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Urban Wildlife

Degraaf Nature Center offers summer nature classes for children

Degraaf Nature Center offers summer nature classes for children

 

HOLLAND, Mich.-- This summer, Degraaf Nature Center invites community children to take part in their summer nature classes! 

Classes include Preschool Nature Study, Curious Kids, Wilderness Survival, and Kayaking. This year, there will also be some new, one-day classes. Classes are listed in the Holland Recreation Spring Bulletin; children must be three years or older.

Degraaf Nature Center is located at 600 Graafschap Road. For more information or to register for classes, visit www.cityofholland.com/degraafnaturecenter/summer-nature-classes or call (616) 355-1057.

Shop bringing Zeeland a taste of the sea celebrates grand opening

Shop bringing Zeeland a taste of the sea celebrates grand opening

ZEELAND, Mich. – Eco Reef is reopening under new ownership.

Iraq War veteran Jeff Smith will celebrate his new business with a grand opening celebration Saturday, April 6. The event will feature sales and promotions from noon to 5 p.m. that day.

The Otsego resident bought the business from Adam and Nick Fernandez.  Adam Fernandez says the sale is great for Zeeland, because Eco Reef will stay right where it is.

 Eco Reef is a saltwater aquarium retail store which offers aquarium installation and maintenance services.  The store’s owners say it features West Michigan’s greatest display of live fish and coral in 2,000 gallons of saltwater.

Eco Reef is located at 56 E. Main Ave. in Zeeland.  For more information about the business, visit Eco Reef’s website.

Helping hands time at DeGraaf Nature Center

Helping hands time at DeGraaf Nature Center

HOLLAND, Mich.-- Families, individuals, employee groups, scout groups and organizations are encouraged to call to register to volunteer to help spruce up the trails & gardens on Saturday, April 6 at 10am at the DeGraaf Nature Center in Holland.

A free pancake lunch with fresh maple syrup made by the center will be provided to all volunteers at noon.

Call: (616)355-1057 to register or go on-line to www.degraaf.org for more event details.

Waterfowl Watch

Waterfowl Watch

Register to take part in this fun waterfowl watch through the DeGraaf Nature Center at 600 Graafschap Road in Holland Michigan on Saturday, March 31 from 10am through 12:00pm. A variety of swans, geese, ducks, grebes and loons travel through the Holland Area lakes & river and this is an opportunity to watch their flight back to Holland. Groups will carpool to discover the waterfowl that can be located. Binoculars & spot scopes will be provided.  Fee: $2 for Friends of DeGraaf or $4 for visitors.

Call: (616)355-1057 for registration information.

Annual Christmas Bird Count begins on December 14

Annual Christmas Bird Count begins on December 14

Every year tens of thousands of volunteers throughout the Americas take part in an adventure that has become a family tradition among generations.  Families and students, birders and scientists, armed with binoculars, bird guides and checklists go out on an annual mission - often before dawn.  For over one hundred years, the desire to both make a difference and to experience the beauty of nature has driven dedicated people to leave the comfort of a warm house during the Holiday season.

Each of the citizen scientists who annually braves  the snow, wind, or rain, to take part in the Christmas Bird Count makes an enormous contribution to conservation.  Audubon and other organizations use data collected in this longest-running wildlife census to assess the health of bird populations - and to help guide conservation action.

From feeder-watchers and field observers to count compilers and regional editors, everyone who takes part in the Christmas Bird Co

Volunteers Needed for Fall Community Tulip Planting Day

Volunteers Needed for Fall Community Tulip Planting Day

News Release:

The Tulip Time Festival, together with the City of Holland Parks Department, will host a Community Tulip Planting Day on October 15, 2011 at Window on the Waterfront Park, located on 6th Street between Columbia and College Avenues, from 8:00 AM -12:30 PM. Rain date will be October 22, 2011, same time and place. Volunteers are needed for the 10:30 AM -12:30 PM shift.

Each fall the City of Holland plants over 300,000 tulip bulbs throughout downtown Holland, city parks, and Tulip Lanes. The Community Planting Day Volunteers will help plant 50,000 tulip bulbs at Window on the Waterfront Park. The Tulip Time Festival Board and Staff have assisted the Parks Department in planting bulbs for several years.

We trade our Urban Wildlife for a rare sighting -- The elusive badger

We trade our Urban Wildlife for a rare sighting -- The elusive badger

Meet Bella, Bucky and Barry:

We leave the urban wildlife in Forest Hills and head to our cabin in Wisconsin.  In Michigan, you would call our cabin a cottage.  In Wisconsin, they are known as cabins.  Anyway I digress - our cabin is on 10 hilly acres of grassland in the bluff country of southern Wisconsin. 

Wisconsin is known as the dairy state, but the “state animal” is not a cow.  It’s the badger.  Yes, Wisconsinites have seen Bucky the Badger, the University of Wisconsin’s mascot.  But very few of them have ever seen a real badger.  Our property in Wisconsin was invaded by three badgers last year!!!!

The first sign of a badger invasion:

The first sign of the badger invasion was the yard, which was dug up.  Badgers prefer to live in open grasslands, fields and pastures.  My husband mows about four acres of our property and lets the rest of the grasses grow wild.