at feeding time. Perhaps you'll encourage one to point his or her nose to the sky and howl until the remaining wolves join in unison! The public can also participate in a special craft at the Enrichment Table; making toys that will help the animals get their food while keeping their senses keen. For the finale, join the sanctuary later in the afternoon, as they will release a very special animal during the Animal Release. April 23, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Spring Bird Walk

As more and more of our migratory birds return to Green Bay, bring your binoculars to the sanctuary to get a view of some these birds as they are on the move. Don't forget to bring your field guide. This event is free to the public. Meet in the parking lot near director's residence. Event is weather permitting. April 29, 6:30 a.m. to 9 a.m.

Be sure to visit the Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary at baybeachwildlife.com for more information. To inquire or register for events, call (920) 391-3671.

Morgan Bongard is a freelance writer with special interest in the art, history and the humanities. She is currently putting the finishing details on her memoir 'BananaSeatTenSpeed,' and runs a blog by the same name. Read more at www.BananaSeatTenSpeed.com.

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