Spate of programs slated for summer months

Although it may seem early, it’s never too soon to start planning. The Greenfield Parks and Recreation Department will be hosting programs throughout summer 2016. Most of the programs will be at Thornwood Nature Preserve. Here are some of the highlights.

This is a tentative schedule; other classes may be offered as the season progresses.

Spring in the Woods – Ever wonder what native plants pop up in the spring? This is your chance to find out. You never know what might be showing up just around the bend. Later in the summer we cover the other wild flowers that appear.

Tracks in the Night – Because animals need water and most of them roam at night, this is a chance to check the tracks of those who come to the creek. Learn how to tell a coyote from a dog, opossum from a raccoon and what other animals are lurking in the woods and may be watching you as we talk about the next program.

Night Hike – This is a chance to see how the woods look at night and the sounds that are present. One of these will be under a full moon (assuming no clouds). Most people have never experienced being in a woods at night. Your senses are different, your orientation can be messed up, the sounds are different and sometimes the silence can be deafening.

Blue Posts – Is a hike to get a bit more background on our teaching moments at Thornwood. Why the spots were picked as a special spot and what we can learn from them.

Pond Life – (or, That’s in my water?) A chance for you to see what really is alive and well in the water. This is conducted at Beckenholdt Park.

Arms Reach – How many plants inhabit the forest floor? This is your chance to see the diversity that is growing out there without getting off the path.

Prairie Plants – While the real prairie starts farther north we have our own at Beckenholdt Park. Drop by to see what plants grew on the prairie and what the pioneers used them for.

Wildflowers – The diversity of wildflowers at Thornwood is striking. So far there have been 38 identified, can we find more? I believe we can and will. Come on out and search. See what plants pop up later in the summer.

Trees – Why does a certain tree grow where it’s growing? What use is it to us and the animals that inhabit the forest? These and other questions can be answered in this walk through the forest.

Programs will start at 6 p.m. Tuesdays, except for the night hikes, which will start around 8 p.m. (or later) on Fridays. Weather and other environmental factors may cause delay or rescheduling of classes. I don’t mind getting caught in the rain, but starting in the rain is another story.

If we continue with our primitive camping at Thornwood,  classes can also be held upon request during this time.

Groups, such as schools, churches, youth and families are welcome to request a class of particular interest on days that will work for you. Tours/classes can be held anytime on Saturdays, or on Sundays after 12 p.m.

Call the Parks and Recreation Office to check availability at 477-4340.