By Coggin Heeringa, Interpretive Naturalist, Crossroads at Big Creek, Inc.
Crossroads at Big Creek is the perfect place to make summer memories, and this week, the opportunities for making childhood memories abound.
Aside from, say, Christmas, most of my childhood memories were made in the summer. I remember when my grandpa took my family to a planetarium show and then, during the following evenings, all the grandkids would lie on blankets out in an open field and try to identify the constellations (or catch fireflies—I am easily distracted by interesting insects. We put them in olive jars and watched them blink as we drifted off to sleep.)
I fondly remember splashing in a creek, chasing frogs, capturing butterflies with a net and hunting for fossils. My special talent was finding four-leaf clovers. Actually, it still is.
With the neighbor kids and my siblings, I loved to make forts in the woods and to go to a park on crafts days. Or just sit on a dock.
I sincerely hope the kids of today will grow up having cherished childhood memories, and this week at Crossroads, they will have plenty of chances.
The Door Peninsula Astronomical Society schedules a special viewing night at the Astronomy Campus each month on the Saturday evening closest to the new moon. While organizers are mindful of bedtimes routines, stargazing really can’t start until dusk, which in July is around 9:00 p.m. But it is summer!
Folks who attend these events are enthralled by the images from the telescope in the Leif Everson Observatory. This may be a chance to see Comet C/2023 E1 ATLAS, which is not impressive, but hey, how often do we get to see a comet? The images can be viewed on the big screen in real time. It’s pretty exciting.
But it also is just plain cool to see a planet or nebula through the eyepiece of a smaller scope or a pair of astronomical binoculars, so Society members will be in the StarGarden with their personal green laser pointers, giving “tours” of the night sky. If it is cloudy, and probably, even if it isn’t, our DPAS intern will present planetarium shows. This event is most certainly a memory-maker.
Our Make and Take event on Friday will make memories for small children because preceding the make and take craft activity, our favorite puppeteer, Nancy Hawkins, and her puppets will share the story of “The Lion and the Mouse.”
Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays, Crossroads offers Nature Mornings at Crossroads at 10:00 for learners of all ages. On Thursday evenings at 6:30, families can become Summer Explorers with outdoor activities.
Finally, kids will develop memories and self-esteem if they participate as volunteers with our Pollinator Pals and Habitat Healers programs. We encourage volunteers of ALL ages and we have discovered that kids can be very good helpers!
Crossroads at Big Creek Learning Center and Nature Preserve is located at 2041 Michigan. Crossroads is a 501(c)3 organization committed to offering education, conducting research and restoration, and providing outdoor experiences to inspire environmental stewardship in learners of all ages and from all backgrounds. We welcome your support.