ASHLAND - Nature journaling can be a wonderful way to connect with nature — no matter what the season. That’s why The Wilderness Center and Ashland Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) are teaming up to help foster those connections at the district’s beautiful 40-acre Hazel Willis Woods property, according to a news release from Ashland Soil and Water.
The program will kick off with an introduction on Feb. 19 from 10 a.m. until noon at the Ashland SWCD office and will continue with other programs on April 16, June 11, Sept. 10, Nov. 12 and Dec. 10.
“We are very excited to be partnering with Ashland SWCD and to have the opportunity to teach at the Hazel Willis Woods,” said Carrie Elvey, senior naturalist and community engagement coordinator at The Wilderness Center in Wilmot , in the release. “Hazel Willis Woods is the perfect outdoor classroom for nature journaling and the hands-on exploration that is so important.”
Using the handbook The Naturalists Notebook: An Observation Guide and 5-Year Cal-endar-Journal for Tracking Changes in the Natural World Around You, by Nathaniel T. Wheelwright and Bernard Heinrich, participants will wok on slowing down, careful obser-vation, simple experiments and asking questions, all of which serve to bring nature into sharper focus.
First session begins in February
The February session will focus on getting started, distributing books, basic journaling, and an introduction to phenology — the study of cyclin and seasonal natural phe-nomena, specifically as they related to climate and plant and animal life. Each two-hour session will include hands-on activities and hikes focusing on a particular aspect of nature.
Additional sessions will focus on wildflowers, first blooms, pollinators, fields, forests, wetland investigations, insect identification and behavior and bird identification and behavior as well as sketching birds.
The Hazel Willis Woods is a 40-acre natural woodland owned and operated by Ashland SWCD for the purpose of natural education and outreach.
“We are really excited to be able to partner with The Wilderness Center to bring this type of hands-on educational program to Ashland County and to help grow and foster these deeper connections with nature,” said Jane Houin, Ashland SWCD program director in the release. “We’ve been wanting to really grow our nature outreach and programming at the Hazel Willis Woods property, and there’s no better partner to help us do that than The Wilderness Center.”
The nature journaling program costs $95 and includes all six classes, the naturalist notebook, journal and curriculum materials. Registration can be made directly through The Wilderness Center website at www.wildernesscenter.org
This article originally appeared on Ashland Times Gazette: New nature journaling program helps foster deeper connections