Eagle River Nature Center - Connecting People with Nature

December 2015 Programs

Proposed PROGRAMS for DECEMBER 2016
Friday, December 2, 7pm
Astronomy Series: MARS

We are constantly making new discoveries about our red neighbor using orbiters, landers and rovers. It's about time we took at look at Mars in person. What will it take for us to become Martians? Join Omega Smith, UAA Planetarium manager, for an exploration of the red planet. The Astronomy series meets on the first Friday evening of each month through March. An astronomer presents a special topic (approximately 1 to 1.5 hours) and answers your questions. If skies are clear, be ready to go outside and view the night sky (bring your own binoculars or telescope to share). Students ages 10 and up can earn their Jr. Astronomer certificate and astronomy supplies when they attend a minimum of 4 of the 6 programs this season and write brief synopses of what they learned. All Jr. Astronomers will receive recognition at the March 3rd meeting. Free; $5 parking for non-members.

Friday, December 2, 3:30pm

See October 7 for description.

Saturday, December 3, 2pm
Jr. Naturalist Program (K-6th)
MAKING BIRD FEEDERS (Registration required)

Come make a bird feeder to take home, and learn about feeding winter birds responsibly. We’ll make homemade suet, bird cookies and a bird feeder to take home. Bring netting bags (the kind vegetables come in) and an empty soda bottle if you have any; all other materials are provided. Call 694-2108 to register. Free; $5 parking for non-members.

Sunday, December 4, 2pm

Mushroom enthusiast Christine Wilcox of Spruce Tip Farm and Nursery introduces you to growing mushrooms at home and in the garden. Mushrooms are an excellent source of protein, taste great, and many are reported to have medicinal properties. You can grow your own shiitake, oyster mushrooms and many more, and share your harvest with friends and family. Christine has extensive experience growing mushrooms in Alaska, and will talk about what you need to get started.

Saturday, December 10, 2pm
Craft Program for all ages (Registration required)

Make your own lantern for next weekend’s lantern walk. Bring an empty ½-gallon cardboard milk carton -- all other materials provided. Call 694-2108 to register. Free; $5 parking for non-members.

Sunday, December 11, 1-3:30pm
All Ages Program

The musk ox is an Ice Age survivor that once existed alongside saber-toothed tigers and wooly mammoths. Naturalist Samantha Russell and Dani Biersteker of the Musk Ox Farm in Palmer will discuss the naturalist history of these unique animals and the development of geographically appropriate agriculture. Come and learn about the mighty musk ox and feel samples of its “qiviut”, the finest wool in the world. Free; $5 parking for non-members.

Saturday, December 17, 2pm
Jr. Naturalist Program (Registration required)

Learn how to make your own ice lanterns, and take home a truly “cool” holiday decoration. Help us set out hundreds of ice lanterns to light up the Nature Center trails for our special Solstice Celebration tonight. Call 694-2108 to register. Free; $5 parking for non-members.

Special Event:
Saturday, December 17, 6-8pm

The Nature Center invites you to join us for our annual celebration of the winter solstice, the shortest day of the year. Bring your own lantern or borrow one of ours. Dress for being outdoors – follow the lantern-lit path to the big bonfire ANYTIME between 6 and 8pm. Free; $5 parking for non-members.

Sunday, December 18, 2-4pm

The Nature Center is a great place to observe birds while enjoying the warmth from our woodstove! Join us in this informal setting to observe woodpeckers, chickadees and other winter birds at our feeders. Refresh your bird ID skills for the Eagle River-Chugiak Christmas Bird Count on Jan 1, 2017.

The Nature Center building will be closed from December 19 to January 5, 2017.  Trails are always open.

Friday, December 30, 10am-2pm
Special workshop ($25, see registration below)

The Anchorage area is surrounded by the big mountains of Chugach, which are a world-class recreational resource but can be extremely dangerous from October through May due to avalanches. Whether you’re new to snowy mountains, or just want a refresher, join the Anchorage Avalanche Center to learn the skills and knowledge you need to keep yourself safe and comfortable in this environment whether you ski, ride, hike, bike, or snowshoe. The workshop will cover avalanche basics including recognition, management, and rescue. It will also address more general issues like proper gear and attire for winter backcountry adventures. The nominal fee for this workshop directly supports the grassroots Anchorage Avalanche Center, and its public safety information and education programs for Chugach State Park. Register at www.AnchorageAvalancheCenter.org. Cost is $25 including parking.

Please note: CHRISTMAS BIRD COUNT will be held Sunday, Jan 1, 2017
Join us to gather data for Audubon’s Annual Winter Bird Count for Eagle River/Chugiak. You can cover a pre-determined area or even do it at your own bird feeder.
Contact coordinator Liza Sanden at liza-s@rocketmail.com for details or to volunteer.



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