Midcoast Conservancy and the Jefferson Public Library are partnering to offer a “Wild Child” series of nature events.
Each episode in the series offers kids 6-18 years old a chance to explore some aspect of the natural world during the summer break. The events are free, although registration is required.
The first event, “Fungi Frolic,” is on Wednesday, June 29, from 4-5 p.m., at the Davis Stream Preserve in Jefferson. From mushrooms in the yard to lichen on a gravestone to yeast in bread, fungi are all around. During a half mile hike, the group will explore the mushrooms, lichens, and other fungi they encounter and discuss why they are cool and important to the forest.
The “Tree Trek” on Wednesday, July 6 at the West Branch Preserve will run from 3:30-5 p.m. On a one-mile hike, the group will meet some of Maine’s common trees and learn how to tell them apart from each other. Along the way, they will collect leaves and create a “Tree of Trees” to help identify the trees they are seeing around them.
“Track Trail Scavenger Hunt” on Wednesday, July 20 from 2-5 p.m. will explore what wild animals are using the trail at Davis Stream Preserve. Participating children will receive a track identification card and an activity sheet at the trailhead, and will be tasked with finding all 12 animal tracks along the half mile hike. Those who complete the activity sheet will receive a free kid’s ice cream cone or scoop from Jefferson Scoop.
Finally, on Wednesday, Aug. 17 from 2:30-5 p.m., Hidden Valley Nature Center will be the location for investigating the tiny but important creatures that live in water as part of the “Macroinvertebrate Mission!” From dragonfly nymphs to stonefly larva to leeches, these critters are little but play a big role in rivers, forests, and wetlands.
Registration is separate for each event. To learn more about the Wild Child Series, and to sign up, go to midcoastconservancy.org.