2022 Event Schedule

2022 Aldo Leopold Festival Programs

To register: Click the “Register” button at the top of the page. The cost for a Festival Pass is $45 per person. Be sure to scroll down to register for Day Trip Adventures and festival Add-on Events. 

Adventure Day Trips and paddling trips have separate fees. View the detailed schedule or download our program guide.

For trips meeting at Hessel School House, coffee, tea, water, and light snacks will be available.

Visit the Festival Guides page for a list of the guides’ names and their brief backgrounds. 

Tips for Being Outdoors: 

  • Dress in layers
  • Take water
  • Prepare for any type of weather
  • Waterproof footwear is a plus
  • Insect spray
  • Hiking sticks are helpful

Wednesday, June 1

Dr. Erwin (Duke) Elsner has studied Michigan butterflies and moths for over half a century, and thus has witnessed the population trends of many species. How serious is the decline of the monarch butterfly population in North America, and what are the driving forces behind the decline? Dr. Elsner will discuss what is known, what is suspected, what responses have been made, and what pieces of the puzzle are still missing.

  • Time: 7:00 PM
  • Presenter: Dr. Erwin Elsner
  • Location: Hessel School House
  • Limit: 80 participants

Thursday, June 2

Morning:

Join the Early Bird group with Michael Carlson for one of his popular bird song identification field trips. Enjoy the early dawn hour and the songs birds sing to welcome the new day.

  • Time: 5:30 – 8:00 AM
  • Guide: Michael Carlson
  • Location: Hessel School House to caravan nearby
  • Limit: 15 participants

This preserve is a favorite to explore, with its easy trail through a mixed deciduous and coniferous forest ending at 4,300 feet of stunning, glacial erratic shoreline. It affords a wealth of migratory birdlife and flowering native plants to please the eye of the truly discerning.

  • Time: 8:00 – 11:00 AM
  • Guides: Sarah and Wil Reding
  • Location: Hessel School House to caravan approximately nine miles
  • Limit: 15 participants

Aldo Leopold’s family were longtime residents of the Les Cheneaux Club, located on Marquette Island. We will paddle tandem kayaks and travel to a location where Leopold’s family lived. Les Cheneaux Club historian Charles Fels will share a brief history of Aldo and his family. We will return to the mainland and take a guided hike through the Little Traverse Conservancy’s Derby Preserve, named for a family farm that supplied much of the club’s provisions.

*Register directly with Woods & Waters or call (888) 502-8373

  • Time: 8:00 AM – 12:00 PM
  • Location: The Derby Preserve Parking Area — 1407 W. Club Rd, Cedarville
  • Guides: Sue Bakkila and Anne Fleming
  • Limit: 12 participants
  • Cost: $80 ($65 under age 18)

Did you know there are nearly 800 species of lichens in Michigan and countless species of mosses?  With its limestone substrate, the Les Cheneaux region is especially rich in these species. Little Traverse Conservancy’s staff will delight you with stories and facts about these often-underappreciated species that we so often take for granted.

  • Time: 8:30 – 11:30 AM
  • Guide: Brad Von Blon
  • Location: Hessel School House to caravan
  • Limit: 15 participants

The Niagara Escarpment provides some of the rarest plants imaginable. Pitcher plants, sundews, bladderworts, and butterworts all have their own strategies to lure and digest their arthropod prey.

*Because these plants are near or in water, be prepared to wear appropriate footwear to keep your feet dry.

  • Time: 8:30 – 11:30 AM
  • Guide: Derek Shiels
  • Location: Hessel School House to caravan
  • Limit: 15 participants

The Nature Conservancy’s Carl A. Gerstacker Nature Preserve, along the Lake Huron shore east of Cedarville, features a variety of habitats along its many trails and is a naturalist’s delight.  The shoreline, woods, and wetlands are rich in wildflowers, including dwarf lake iris, gaywings, trailing arbutus, and possibly six blooming orchid species.

*Moderate hiking, with some hills and some wet areas. Waterproof footwear is a plus.

  • Time: 8:45 – 11:45 AM
  • Guide: Steve Baker
  • Location: Hessel School House to caravan approximately 15 miles
  • Limit: 15 participants

Yes, two trips are going to the Carl A. Gerstacker Nature Preserve! Will they see each other? Probably not, as this preserve encompasses over 1600 acres and has multiple trails. This trip is designed as a hike, not necessarily as a search for flora or fauna but a chance to see much more of the preserve and its multiple characteristics.

  • Time: 9:00 – 11:30 AM
  • Guide: The Nature Conservancy staff
  • Location: Hessel School House to caravan approximately 15 miles
  • Limit: 15 participants eager to do a major hike

Afternoon:

The Mertaugh Preserve is part of an impressive 890-acre nature preserve complex that has been protected over the decades by the Les Cheneaux year-round and seasonal community. If water levels permit, we will be hiking along the lakeshore, looking for the unique plants that have adapted to this ecosystem.

*Please wear shoes that you won’t mind getting wet.

  • Time: 2:00 – 5:00 PM
  • Guide: Amy Lipson
  • Location: Hessel School House to caravan a short distance
  • Limit: 15 participants

The Niagara Escarpment provides some of the rarest plants imaginable. Pitcher plants, sundews, bladderworts, and butterworts all have their own strategies to lure and digest their arthropod prey.

*Because these plants are near or in water, be prepared to wear appropriate footwear to keep your feet dry.

  • Time: 2:00 – 5:00 PM
  • Guide: Steve Baker
  • Location: Hessel School House to caravan
  • Limit: 15 participants

In this plein air painting session, a watercolor kit and sketchbook will be provided to begin your painting journey. Barbara will start with a brief painting demo and discussion, including the choosing of a location, the effects of outdoor light on your composition, and increased awareness of color as well as plein air as a source of meditation in our lives. She will inspire class members with the idea that plein air painting can increase our awareness of nature and particularly of the unique environment that we find in Les Cheneaux Islands.

  • Time: 2:15 – 5:15 PM
  • Instructor: Barbara (Guthridge) Landon
  • Location: Hessel School House to caravan a short distance
  • Limit: 12 participants

Explore this future bike trail and imagine yourself riding a self-powered two-wheeler through this beautiful, natural terrain.

  • Time: 2:30 – 4:30 PM
  • Guide: Sarah Reding
  • Location: Hessel School House to caravan to the trail located between Hessel and Cedarville   
  • Limit: 15 participants

Forest Therapy is inspired by the Japanese practice of Shinrin-Yoku, which translates to “forest bathing.” Studies have demonstrated a wide array of health benefits, especially in the cardiovascular and immune systems, and for stabilizing and improving mood and cognition. Join the certified forest therapy guide as she leads a gentle forest bathing walk at the William B. Derby Jr. Nature Preserve. Maureen will share various sensory invitations to promote mindfulness in nature.

Come relax, recharge, renew and restore your own authentic relationship with nature.

  • Time: 2:30 – 5:00 PM
  • Guide: Maureen Stine
  • Location: Hessel School to caravan to the Derby Preserve
  • Limit: 15 participants

Maps don’t have to be fancy or even precise to be useful at capturing important information. A simple map can help you document in a meaningful way your favorite hikes, a trip, how a place evolves, and even your garden. We will look at examples of personal maps and then, fresh with ideas, you will be guided through starting your own personal mapping project. Basic supplies included.

  • Time: 3:30 – 4:30 PM
  • Guide: Sue Bakkila
  • Location: Hessel School House
  • Limit: 12 participants

Evening:

Litter, Rats, and Bugs — like Aldo Leopold, Pete Griffin’s environmental ethic developed later in life. Griffin will share stories about growing up in Les Cheneaux. These stories enriched his experience as a wildlife biologist and forest ranger with the US Forest Service (retired), and now as a naturalist on Disney and Princess cruise ships in Alaska.

  • Time: 7:00 – 8:30 PM
  • Presenter: Pete Griffin
  • Location: Hessel School House
  • Limit: 80 participants

Join our experienced bird guide at the Munuscong Golf Course to view evening grassland and pothole birds. We will bird the Munuscong Wildlife management potholes area, looking and listening for birds that call that area home. Wilson’s snipes, upland sandpipers, some sparrow species, American bitterns, rails, and potentially owls, will be seen and heard.

  • Time: 7:00 PM – Dusk
  • Guide: Michael Carlson
  • Location: Pickford Munuscong Golf Course — 141 E. 22 Mile Rd., Pickford
  • Limit: 12 participants

See the Les Cheneaux Islands from the perspective of common merganser and enjoy a Lake Huron sunset.

*Register directly with Woods & Waters or call (888) 502-8373    

When registering, use code ALDO to receive a discounted rate.

  • Time: 5:45 – 9:30 PM
  • Cost: $80 ($65 under 18)
  • Guides: Woods & Waters
  • Location: Woods & Waters — 20 S. Pickford Ave., Hessel
  • Limit: 12 participants

Friday, June 3

Morning:

Munuscong Bay provides a shining example of the massive and sprawling Great Lakes marshes and wetlands that were once found across every region of the Great Lakes. This trip will take you out to the dikes on Munuscong Bay, a great place to see birds that love the wetland and make it their favorite place to nest and call home. Black terns, sedge wrens, and American bitterns are often found here, along with other secretive marsh species. The views are spectacular!

  • Time: 7:00 – 10:00 AM
  • Guides: Duane and Clifford Utech
  • Location: Hessel School House to caravan approximately 15 miles
  • Limit: 12 participants

The Nature Conservancy’s Carl A. Gerstacker Preserve, along the Lake Huron shore east of Cedarville, features a variety of habitats along its many trails and is a naturalist’s delight. The shoreline, woods, and wetlands are rich in wildflowers, including dwarf lake iris, gaywings, trailing arbutus, and possibly six blooming orchid species. 

*Moderate hiking, with some hills and some wet areas.

  • Time: 7:15 – 10:15 AM
  • Guide: Steve Baker
  • Location: Hessel School House to caravan approximately 15 miles
  • Limit: 15 participants

The John R. Woollam Preserve is one the most picturesque and well-known of the Les Cheneaux area preserves, with a highlight being the beautiful Narnia Trail.  This is a great place to see migrating warblers that have just arrived from their challenging journey across Lake Huron, but even non-birders are awed by the experience and eager to return with kindred souls.

  • Time: 8:00 – 11:00 AM
  • Guide: Michael Carlson
  • Location: Hessel School House to caravan approximately nine miles
  • Limit: 15 participants

Aldo Leopold’s family were longtime residents of the Les Cheneaux Club, located on Marquette Island. We will paddle tandem kayaks and travel to a location where Leopold’s family lived. Les Cheneaux Club historian Charles Fels will share a brief history of Aldo and his family. We will return to the mainland and take a guided hike through the Little Traverse Conservancy’s Derby Preserve, named for a family farm that supplied much of the club’s provisions.

*Register directly with Woods & Waters or call (888) 502-8373

  • Time: 8:00 AM – 12:00 PM
  • Location: The Derby Preserve Parking Area — 1407 W. Club Rd, Cedarville
  • Guides: Sue Bakkila and Anne Fleming
  • Limit: 12 participants
  • Cost: $80 ($65 under age 18)

Join Michael Hindy from the Chippewa Luce Mackinac Conservation District, who is Coordinator for the Three Shores Cooperative Invasive Species Management Area, for coffee at Les Cheneaux Coffee Roasters, and learn about how invasive species are impacting the Les Cheneaux area. You will walk to see some invasive species nearby and learn what is being done to stop them from taking over our Les Cheneaux Islands paradise, and how native plants can help prevent invasive species.

*Light to moderate walking involved.

  • Time: 8:15 – 11:15 AM
  • Guide: Michael Hindy
  • Location: Les Cheneaux Coffee Guide Roasters — 33 E. Hodeck St., Cedarville
  • Limit: 15 participants

The Hiawatha National Forest, located west of Hessel, provides some of the best opportunities to view wild orchids and other very rare flowers. Your guide knows where they can be found but we must limit the number of participants as these areas are very fragile and our goal is to make sure orchids are there for future generations to enjoy.

  • Time: 8:15 – 11:30 AM
  • Leader: Derek Shiels
  • Location: Hessel School House to caravan
  • Limit: 15 participants

Did you know there are nearly 800 species of lichens in Michigan and countless numbers of moss species?  With its limestone substrate, the Les Cheneaux region is especially rich in these species. Little Traverse Conservancy’s staff will delight you with stories and facts about these often-underappreciated species that must not be taken for granted. 

  • Time: 8:30 – 11:30 AM
  • Leader: Brad Von Blon
  • Location: Hessel School House to caravan
  • Limit: 15 participants

Take an exploration of the outdoors through community science. You will learn how you can use websites/apps eBird and iNaturalist to report your nature observations into the world’s largest naturalist databases. These two app/websites accept sightings from around the world of nearly every living thing. By reporting what you saw and where, you can help land managers and naturalists everywhere. In addition, these tools can be a great way to discover new birding sites, plan birding trips, and see what nature is being reported in your own community. These free resources are a treasure to many intrepid birders and naturalists. Learn how to use them yourself!

  • Time: 9:15 – 10:30 AM
  • Guide: Elliot Nelson
  • Location: Hessel School House
  • Limit: None

Afternoon:

Using the techniques of iris folding (Dutch paper craft), participants will make a greeting card with a bloom, bird, bug, or butterfly, all designed to impress your friends with a personal greeting card.

  • Time: 1:30 – 3:30 PM
  • Instructor: Norma Storer
  • Location: Hessel School House
  • Limit: Eight participants (no experience necessary)

 

 

EUP STEM Region Director, Kevin St. Onge, will lead you on a very interesting experience involving the use of water quality to assess ecosystem health. You will carpool to a couple of Lake Huron feeder streams nearby, where you will collect and analyze both water and macro-invertebrate samples.

  • Time: 2:00 – 5:00 PM
  • Guide: Kevin St. Onge
  • Location: Hessel School House to caravan
  • Limit: 12 participants

Join Mike McCarthy, Executive Director at the Chippewa Luce, Mackinac Conservation District, for an educational hike at the John Arthur Woollam Preserve. Locally this magical place is known as Narnia, from The Lion the Witch and Wardrobe series by C.S. Lewis. The concept of “land ethic” was developed by Aldo Leopold. C. S. Lewis portrays land ethic through his writings, as the land of Narnia is interconnected through relationships of fictional beings and their magical community. Come learn about those themes of land ethic while enjoying the 1.14-mile hike, followed by local spirits at the Les Cheneaux Distillers.

*Adults only. Hiking boots highly recommended.

  • Time: 2:00 – 4:30 PM
  • Guide: Mike McCarthy
  • Location: Hessel School House to caravan approximately nine miles
  • Limit: 15 participants

The Niagara Escarpment provides some of the rarest plants imaginable. Pitcher plants, sundews, bladderworts, and butterworts all have their own strategies to lure and digest their arthropod prey.

*Because these plants are near or in water, be prepared to wear appropriate footwear to keep your feet dry.

  • Time: 2:00 – 5:00 PM
  • Guide: Derek Shiels
  • Location: Hessel School House to caravan
  • Limit: 15 participants

Did you know there are nearly 800 species of lichens in Michigan and countless numbers of moss species?  With its limestone substrate, the Les Cheneaux region is especially rich in these species. Little Traverse Conservancy’s staff will delight you with stories and facts about these often-underappreciated species that we so often take for granted.

  • Time: 2:15 – 5:15 PM
  • Guide: Brad Von Blon
  • Location: Hessel School House to caravan
  • Limit: 15 participants

The Nature Conservancy’s Carl A. Gerstacker Preserve, along the Lake Huron shore east of Cedarville, features a variety of habitats along its many trails and is a naturalist’s delight. The shoreline, woods, and wetlands are rich in wildflowers, including dwarf lake iris, gaywings, trailing arbutus, and possibly six blooming orchid species.

*Moderate hiking, with some hills and some wet areas.

  • Time: 2:15 – 5:15 PM
  • Guide: Steve Baker
  • Location: Hessel School House to caravan approximately 15 miles
  • Limit: 15 participants

Banding birds in the Straits of Mackinac has been happening for almost 40 years. The retired Curator of Natural History for the Mackinac State Historic Parks has banded thousands of birds, including nine species of Michigan owls. Hear about some of the banding projects around Northern Michigan he has been involved in and learn about some of the tools and techniques that are used to safely capture, band, and release wild birds.

  • Time: 2:30 – 4:00 PM
  • Guide: Jeff Dykehouse
  • Location: Hessel School House
  • Limit: None

Our friend Michael Carlson will take you west and south into the Hiawatha National Forest area of Search Bay. There we expect to find both wildflowers and warblers, and other birds that have recently made their challenging trip across Lake Huron.

  • Time: 3:00 – 5:15 PM
  • Leader: Michael Carlson
  • Location: Hessel School House to caravan approximately five miles
  • Limit: 15 participants

Maps don’t have to be fancy or even precise to be useful at capturing important information. A simple map can help you document your favorite hikes, a trip, how a place evolves, or even your garden in a meaningful way. We will look at examples of personal maps and then, fresh with ideas, you will be guided through starting your own personal mapping project. Basic supplies included.

  • Time: 3:15 – 4:30 PM
  • Leader: Sue Bakkila
  • Location: Hessel School House
  • Limit: 15 participants

Evening:

John Sarver, retired program director at the Michigan Energy Office, has been promoting energy efficiency and solar and wind power for 45 years. Climate Change means we must go to 100% renewable energy as soon as possible. Will wind energy in the Great Lakes play a big role in that transition and what does that mean?

  • Time: 7:00 – 8:30 PM
  • Presenter: John Sarver
  • Location: Hessel School House
  • Limit: 80 participants

See the Les Cheneaux Islands from the perspective of a common merganser and enjoy a Lake Huron sunset.

*Register directly with Woods & Waters or call (888) 502-8373    

ALF participants use code ALDO to receive $15 off per person.

When registering, use code ALDO to receive a discounted rate.

  • Time: 5:45 – 9:30 PM
  • Cost: $80 ($65 under 18)
  • Guides: Woods & Waters
  • Location: Woods & Waters — 20 S. Pickford Ave., Hessel
  • Limit: 12 participants

Saturday, June 4

Morning:

Join the Early Bird group with Michael Carlson for one of his popular bird song identification sessions. Enjoy the early dawn hour and the songs birds sing to welcome the new day.

  • Time: 5:30 – 8:00 AM
  • Guide: Michael Carlson
  • Location: Hessel School House to caravan nearby
  • Limit: 15 participants

Munuscong Bay provides a shining example of the massive and sprawling Great Lakes marshes and wetlands that were once found across every region of the Great Lakes. This trip will take you out to the dikes on Munuscong Bay, a great place to see birds that love the wetland and make it their favorite place to nest and call home. Black terns, sedge wrens, and American bitterns are often found here, along with a number of other secretive marsh species. The views are spectacular.

  • Time: 7:00 – 11:00 AM
  • Guide: Chace Scholten
  • Location: Hessel School House to caravan approximately 15 miles
  • Limit: 12 participants

The Niagara Escarpment is rich with plant life found only in this area, including many fern species. Often overlooked, ferns are the oldest living organisms in a forest, older than many of the trees that generally tower over them. Ferns have changed little over the last 200 million years, and if they could talk, they would tell us about the dinosaurs and the earliest humans.

  • Time: 7:30 – 10:30 AM
  • Guide: Steve Baker
  • Location: Hessel School House to caravan
  • Limit: 12 participants

The John R. Woollam Preserve is one the most picturesque and well-known of the Les Cheneaux area preserves, with a highlight being the beautiful Narnia Trail. This is a great place to see migrating warblers that have just arrived from their challenging journey across Lake Huron.

  • Time: 7:45 – 9:30 AM
  • Guide: Dave Ewert
  • Location: Hessel School House to caravan approximately nine miles
  • Limit: 15 participants
  • Time: 8:00 – 10:00 AM
  • Instructor: Norma Storer
  • Location: Hessel School House
  • Limit: Eight participants (No experience necessary)

Using the techniques of iris folding (Dutch paper craft), participants will make a greeting card with a bloom, bird, bug, or butterfly, all designed to impress your friends with a personal greeting card.

  
3-Dimensional Card Examples

Naturalists extraordinaire, Sarah and Wil Reding will lead you to a spring wonderland of wildflowers.

  • Time: 8:00 – 11:00 AM
  • Guides: Sarah and Wil Reding
  • Location: Hessel School House to caravan
  • Limit: 15 participants

EUP STEM Region Director, Kevin St. Onge, will lead you on a very interesting experience involving the use of water quality to assess ecosystem health. You will caravan/carpool to a couple of Lake Huron feeder streams nearby, where you will collect and analyze both water and macro-invertebrate samples.

  • Time: 8:15 AM – 12:00 PM
  • Guide: Kevin St. Onge
  • Location: Hessel School to caravan
  • Limit: 12 participants

Meet a live Michigan owl! We will start from participants’ experience, and then delve further into the origins and behavioral development of our secretive neighbors. Start to decide what your future will look like with these amazing animals. Participation is strongly encouraged.

  • Time: 8:30 – 10:00 AM
  • Presenter: Dr. Craig Perdue
  • Location: Hessel School House
  • Limit: None

“Oh, so you’d like to know what it’s like to be an indigenous person? What was it like being native years ago, and how does it compare to today?”

John’s discussion will include stories that have been passed down through the generations about life and living in the Les Cheneaux area, and how some of those stories were meant to teach about morality and the care of the earth.

  • Time: 10:30 – 11:30 AM
  • Presenter: John Causley – Local Tribal Elder and Hessel School alum.
  • Location: Hessel School House
  • Limit: None

Afternoon:

The Carl A. Gerstacker Preserve encompasses over 1600 acres and has multiple trails. This trip is designed as a hike, not necessarily as a search for flora or fauna but a chance to see much more of the preserve and its multiple characteristics.

  • Time: 2:00 – 5:00 PM
  • Guide: The Nature Conservancy staff
  • Location: Hessel School House to caravan approximately 15 miles
  • Limit: 15 participants eager to do a major hike

We will delve into different types of invasive birds who share Michigan with us, compare species in each category, and explore the scope of their environmental impact on developed and natural areas. So come ready to participate and become better acquainted with some of these ne’er-do-wells.

  • Time: 2:00 – 3:30 PM
  • Presenter: Dr. Craig Perdue
  • Location: Hessel School House
  • Limit: None

The Niagara Escarpment provides some of the rarest plants imaginable. Pitcher plants, sundews, bladderworts, and butterworts all have their own strategies to lure and digest their arthropod prey.

*Because these plants are near or in water, be prepared to wear appropriate footwear to keep your feet dry.

  • Time: 2:15 – 5:30 PM
  • Guide: Steve Baker
  • Location: Hessel School House to caravan to an undisclosed location
  • Limit: 15 participants

For this plein air drawing workshop, Clyde will instruct the use of charcoal and concentrate on two aspects of drawing that create depth of space and light. He will provide a brief explanation and example of linear perspective and chiaroscuro, the manipulation of light and dark within the composition.

  • Time: 2:15 – 5:15 PM
  • Instructor: Clyde Hart   
  • Location: Hessel School House to caravan to a nearby area
  • Limit: 12 participants

The Nature Conservancy’s Carl A. Gerstacker Preserve along the Lake Huron shore east of Cedarville features a variety of habitats along its many trails and is a naturalist’s delight. Not only is it a bonanza for botanists, but it is also a great place to see the various birds that have just crossed Lake Huron and are hungry for the various insects that can feed their hungry bodies.

  • Time: 3:00 – 5:30 PM
  • Guide: Dave Ewert
  • Location: Hessel School to caravan approximately 15 miles
  • Limit: 15 participants

Shine a light on your inner naturist! Do you consider yourself a naturalist? Do you want to share your love and curiosity for nature with others? Perhaps you are an educator (formal or informal), a caregiver to children, or someone looking to find ways to connect with others through this shared interest? Come to this outdoor session to learn about ways you can connect others to nature, about some of the famous naturalists in history, and some simple yet effective resources that you can use to help others connect to nature!

  • Time: 2:30 – 3:30 PM
  • Guide: Jennie Braatz
  • Location: Hessel School House
  • Limit: 15 participants

In July 2021, sea-kayaker Tim Gallaway paddled from Saxon Harbor, Wisconsin, to Mackinaw City, Michigan, solo and self-supported. Along the way he explored the rugged and remote Keweenaw Peninsula, paddled the length of Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, rounded Whitefish Point, locked past the rapids in Sault Ste. Marie, and paddled through his home waters of Les Cheneaux Islands before finishing his trip with a crossing of the Straits of Mackinac. Along the way he slept in yards, visited remote islands, chatted with expeditionaries, writers, artists, fishermen, and experienced Lake Superior in all her varied summer moods. Come along with Tim as he shares his adventure among the wild shores of the Big Lake and how human-powered adventure is something that is accessible to everyone and is something everyone should experience.

  • Time: 3:30 – 5:00 PM
  • Presenter: Tim Gallaway
  • Location: Hessel School House
  • Limit: None

Welcome naturalist! The Earth needs you to get out there and explore! You really don’t need anything besides your curiosity and the great outdoors (urban and rural), however, there are some tools you can keep around to expand your experience. Come visit with other naturalists, practice naturalist skills, and take home some of your very own tools of a naturalist. Family groups welcomed!

  • Time: 4:15 – 5:15 PM
  • Ages: This outdoor presentation is primarily geared toward children, ages seven and up
  • Guide: Jennie Braatz
  • Location: Hessel School House
  • Limit: 15 participants

Be inspired to elevate your meals while hiking, car camping, or backpacking. This workshop, with tastings, will help you think beyond hot dogs or PBJ while enjoying the great outdoors. No need for dinner plans. This is it!

  • Time: 5:45 – 6:45 PM
  • Presenter: Woods & Waters
  • Location: Hessel School House
  • Limit: 12 participants

Evening:

Aldo Leopold and The Roots of the Land Ethic explains how the sources of the land ethic started very early in Aldo’s childhood, at the age of seven, through his grandmother Starker teaching the joys of birding and the importance of woodland wildflower restoration.  

Even earlier, the extraordinary Starker-Leopold Family taught their grandchildren to observe the differences between landscapes of contrast to better appreciate the wonders of nature — and of course Les Cheneaux played a very important role in fostering young Aldo’s keen sense of wonder and love of the land. Later, Aldo’s mother Clara and sister Marie continued to teach the Les Cheneaux Club children the joys of wildflower gardening into the 1930s.        

  • Time: 7:00 – 9:00 PM
  • Presenter: Steve Brower
  • Location: Hessel School House
  • Limit: 85 participants

Join your experienced guide to view grassland and marsh birds. The group will bird a portion of the Munuscong State Wildlife Management Area known as Munuscong Potholes. Participants may see and hear bird species that are active in the evening hours, including Wilson’s snipes, upland sandpipers, American bitterns, some species of sparrows, rails, and possibly owls.

  • Time: 8:00 PM – Dusk
  • Guide: Chace Scholten
  • Location: Hessel School House to caravan approximately 15 miles 
  • Limit: 15 participants

Sunday, June 5

Munuscong Bay provides a shining example of the massive and sprawling Great Lakes marshes and wetlands that were once found across every region of the Great Lakes. This trip will take you out to the dikes on Munuscong Bay, a great place to see birds that love the wetland and make it their favorite place to nest and call home. Black Terns, Sedge Wren, and American Bittern are often found here along with a number of other secretive marsh species. The views are spectacular.

  • Time: 7:00 – 10:00 AM
  • Guide: Chace Scholten
  • Location: Hessel School House
  • Limit: 12 participants

This trip will explore a variety of local hotspots via caravan. We will target the local wastewater lagoons as well as a few nearby protected bays and marshes, which are hot spots for amazing breeding bird species. Clark Township’s DPW manager and crew were recognized for their work to effectively manage the lagoons that attract such a variety of birds. We will also look for breeding waterfowl, shorebirds, marsh birds, and warblers at a few other local places. Expect to caravan to two to four locations, taking easy, short hikes to view birds at each location.

  • Time: 7:30 – 10:30 AM
  • Guide: Elliot Nelson
  • Location: Hessel School House to caravan
  • Limit: 15 participants

The John R. Woollam Preserve is one the most picturesque and well-known of the Les Cheneaux area preserves, with a highlight being the beautiful Narnia Trail. This is a great place to see migrating warblers that have just arrived from their challenging journey across Lake Huron.

  • Time: 7:45 – 10:45 AM
  • Guide: Dave Ewert
  • Location: Meet at Hessel School House to caravan approximately nine miles
  • Limit: 15 participants

The Niagara Escarpment is rich with plant life found only in this area, including many fern species. Often overlooked, ferns are the oldest living organisms in a forest, older than many of the trees that generally tower over them. Ferns have changed little over the last 200 million years and if they could talk they would tell us about the dinosaurs and the earliest humans.

  • Time: 8:00 AM – 12:00 PM
  • Guide: Steve Baker
  • Location: Hessel School House to caravan
  • Limit: 15 participants

Shine a light on your inner naturist! Do you want to share your love and curiosity for nature with others? Perhaps you are an educator (formal or informal), a caregiver to children, or someone looking to find ways to connect with others through this shared interest? Come to this session to learn about ways you can connect others to nature and simple, effective resources, as well as some famous naturalists in history.

  • Time: 8:30 – 9:30 AM
  • Guide: Jennie Braatz
  • Location: Hessel Marina
  • Limit: 15 participants

Beloved local naturalist, Pat Wilson, will guide participants through easy terrain to see some of the delightful plant species of the area.

  • Time: 9:30 AM – 12:00 PM
  • Guide: Moira (Pat) Wilson
  • Location: Hessel School House to caravan nearby
  • Limit: 12 participants

Welcome naturalist! The Earth needs you to get out there and explore! You really don’t need anything besides your curiosity and the great outdoors (urban and rural), however, there are some tools you can keep around to expand your experience. Come visit with other naturalists, practice naturalist skills, and take home some of your very own tools of a naturalist. Family groups welcomed!

  • Time: 10:15 – 11:15 AM
  • Ages: This presentation is primarily geared toward children, ages seven and up
  • Guide: Jennie Braatz
  • Location: Hessel Marina
  • Limit: 15 participants

A fun and simple craft activity for the young and young-at-heart. Paint a stick to take home! If you participate in the Nature Warrior hike (see below), your sticks can dry while you’re out on the trail.

  • Time: 12:00 to 12:45 PM
  • Instructor: Woods & Waters
  • Location: Meet at the Derby Preserve – 1407 W. Club Rd, Cedarville
  • Limit: 15 participants

Staff of the Little Traverse Conservancy (LTC) will lead young and young-at-heart nature warriors on a wild exploration of the Derby Preserve. Be prepared to play on and engage!

  • Time: 12:45 – 2:30 PM
  • Guides: Little Traverse Conservancy Staff
  • Location: Derby Preserve   – 1407 W. Club Road, Cedarville
  • Limit: 15 (for all ages but geared towards children 7-12)

Third Party Events:

For many years, the late conservationist, Harry Harris of Flower Bay, specially designed and built hundreds of colorful tree swallow houses to place in Les Cheneaux’s marshes and donate to the National Audubon Society to save the bird’s declining population. These still dot our wetland areas from mid-May to August, thanks to the continued efforts of local craftsmen. To honor Harry, wooden tree swallow houses are available for $15.00 or free GreenBird waterproof-paper houses for other kinds of birds, to whimsically paint and take home.

*Call Pickle Point to reserve your hour: (906) 484-3479

  • Time: Between 10:30 – 4:00 PM
  • Location: Pickle Point — 138 Pickford Ave., Hessel     
  • Limit: None

 

Join professional chainsaw carving artist Nerissa Eichinger and certified sawyer Dustin Pares in an abbreviated course that will cover chainsaw safety, operation, and basic carving. Take your carving home with you, along with the knowledge of how to confidently operate a saw and make sculptures from tree stumps.

Chainsaws, wood, and all personal protective equipment will be provided. Bring clothes that cover your body (to protect from oil and sawdust), as well as closed-toe footwear (steel-toe boots are ideal). 

Nerissa and Dustin are interested in teaching people who haven’t traditionally had exposure to or felt comfortable operating power tools. 

Please register directly with the artist, not ALF:

nerissaeichinger@gmail.com

  • Available daily — June 1 to June 5
  • Instructors: Nerissa Eichinger and Dustin Pares
  • Choice of Session:
    • A: 8:00 – 12:00 PM
    • B: 1:00 – 5:00 PM
  • Limit: 3 per session
  • Cost: $400