Nature Journaling 2019

Nature Journaling For Kids At Six Mile Creek

Dear Friends and Nature Lovers,

A group of children is walking in the woods when someone spots a small pile of blue-tinged feathers. The excitement is palpable by the time an adult arrives and asks, “What do you think happened here?” Another day it is a set of tracks in the snow. “What kind of animal was here? Which way was it going?” 

Children are naturals in the natural world. They are curious, observant and, with just a little guidance, ask discerning questions and make perceptive hypotheses. With nature journals in hand, children start to look closely, becoming scientists in the process.

If this sounds like the right fit for your child, come to Nature Journaling for Kids at Six Mile Creek. Facilitated by Laurie Rubin, children age 7-12 will observe and learn about animals and plants while they record their impressions in words and pictures. 

The seventh annual educational series is sponsored by The Friends of Six Mile Creek and the Parks, Recreation, and Natural Resources Commission of the City of Ithaca.

Rubin, retired Ithaca City School District teacher, demonstrates how nature study helped her students become stronger scientists, readers, writers, and mathematicians in her book, To Look Closely: Science and Literacy in the Natural World. Her experience complements the expertise of five naturalists who will each lead one themed workshop: Animal Tracking, Tree Detectives, Stream Safari, Wonderful Wild Flowers, and Creepy Crawlies. Children, accompanied by a parent, can participate in one or more of these fun, educational, and free activities in 2019.

 Each session will start at the parking area of the Mullholland Wildflower Preserve just off Giles Street on Saturdays at 1:00PM and run until 2:30PM. Bring a journal or notebook. No signup required. Contact Laurie (592-0835) or Anna (379-0924) for more information.

The schedule is as follows:

February 2 – Animal Tracking with Linda Spielman

There’s lots going on outside in winter, but it takes a detective’s mind to find and understand the clues. We’ll look for tracks, chews, scat, and other kinds of evidence to help us figure out what kinds of wild animals live near us and what they are doing.

March 30 – Tree Detectives with Jeanne Grace

How can you identify a dogwood tree? By it’s bark. Arf! Arf! But seriously, the bark of different tree species is as distinct as their leaves and there is more to tree ID then just comparing leaf shape. Come for an early spring walk and learn to identify Ithaca’s native trees by their distinct bark, scent and even taste! We will search for animal signs on trees, and you can hug your favorite tree.

April 13 – Stream Safari with Phil Koons and Franny Lux

Did you ever wonder what kinds of critters live in our local streams? Join us on a Stream Safari to learn about the insects, fish and other organisms that live beneath the water’s surface. We’ll collect live samples and explore an exciting new world! We’ll be wading in shallow waters so bring boots or appropriate water shoes.

May 4 – Wonderful Wild Flowers with Betsy Darlington

Spring wildflowers seem to magically rise from the forest floor and then, almost as quickly, disappear, not to be seen again until the next spring. Join us to learn the names (and secrets) of these fleeting flowers of the Mulholland Wildflower Preserve.

June 15 – Creepy Crawlies with Jason Hamilton

Have you ever looked under a rock or rolled over a log? There’s a whole world of invertebrate life waiting for you to discover. We’ll learn about the insects, worms, centipedes and other creepy crawlies that live in the forest as we search for their hiding places.