Eagle River Nature Center - Connecting People with Nature
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March 2017 Programs

Online Registration for programs will be available when we launch our new website. We'll keep you posted. 

Friday, March 3, 7pm
Astronomy Series:
CELESTIAL NAVIGATION
Find out how early explorers navigated the seas using nothing more than the North Star, the Southern Cross, a magnetic needle, a clock, and the sun at high noon. The presentation features Captain James Cook’s 1778 search of the Alaska coastline, hoping to find the Northwest Passage. Presenter Dean Knapp (not an astronomer) is a search and rescue volunteer who still uses latitude and longitude to direct rescue helicopters to injured people in the Alaska wilderness. Free; $5 parking for non-members.

This is the last meeting for the season; the Astronomy series will resume in October and meet the first Friday evening of each month through March. There’s a presentation on a special topic (approximately 1 to 1.5 hours) followed by a questions and answer period. If skies are clear, be ready to go outside and view the night sky (bring 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 – those who completed the program will be recognized today.

Saturday, March 4, 9am – 5pm
Special Workshop ($75 fee; registration required)
WINTER LANDSCAPE PHOTOGRAPHY

Learn more about your digital camera and outdoor photography in this all-day intensive workshop. After a brief classroom introduction, you will head out on the trails to sharpen your skills with Colin Tyler Bogucki who has been photographing for publications for 20 years. Attendees must provide their own camera gear (digital SLR only, not smartphone cameras) and be prepared to hike five miles throughout the day. Cost is $75 including day parking pass. Limited to the first 10 people registered at www.ernc.org or 694-2108.


Saturday, March 4, 7-9pm
Guided Walk (Free: registration required):
FAMILY FRIENDLY EVENING OWL WALK

Join volunteer Liza Sanden on a 2-3 mile walk along the Albert Loop to listen for owls and learn about their nesting habits. Please note that this is a silent hike in the dark. Children need to be able to remain quiet so we can listen for owls calling. Use of flashlights is limited to preserve night vision. Limited to the first 15 people registered online or at 694-2108.


Sunday, March 5, 2pm
All Ages Program:
NATURE’S MEDICINE CABINET

Did you know that willows contain salicin, nature’s aspirin? Cottonwood buds have long been used to make “Balm of Gilead”, a healing skin salve. Devil’s Club, while not exactly a hiker’s friend, is valued for many medicinal properties. Naturalist Ute Olsson will discuss a handful of woody plants traditionally used for medicine that can be harvested during the cold season. This is followed by a special workshop to make some of these products (see below).

Sunday, March 5, 3pm
Special Workshop ($25; Registration required):
MAKING HERBAL PRODUCTS

Naturalist Ute Olsson will teach how to make infusions from botanicals and then use these to make salves and liniments. You will get lots of recipes and take home a variety of samples. Cost is $25; all materials provided. Limited to 6 participants registered at www.ernc.org or 694-2108.

Friday, March 10, 2pm
Junior Naturalist Program (registration required):
TO BUILD A FIRE

Michael “Gus” Gustafson knows how to stay warm when left out in the cold. Learn how to build a fire using flint and steel. Limited to 12 children registered at www.ernc.org or 694-2108. Free; $5 parking for non-members.

Friday, March 10, 7pm
OWL TALK AND WALK (Registration required for walk only)

Birder and owl enthusiast Enric Fernandez will present an informative slide show about Alaskan owls (opened to all; no registration needed). This is followed by a 2-3 mile guided walk, which is limited to the first 20 people registered at www.ernc.org or 694-2108. Free; $5 parking for non-members.

*Dress in outdoor clothes that are not too “noisy”. Use of flashlight will be limited to preserve night vision. Not intended for children -- but see March 4th.

Saturday, March 11, 2pm
Junior Naturalist Program (Registration required):
“GROSS” ANATOMY

Have you ever dissected an owl pellet? Here’s your chance to re-assemble the skeleton of a rodent or whatever the owl had for dinner – it’s gross fun! Limited to the first 12 children (ages 6 and up, accompanied by an adult), who register at www.ernc.org or 694-2108. Free; $5 parking for non-members.

Sunday, March 12, 2pm
All Ages Program:
POLAR LABS PROJECT

Change is both the subject and the medium of this series by artist David Pettibone. A single tree at the Eagle River Nature Center becomes a constant against which change is measured. Pettibone is following a large cottonwood in the form of numerous drawings, watercolors and oils from May 2016 to May 2017. This work is part of the Anchorage Museum’s Polar Lab Projects a look at the contemporary and future North through exhibitions and programs (www:polarlab.anchoragemuseum.org). Free; $5 parking for non-members.

Friday, March 17, 10am - 4pm
Special workshop ($20; registration required):
OUTDOOR SURVIVAL SKILLS FOR TEENS

Spend a fun day with us practicing skills like building fires, shelters, snowshoeing and more. Lunch is provided – you’ll be cooking it yourself over the fire you make! Dress for spending much of the day outside (with heated building nearby. Bring backpack with water bottle, snack and extra non-cotton layers. Cost is $20 including lunch. Limited to 10 students (ages 13 and up) who register at www.ernc.org or 694-2108.

Friday, March 17, 11am
Guided Hike for Families with Preschoolers:
LITTLE EXPLORERS

Join us on Fridays for a short walk to explore nature at the pace of a preschooler. Bring a snack or lunch to eat with new friends after the walk. No registration is needed; check in at the front desk 10 minutes prior. Free; $5 parking for non-members.

Saturday, March 18, 2pm
Junior Naturalist Program (K-6th):
YUPIK ESKIMO STORYTELLING

Leona Bennett-Sandlin is a Yupik Eskimo educator born and raised in Bristol Bay. She enjoys teaching about Alaska native culture through storytelling, and will explore basic concepts of Yupik Eskimo interactions with nature, in particular with animals. Free; $5 parking for non-members.

Saturday, March 18, 8pm-1am
Special Workshop ($75, registration required:)
NIGHTTIME & AURORA PHOTOGRAPHY

Nighttime photography can be challenging, but also incredibly rewarding. Photographer Colin Tyler Bogucki will teach participants how to properly expose the night sky using a digital SLR (not smartphone) camera, as well as how to stay informed on solar activity. Attendees must provide their own camera gear, tripod, head lamp, and be prepared for hiking in cold weather. Cost is $75/person including day parking pass. Limited to 10 people; register at www.ernc.org or 694-2108.

Sunday, March 19, 2pm
All Ages Program:
IN SEARCH OF THE WATER OUZEL

The only truly aquatic songbird, the American dipper is also called the water ouzel. Join naturalist Samantha Russell to learn about this Eagle River valley winter resident who likes to hang around the viewing decks on the Rodak Trail (3/4 mile walk). Dress for going outside. Free; $5 parking for non-members.

Friday, March 24, 11am
Guided Hike for Families with Preschoolers:
LITTLE EXPLORERS

See March 17 for description.

Saturday, March 25, 10am -3:30pm
Special Workshop ($85; registration required):
NATURAL DYE WORKSHOP

Several natural dyes have provided reliable lightfast and washfast colors as far back as 2600 BCE, including indigo, madder root, cochineal and weld. In this hands-on workshop with Elissa Meyers, you will learn the basics of creating color on fiber using these historical dyes. Leave the workshop with silk/wool/cotton swatches and a shibori resisted totebag. Bring lunch/snack and also a prewashed item to dye -- in case there’s enough time and dye left at the end of the workshop. For questions, contact Elissa at blueredyellow.designs@gmail.com. Cost is $85 including day parking pass. Limited to 10 people; register at www.ernc.org or 694-2108.

Saturday, March 25, 7pm
Armchair Travel Series:
AUSTRALIA and the GREAT BARRIER REEF

Experience the “Land Down Under”. Photographer Colin Tyler Bogucki will share images and experiences from his 3,600-mile road trip from Sydney to Wilsons Promontory, the Great Ocean Road, Kangaroo Island and the Outback. Susan Wilkins will share photos and videos taken from the journey she and her husband Jon took to Queensland, including Cairns and diving at the Great Barrier Reef.
Sit back and relax by our woodstove while vicariously visiting far-away lands: each month focuses on a different destination. Contact naturalist@ernc.org if you’re interested in making a presentation of your travel experience.

Sunday, March 26, 2pm
All Ages Program:
WOODPECKERS

How do woodpeckers peck without getting headaches? This and other questions will be addressed by naturalist Beth Baker -- learn more about these amazing birds. Woodpeckers are frequent visitors to winter feeders (remember to stop feeding birds when bears start coming out of hibernation). Soon, we will be hearing woodpeckers “drumming” as they get ready for the mating season. Free; $5 parking for non-members.

Friday, March 31, 11am
Guided Hike for Families with Preschoolers:
LITTLE EXPLORERS

See March 17 for description.

 

 

 
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