Take a Hike @ Mary Beth Doyle Nature Area

Thursday, June 13 | 7:00-8:30 PM | Mary Beth Doyle Park | All Ages

Join us on a walk on the unpaved trail that meanders along Malletts Creek and through woods and wetlands of this 81.4-acre park. A staff naturalist from Natural Area Preservation (City of Ann Arbor) will discuss native plants and trees, invasive plants, ecological restoration, volunteer activities in Ann Arbor Parks, and much more.

The walk will start at the park entrance off Packard Rd., just east of Cobblestone Farm (south side of the road). Parking at the entrance is limited; additional parking is available at the Malletts Creek Branch (3090 E. Eisenhower) with a half-mile walk east along Eisenhower and Packard to the park entrance.

Paddle Now, Chores Later With Michigan Kayaking And Canoeing Expert Doc Fletcher

Wednesday May 15, 2013: 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm -- Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room

PBS-featured author and life-long Michigan resident Doc Fletcher returns to the Library for a delightful discussion of Michigan canoeing and kayaking.

Among the rivers featured for this event will be Pere Marquette, the subject of Doc's new book Michigan's Pere Marquette River: Paddling Through Its History.

The event includes a book signing and copies of Doc's books on canoeing and kayaking in Michigan and Wisconsin will be for sale.

Audiobooks for Kids: Wildlife Adventures

Author Carl Hiaasen, born and raised in Southern Florida, spent his childhood amongst the mangrove swamps and freshwater lagoons that surrounded his home. In his books for kids, Florida’s wild places and wild animals take center stage. If you’re in the mood for a wildlife adventure, check out his audiobooks:

Chomp – Wahoo Crane and his classmate Tuna Gordon set out to find the difficult star of the reality television show “Expedition Survival” who went missing while filming an episode in the Florida Everglades. Read by James Van der Beek.

Scat – Nick and his friend Marta decide to investigate when a mysterious fire starts near a Florida wildlife preserve and an unpopular teacher goes missing. Read by Edward Asner.

Flush – With their father jailed for sinking a river boat, Noah Underwood and his younger sister, Abbey, must gather evidence that the owner of this floating casino is emptying his bilge tanks into the protected waters around their Florida Keys home. Read by Michael Welch.

Hoot – Roy, who is new to his small Florida community, becomes involved in another boy's attempt to save a colony of burrowing owls from a proposed construction site. Read by Chad Lowe.

Lovin' the Lavender

One of my favorite scents is lavender and with spring planting upon us, I turned to the Lavender Lover's Handbook, for inspiration. Lavender not only smells intoxicating, the flowers are gorgeous, and it can be used in a variety of recipes. From flower arranging to wreath making to cooking, this book provides the information needed to utilize lavender in many ways and in a variety of forms. The author also describes the different varieties of lavender, as well as how to grow and maintain them in abundance. The author should know, she has a 5-acre farm in Oregon with some 5000 lavender plants. It is open to the public and has the romantic name of Lavender at Stonegate. The library owns several other books on lavender, like Lavender : the grower's guide and Lavender : how to grow and use the fragrant herb I also have just heard about the Michigan Lavender Festival in Armada that takes place in July! A rewarding summer sipping sweet lavender lemonade!

Take a Hike @ Bird Hills

Thursday, May 2 | 7:00-8:30 PM | Bird Hills Natural Area | All Ages

The Ann Arbor Natural Area Preservation staff will lead a nature walk in one of Ann Arbor's most beloved parks, Bird Hills. Covering 147 acres, it is the largest park in Ann Arbor.

Learn about ecological restoration and responsible use of public lands. Opportunities for wildlife viewing are plentiful. If we’re lucky, we may get to view some early spring bloomers like trillium, jack-in-the pulpit, and more. Black, red, and fox squirrels, ground squirrels, deer, and butterflies are very common in Bird Hills. Dress comfortably to walk and enjoy nature.

We'll meet in the parking lot off Newport Road, just north of M-14. This event is for all ages.

Garden Problem Solver

Spring is here, and we’ve had a few warm days finally, so let’s talk gardening. I know you’ve got seeds ordered and sprouting indoors! We’ve got a new and pretty little book called Garden Problem Solver that has suggestions for just that. It has wonderful illustrations of images of disease and damage with possible solutions to bring the foliage back to health and get rid of pests. It talks about various problems encountered by a variety of ornamentals, vegetables, fruit, and weeds.

The library has a plethora of great books on gardening. Everything from what to plant when and where, to how to take care of it. Happy gardening! Think spring!

Bats of the World

Tuesday, April 2 | 7 - 8 pm | Downtown | Grade 6 - Adult

Discover the truth about bats and how they live at this multi-media presentation by the Cranbrook Institute's Organization for Bat Conservation.

Learn how bats use sound wave (echolocation) to navigate in the dark; the bat's role in the food web; and about conservation and ecosystems from Michigan and around the world. Meet bats from North and South America and Africa - some with a 3-foot wingspan!

Check out these video clips of the Organization for Bat Conservation on Ellen, The Tonight Show, Conan, and more. Also, learn more about bats with these books from the AADL.

This event is for adults and teens (grade 6 and up).

Travel the entire perimeter of the British Isles

In Coast, hosted by the charming Scot, Neil Oliver, who is an archaeologist, author and adventurer and an expert on the history of Celtic Britain, the BBC presents an in-depth excursion around the coast of England. Not just England either - the adventure includes exploring the adjacent coastlines of Britain’s neighbors: France, Ireland, the Faroe Islands, Norway and Denmark. It is an ingenious way of learning about these countries. The coastline of the British Isles is long and beautiful with a unique natural, geological and social history. There is, however, a common flavor to the histories and lifestyles of coastal peoples, from all of these countries and islands, which makes for a unified, though diverse, story.

Each of the fifteen episodes includes 4-5 chapters of exploration, conducted by regular ‘guest stars’ who happen to be scientists, naturalists and historians. Aerial filming provides sweeping vistas of every segment of the coasts, from the white cliffs of Dover to John-o-Groats, and back again. On the ground we visit beaches, marshes, caves and cliffs and many of the creatures that make their homes there, as well as famous ports, castles, lighthouses, resorts, and other human habitations which have sprung up over millennia where the ocean meets the land. Full of curiosities, strange and marvelous stories, beauty and intrigue this series leaves no stone unturned in seeking the heritage and natural wonder of Britain's coast.

For other resources about the habitats and histories of coastal areas look here.

Chimpanzee

Chimpanzee is a very touching look into the complexities of a community of chimpanzees living in the jungles of West Africa. Surely we have been fascinated with chimps partly because of their similarities to humans and this documentary highlights those similarities more than most. The choice of Tim Allen for narration was a pleasant surprise and he did a wonderful job of bringing his own personality to the production, while not detracting from the overarching story. There are even a couple hints to his previous acting work as Tim “the Toolman Taylor” in the popular 90’s TV sitcom Home Improvement.

The cinematography was one of my favorite aspects of the film. There is one scene in particular of it raining that struck me as extraordinarily beautiful. This film however, does come with a warning, there are moments where you may tear up because you have so completely entered their world that the losses and difficulties their community faces feel like your own. Overall, this is a very touching story and I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys beautiful scenery and learning more about the society of chimpanzees.

To see what else the library has to offer regarding the magestic chimpanzee, click here.

Learn about Controlled Burns in Ann Arbor’s Natural Areas

Tuesday, February 26 | 7:00-8:30 PM | Malletts Creek Branch - Program Room

Prescribed or controlled burning is a technique sometimes used in forest management, farming, or prairie restoration. Fire is a natural part of both forest and grassland ecology and controlled fire can be a tool for foresters. Controlled burning also stimulates the germination of some desirable forest trees, thus renewing the forest.

The 2013 Spring Burn Season is upon us! The City of Ann Arbor's Natural Area Preservation staff will discuss what controlled burns are and why they are used in Ann Arbor's natural areas. This presentation is recommended for anyone interested in helping with burns, as well as anyone simply interested in learning more about why and how they are conducted.

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