Nature Center Summit set for February

ROSCOMMON — Nonformal educators at nature centers, zoos, camps and conservation districts teach thousands of Michigan residents about natural resources each year. Faculty members at Michigan colleges and universities also reach thousands of students in biology, zoology and other nature-related courses. But where do these naturalists, educators and professors get their information?

The idea behind the DNR’s first Nature Center Summit in 2019 was to bring together nonformal educators and higher education faculty for a daylong seminar about some of Michigan’s current conservation issues and trends.

“We really seek out speakers who are the best of the best when it comes to knowledge of Michigan natural resource topics,” said Jon Spieles, the DNR’s acting Marketing and Outreach Division chief and a planner of the original summit,. in a news release. “If you want to learn about any of our scheduled topics, these are the people best suited to present and answer questions you may have.”

After two years of virtual meetings due to COVID-19 precautions, the Nature Center Summit will convene in person once again at the downstate Ralph A. MacMullan Conference Center on Higgins Lake from 9:45 a.m. to 4 p.m. Feb. 10. The cost is $25, which includes lunch. A hospitality package with lodging, dinner and breakfast is available for an additional cost.

Register and find more information about scheduled sessions at Michigan.gov/NatureCenterSummit.

If you’re looking for a full weekend of nature programming, the Michigan Alliance for Environmental and Outdoor Education will offer its Wildlife Weekend program beginning the evening of Feb. 10, and running through noon Feb. 12.

While the Nature Center Summit targets nonformal educators, Wildlife Weekend is open to anyone interested in learning more about nature and the outdoors – participants can opt to either learn how Michigan wildlife withstands winter or try their hand at activities like snowshoeing and ice fishing.

For more information, contact Kevin Frailey at 517-974-7941.


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