You have to hike. Really. No offense, these local getaways will provide you with company and open your eyes to the spring life that is looming. We’ve picked these nuggets from this week’s Outdoor Adventures column, then added a few more events to learn about local ecology and environmental conservation.
Dip nets will be provided as part of a one-hour program at 6 p.m. on March 31 where you will search for macroinvertebrates at the River Preserve County Park’s Benton Dam, which is on County Road 31 south of the US 33 to New Paris.
Hiking in Plymouth
The Hoosier Hikers will host 5k or 10k group hikes at 10 a.m. April 1 from the gravel lot just north of Christo’s Family Restaurant, 2227 N. Michigan St., Plymouth. Registration will begin at 9:30 a.m. The cost is $3. This will mark the start of National Walk Week. For more information, contact Charlie Lightner at 574-299-1270 or Bob Buzolich at [email protected]
Lydick Bog Hike
Join the Harbor Country Hikers for a 2 mile 2 p.m. hike April 2 at Lydick Bog Nature Preserve, 25898 US 20 (west of the ring road) in South Bend, led by site steward Doug Botka.
Ready to ride a bike? Here is a swap meeting, trail updates and a change in the South Shore program
Birdwatching in the dunes
Join birding expert Kim Ehn of the Dunes-Calumet Audubon Society for hikes in search of migratory birds from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. CDT on April 3 and May 1. Meet at the Indiana Dunes Visitor Center, 1215 N. Indiana 49, Porter, and carpool to the birding site of the month. No experience is required. Bring binoculars and dress for the weather.
Conservation Open Day
OK, it might not be a physical walk, but these folks can definitely take you on some great hikes. The Berrien County Conservation District will be holding a “Conservation Open House” from 5-8 p.m. today, March 30, where the public can meet and ask questions of district staff as well as more than a dozen other organizations in the county that work on environmental preservation and ecology.
It will be at the Countryside Academy, 4800 Meadowbrook Road, Benton Harbour, where the ‘Farmer of the Year’ and ‘Environmental Stewardship’ awards will be presented at 7 p.m.
Other organizations include Friends of the St. Joseph River, Two Rivers Coalition, Sarett Nature Center, MSU Extension, Berrien County Farm Bureau, Southwest Michigan Planning Commission, Chikaming Open Lands, West Michigan Sustainable Business, Berrien County Parks, Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians, Harbor Country Hikers, National Grape Cooperative, Countryside FFA, Friends of Berrien County Trails, SW x SW Corner Cooperative Invasive Species Management Area, Michigan Department of Natural Resources-Parks and Recreation Division/Warren Dunes State Park and the Berrien County Conservation Quartier .
More in local events:Fire Arts organizes the “Spring Fling Jewelry Show”
‘Wonder Women of the Dunes’
The Dunes Learning Center will host an online presentation from 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. EDT on March 30 on the “Wonder Women of the Dunes” – that is, the women who have made an impact on the Indiana Dunes, including including the legendary ‘Diana of the Dunes’, dune salvage champion Dorothy Buell and conservationist Lee Botts.
President Joe Gruzalski has been researching these “wonderful women” over the past few months. If you can’t attend via Zoom on March 30, you can still watch the recording afterwards. The cost is $10. Register at DunesLearningCenter.org/programs.
The main column:Indiana raises hunting and fishing fees to shore up trolling wildlife conservation
Follow Outdoor Adventures columnist Joseph Dits on Facebook at SBTOutdoorAdventures. Contact him at 574-235-6158 or [email protected]