Together with our partners, the Calvin Ecosystem Preserve & Native Gardens advocates for good stewardship of our lands and natural resources through restoration and education. We are pleased to host the following programs:

River City Wild Ones

River City Wild Ones programs are held here at the preserve. Newcomers with an interest in native plants are always welcome to attend. No RSVPs needed.

Soil Amendments – Beyond Compost

When: Monday, September 16, 2019 at 6:30 p.m.
Where: Bunker Interpretive Center
Cost: Free
Sponsor: River City Wild Ones
Speaker: Tom Wilkinson, Author of Beyond Compost

How can we plant smarter and become better global citizens with compost? Author Tom Wilkinson will share ways you can reduce food waste, and improve the building blocks of your garden through the many benefits of vermicomposting, and applying the ancient but newly discovered soil amendment called biochar.

Native Plants to Attract Winter Birds

When: Monday, October 21, 2019 at 6:30 p.m.
Where: Bunker Interpretive Center
Cost: Free
Sponsor: River City Wild Ones
Speaker: Melanie Manion, Ottawa County Natural Resources Management Supervisor

Think beyond the bird feeder! We’ll learn from Melanie Manion about what you can plant for more diversity among the winged winter visitors to your garden.

Annual Meeting – Sweet & Savory Potluck

When: Monday, November 18, 2019 at 6:30 p.m.
Where: Bunker Interpretive Center
Cost: Free
Sponsor: River City Wild Ones

Join Wild Ones River City Chapter for an eventful evening of great food, friendly conversation and a sneak peak at 2020. We’ll share in a potluck, elect officers, learn what’s in store next year, plus introduce some brand new projects. Please bring an appetizer or a dessert to share and your own table service. Beverages will be provided.

Workshops that breathe new life into your classroom

Are you a science or environmental educator looking for professional development training? Whether you are a teacher choosing an in-service day program, homeschool teacher, naturalist, or manage outdoor recreation programs, you can breathe new life into your curriculum by participating in an environmental education workshop! These workshops will introduce you to national, award-winning, environmental curriculum. The curriculum guides are used by formal teachers and other educators working with students in pre-K through 12th grade. They are designed to be hands-on, instructionally sound, easy to use, interdisciplinary, and fun. The workshops are exciting, engaging, and powerful learning experiences, where you will receive the latest materials, learn to teach science education activities both indoors and outdoors, and walk away inspired and more knowledgeable about the natural world around you.

Workshop topics

Project Learning Tree (PLT)

Instruction focuses on students in grades: Kindergarten through eighth grade
Time requirement for certification: Six hours
Cost: $35 per participant
A program of the Sustainable Forestry Initiative, sponsored in Michigan by the Department of Natural Resources.

Project Learning Tree is a source of interdisciplinary instructional activities that uses trees and forests as a window on the world. The program is designed for educators working with youth from pre-K to 12th grade. PLT's curriculum and activities help to increase students' awareness and knowledge of the world around them, as well as their place within it. Students learn to use critical and creative thinking skills, develop informed decisions on environmental issues, and gain confidence to take responsible action on behalf of the environment. Find out more information about PLT and the curriculum guides.

Growing Up WILD

Instruction focuses on students in grades: Pre-K through fifth grade
Time requirement for certification: Four to six hours
Cost: $45 per participant
A program of the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, sponsored in Michigan by the Department of Natural Resources.

Growing Up WILD is an early childhood education program for 3–7 year olds that builds on children's sense of wonder about nature, and invites them to explore wildlife and the world around them. Through a wide range of activities and experiences, this program provides an early foundation for developing positive impressions about nature, along with lifelong social and academic skills. Learn more about Growing Up WILD and the curriculum.

Aquatic WILD

Instruction focuses on students in grades: Pre-K through 12th grade
Time requirement for certification: Six hours
Cost: $45 per participant
A program of the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, sponsored in Michigan by the Department of Natural Resources.

Aquatic WILD is a curriculum and activity guide featuring more than 50 lesson plans about aquatic wildlife and aquatic ecology. Designed to be used with grades kindergarten through 12th grade, many of the activities contain field investigations enabling students to learn methods and protocol for conducting scientific investigations, as well as STEM activity extensions, which make use of a variety of tools and instruments. The curriculum is proven to be effective, scientifically sound, based on current standards, and helps to prepare highly qualified educators. Discover more information about Aquatic WILD and the curriculum guides.

Flying WILD

Instruction focuses on students in grades: Third through 12th grade
Time requirement for certification: Four hours
Cost: $35 per participant
A program of the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, sponsored in Michigan by the Department of Natural Resources.

Flying WILD offers a whole-school approach to environmental education, using birds as the focus. This award-winning program is targeted for the middle school audience, but is widely adaptable. Students will learn about and celebrate migratory birds, through activities involving language arts, social science and math experiences, coupled with community outreach and service learning applications. Flying WILD offers practical, hands-on classroom and outdoor field investigation experiences, connecting real-world experiences in bird biology, conservation and natural history. It provides activities that demonstrate how to help birds and their habitats, and even how to implement a bird festival at your school. Find out more about Flying WILD and the curriculum.

Planning your workshop

All workshops are facilitated by Jeanette Henderson, program manager of the Ecosystem Preserve and certified facilitator of PLT and WILD Workshops. They can be held at your location, or at the Bunker Interpretive Center. Fees for each workshop are listed below, and include instruction, workshop materials, curriculum book, and certification. Additional fees may apply to cover mileage if outside of Kent County. A minimum number of 12 participants is required to run a workshop. If you have questions, or would like to schedule a workshop, please contact Jeanette Henderson.

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