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Ottawa Visitor Center

2016 Summer Program Schedule

All Programs are Free of Charge and begin at 7:00 p.m. CST

June 2 — Ojibwe Culture and Lifeways

Learn about the many everyday items that are used by the Ojibwe people now and in the past. Jim and Judy St. Arnold, Anishinaabe elders, will be here to talk about the Ojibwe culture, while they share items such as birch bark baskets and bitings, brained tanned hide items, and porcupine quill work. This handson presentation allows guests to appreciate items that are usually only seen in pictures or museums.

June 9 — Native Plant Gardens

Join Ottawa National Forest Botanist, Sue Trull, to talk about native plant gardens. Native plants are well adapted to our climate and can easily be added to your yard or garden. Learn about local species that benefit pollinators and pick up tips on species selection.

June 16 — Macro Photography

Scott Pearson, Ottawa National Forest Biological Technician, will discuss how to photograph natural subjects such as flowers and insects. He will discuss camera settings, lenses, other necessary camera gear, as well as where you might find various flowers and insects on the Forest.

June 23 — Mushrooms

Join Anne Small, local mycologist, for a look into the fascinating world of fungi. She will discuss the roles of fungi in northwoods ecology and will give tips

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on collecting and identifying edible mushrooms. Feel free to bring along specimens for identification

June 30 — Loons

Learn about loon identification, behavior and ecology with Rollie Alger, Loon Ranger for Loon Watch. He will also talk about loon mating and nesting, as well as vocalizations and their meaning

July 7 — Moose

Join Erin Largent, Wildlife Research Technician for Michigan Department of Natural Resources, to learn about the history, biology, and current status of moose in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

July 14 — Predators, Habitat, and Winter Weather Influence on White-tailed Deer Survival in Michigan’s U.P.

Join Todd Kautz and Nick Fowler, from Mississippi State University, as they talk about the Michigan Predator-Prey study that has followed fawn and adult female deer along with black bear, wolves, coyotes, and bobcats from 2009-2016. Learn more about how these species interact with each other and their environment.

July 21 — Prescribed Fire

Ottawa National Forest Fire Operations Specialist, Lisa Gowe, talks about the history of prescribed fire and its benefits. Fire in general will also be discussed; how good fires can prevent bad fires.

July 28 — Freshwater Mussels

Ottawa National Forest Fisheries Biologist, Holly Jennings, talks about mussels, the mysterious inhabitants of our local streams. Learn about the many different varieties of mussels, how they feed, reproduce, move within their habitat, and why they are important to a healthy stream ecosystem.

August 4 — Mapping the Ottawa

From the days of the early explorers, to modern day internet applications, learn about the methods used to map the Ottawa National Forest. Gayle Sironen, Ottawa National Forest Cartographic Technician, will share information and have vintage maps on display. If you love maps, or are interested in history, please join us for this presentation.

August 11 — Birds of Prey & Turtles

Learn what makes birds of prey and turtles unique with Northwoods Wildlife Center Education Director, Bart Kotarba. Bart will also talk about ways to help them out. Live birds and turtles found in our area will be featured.

August 18 — History of White Pine Trees

From pre-settlement to present day, Ottawa National Forest Silviculturist, Adam Bianchi, will talk about the historical and ecological existence of white pine in the western Upper Peninsula. How has history changed the landscape and affected the abundance of white pine on the Ottawa?

August 25 — Are you Weather Ready?

Significant weather threats exist even here in Upper Michigan, ranging from dangerous winter storms to weather hazards associated with summertime thunderstorms. Join Matt Zika, from the National Weather Service in Marquette, as he talks about some of the significant weather events from across the Upper Peninsula, and how you can increase your weather readiness.

  What are your favorite Summer Programs? Let us know in the comments below!

One Response to Summer Program Schedule

  1. […] June 4th for our Summer Programs. Programs begin at 7pm. To see the Summer Program schedule, click here. We hope to see you […]

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Shop our Store!

Shop our Store!

Stop by our gift shop in the Ottawa National Forest Visitors' Center!  Pick up a book, t-shirt, or other item to serve as a souvenir for your visit!
Brochures, Maps, and More!

Brochures, Maps, and More!

We have brochures, lake maps, ORV maps, trail maps, and more! Stop in to get yours today!


We've got your Thursday evenings covered!  In the summer, at least.  Every Thursday come join us for our educational programs at the Ottawa National Forest Visitors' Center.  Schedule