Take a Hike @ Black Pond Woods

Pond at Black Pond WoodsPond at Black Pond Woods

Thursday, June 16 | 7:00-8:30 p.m. | 1831 Traver Road | All Ages

Meet at the Project Grow Garden of the Leslie Science and Nature Center, 1831 Traver Road and join a naturalist from Natural Area Preservation (City of Ann Arbor) on a nature walk. Learn about native plants and trees, ecological restoration, and responsible use of public lands, as well as volunteer activities in Ann Arbor Parks.

Black Pond Woods is named for a small, vernal pond whose basin was carved by receding glaciers. Tannins and humic acids from leaf litter cause the water color to be dark brown, thus giving rise to the name “Black Pond.” This pond provides favorable conditions for frogs and salamanders. The land around the pond includes an oak-hickory forest, a savanna, and a wet meadow.

Park & Read Passes Have Arrived!

Grand Haven State ParkGrand Haven State Park

Now's your chance to get a free one-day pass into any Michigan State Park or recreation area with a Park & Read Pass from AADL this summer! How does it work?

  • A limited number of passes are available at each AADL branch. Passes are available on a first come, first serve basis and can not be reserved. Only one pass may be checked out to a single library card holder at one time. Each pass is good for the free entrance and parking of one car (bring the whole family if they'll fit!) at a State Park or recreation area.
  • When checking out a pass, you'll be given a printed admission card and brochure by the Circulation desk. This admission card is your pass and is turned in at the park on arrival. You don't have to return anything to the library! Passes must be used within seven days of checkout, and can only be used once.
  • For a list of parks and areas you can visit, click here!
  • Park & Read Passes are available this year until October 1st, 2011. Get your pass today and enjoy summer in Michigan at the park!

    Traverwood/Stapp Invasives Removal

    TraverwoodTraverwood

    Thursday, May 19 | 7:00-8:30 PM | Traverwood | Grade 6-Adult

    Wear your outdoor work duds/gloves and with the help of Ann Arbor’s Natural Area Preservation (NAP) staff, identify and pull invasive plants on the grounds of Traverwood or nearby Stapp Nature Area. Meet just outside the front door of the Traverwood Branch.

    What are invasives? These are plants that do not naturally occur in southeast Michigan woodlands, wetlands, and prairies. Invasive plants DO NOT provide the food and habitat needed by our native animals.

    Teens (and adults), this is a VOLUNTEER opportunity. Just complete NAP’s volunteer form and bring it along with you to the event.

    April 16 - 19 is National Park Week

    The U.S. National Park Service is celebrating National Park Week from April 16 - 19, which means free entry into 394 National Parks this week. There are six National Park locations in Michigan, though the most famous are the majestic Sleeping Bear Dunes in Empire, MI, and the stunning Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore in the Upper Peninsula.

    The NPS will host numerous events at the parks throughout the week, such as Junior Ranger Day and an Empire Bluffs Sunset Hike. If you can't make it away this week but want more information on these fantastic natural resources in Michigan, check out Michigan State and National Parks by Tom Powers or the nearly 200 National Parks guidebooks from the AADL.

    Take a Hike @ Mary Beth Doyle Nature Area

    Mary Beth Doyle dedicationMary Beth Doyle dedication

    Thursday, April 21 | 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. William Kirst, a 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 at Packard Rd. (just east of Cobblestone Farm on the 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.

    Keeping Bees in Your Own Backyard

    Bees

    Did you know that the Ann Arbor city code (search for apiary) allows for two hives of bees on every city lot? Keeping bees is not everyone’s idea of fun, but it is remarkably easy and, if you are inclined, there is abundant support for learning how to enhance the diversity of your backyard habitat. Now is the perfect time to get started.

    The best book I know for learning the craft of beekeeping is Ross Conrad’s Natural Beekeeping. We own other books and dvds on the subject too, but Conrad keeps to a plan of organic care for his bee colonies, which keeps stress on the hive to a minumum.

    SEMBA is the resource you need if you are actually trying to start hives. Lots of educational opportunites and comaradarie with fellow beekeepers. For supplies and lots of other information there are, of course, excellent sites online, here and here and here.

    The documentary film Queen of the Sun is an amazing tour de force about our relationship to bees and explores the question, “What are bees trying to tell us when colonies collapse and bees disappear?” It is still touring select theaters and I am hoping it makes its way to Ann Arbor soon! Watch for it.

    Finally, the wisest beekeeper around, Gunther Hauk, has a very special and inspiring message for working with bees and has started a “honeybee sanctuary” in southeastern Virginia called Spikenard Farm. Even if you don’t plan to keep your own hives, there is much to learn here.

    Magazine Update -- Giraffes, Plays and Magical Neurology

    by stevendepolo, Flickr.comby stevendepolo, Flickr.com

    You may have noticed that Ann Arbor is steadily sinking into the ground. Shocking news! But as you await the inevitable plunge towards the center of the Earth, at least you can read these cool new magazines.

    For the kids:
    Zootles is all about Giraffes, the tallest animals on Earth!

    Plays Magazine gives you seven all new scripts for aspiring thespians, including "The Adventure of the Norwood Builder" inspired by the classic Sherlock Holmes story!

    Dig magazine digs into the Aztecs (get it?), and Muse magazine tells you about the weird brain glitches that make magic tricks work.

    For the parents:
    American Baby is ready to tell you all about decoding your baby's mood signals, dealing with kid-caused embarrassment, and going on baby-friendly vacations.

    Have fun!

    Restoring Ann Arbor's Natural Areas with NAP

    Bird Hills trail verticalBird Hills trail vertical

    Did you know that the City of Ann Arbor has over 1400 acres of dedicated natural areas? Our urban forests, prairies and wetlands provide shelter, food and water for a vast number of unique plant and animal species, help clean our city's air, and filter rain water that enters the Huron River.

    William Kirst, a naturalist for Natural Area Preservation (NAP), will walk us through the seasons of Ann Arbor's natural wonders, all from the comfort of the Traverwood Branch! William's lecture and slideshow will show us familiar sites; we'll learn about native plants, their fundamental importance in nature, and get some ideas on what nature even is and how we are key in the workings of nature.

    Tuesday, March 15, 2011: 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm --- Traverwood Branch Library: Program Room --Grade 6-Adult

    Magazine Update -- Lil Wayne, Edible Bugs, and Books about Sports

    image by kevinzim, Flickr.comimage by kevinzim, Flickr.com
    This month's magazines will stun and amaze you! Take a look...

    For the young 'uns:
    Creative Kids -- Featuring an interview with Katherine Paterson, author of Bridge to Terabithia!
    Dig Magazine -- When is a hole in your head a good thing?
    Ranger Rick -- Do you know that dolphins live in the Amazon River? And that people all over the world eat bugs? It's a strange world out there...

    For the teens:
    ESPN Magazine -- What's it like to be Jadeveon Clowney, who has been called the nation's number one high school football player? Read to find out!
    Rolling Stone -- the Global Warming Hall of Shame and what Lil Wayne is up to these days.

    For the parents:
    American Baby -- baby traditions from all over the world, and a guide to scary symptoms that are really no big deal.
    Horn Book -- What is 'YA Fatphobia'? Plus the favorite picture books of 2010, and a guide to good sports books for kids.
    The Old Schoolhouse -- Tips for teaching technology, foreign language and writing skills at home.

    I don't know about you, but I think these magazines sound fascinating. Especially that 'hole in the head' one. I'm already stunned and amazed!

    Young Naturalist Awards

    Calling all Young Scientists!

    Are you curious about nature and life science? Have you ever wanted to conduct experiments and research, just like the grown-up scientists?? Well then the Young Naturalist Awards might be right up your alley!

    The Young Naturalist Awards is an annual contest put on by the American Museum of Natural History that encourages young scientists ages 7 to 12 to explore a question they have about natural science, make observations and report their findings on what they discovered. It is an essay contest that is designed like a real scientific study, focusing on the fields of Biology, Ecology, Earth Science and/ or Astronomy.

    The deadline for the contest is March 1, 2011. There will be twelve winners selected for the contest, two from each grade. The winners are awarded cash prizes and an expense paid trip to the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, the same museum featured in the movie Night at the Museum! They will meet with Museum scientists, take behind-the-scenes tours, and will be honored at an awards ceremony. Their essays will be published on the Museum’s Web site and excerpted in Natural History magazine.

    The Ann Arbor District Library has many resources for any Young Scientists looking to enter the contest, including books on studying nature and exploring space and astronomy. We also have the Access Science database available to library patrons, which includes articles, biographies, definitions, images, and more from the online version of the McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Science and Technology. The Stapp Nature Area is a great place to observe nature and it is adjacent to our Traverwood Branch.

    For more information about the Young Naturalist Awards, including Rules & Regulations, How to Get Started and much more, please visit their Website.

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