Ottawa Visitor Center
2017 Summer Program Schedule
All Programs are Free of Charge and begin at 7:00 p.m. CST
Join us for our Family Fun Day on July 8th. More details to come soon!
June 1 — Monarchs and Milkweed
Sue Trull, Ottawa National Forest Botanist, will talk about the amazing life cycle and migratory journey of the monarch butterfly and why populations are now in trouble. Learn about caterpillar host plants and how you can help by growing milkweeds. Depending on availability, there may be milkweed seedlings available for those who attend the program.
June 8 — Let’s Talk Birds
Join Brian Bogaczyk, Ottawa National Forest Wildlife Biologist, to learn about well-known birds like eagles and loons to more obscure species like the least flycatcher and everything in between. He will wow you with facts and photos of birds of the Ottawa and Western Upper Peninsula. Expect a lively back-and-forth dialogue about birds and the role each of us serve in bird conservation.
June 15 — Adventures of a Wildland Firefighter
Join Ottawa National Forest Assistant Fire Management Officer Lisa Gowe as she talks about wildland fire and the experiences of a wildland firefighter. Take a closer look into life on the fire line and check out the equipment used by firefighters. Stroll into fire camp for a cozy sleep after finishing up a 16 hour shift.
June 22 — Impact of Deer Browsing on Shrubs and Wildflowers
Dr. Walter Carson, University of Pittsburgh Ecologist and Charles Bullard Fellow in Forest Research at Harvard, will be here to discuss deer browsing and the impact it has on some of our favorite wildflowers and shrubs such as elderberry and Canada yew. Dr. Carson has been climbing atop boulders and cliff ledges around the Upper Peninsula surveying wildflowers on these geologic refugia, where deer do not venture.
June 29 — Orienteering
Develop skills and confidence to use a map and compass with Joe Panci, Ottawa National Forest Conservation Education Coordinator. Learn compass basics, how to read maps and understand their symbols, and test your knowledge outside on a compass course.
July 6 — Honey Bees and Beekeeping
Join Leslie McBean from White Birch Apiary to learn about the role honey bees play in our everyday lives; from commercial pollination of fruits and vegetables to the role of today’s hobbyists. He will also discuss the disappearance of the feral (wild) bees, various kinds of honey, and provide a brief overview of the history of beekeeping!
July 13 — Ontonagon River Lake Sturgeon
Ottawa National Forest Fisheries Technician John Pagel will be here to talk about an ongoing project taking place in Gogebic and Houghton counties to reestablish spawning populations of lake sturgeon in the Ontonagon river system and supplement the population in the natal Sturgeon River. Learn more about this project and sturgeon that are raised locally throughout the summer and released in the early fall.
July 20 — Weasels of Michigan
Are you familiar with members of the weasel family? Join Damon Haan, Ottawa National Forest Biological Technician, for a fascinating look at the ecology of the rarely seen and often poorly understood members of the weasel family.
July 27 — Edible Plants
Ian Shackleford, Ottawa National Forest Botanist, will share information about many of the edible plants and mushrooms available in the northwoods.
August 3 — Cutover
An interpretive play using short, theatrical presentations and historical photographs to look back into local area history. Get a firsthand look at what the area looked like in the late 1800’s through the 1930’s via photos and historical props used throughout the play.
August 10 — North Country Trail
Join Connie Julien, President of the Peter Wolfe Chapter of the North Country Trail Association, to learn more about the North Country Trail: a 4,600 mile hiking trail which runs between North Dakota and New York. Some of the most remote, rugged, yet beautiful sections of this trail are in the Ottawa National Forest.
August 17 — Black Bear
Join Kevin Swanson, Wildlife Management Specialist for Michigan Department of Natural Resources, to learn about the biology and management of Michigan black bear!
August 24 — History of White Pine Trees
From pre-settlement to present day, Ottawa National Forest Silviculturist Ted Frank, will talk about the historical and ecological existence of white pine in the Western Upper Peninsula. Learn how past and present events changed the landscape and affected the abundance of white pine on the Ottawa.
August 31 — Sylvania Wilderness
Sylvania, once private, now public, and what makes it unique and worth inclusion in the USDA Forest Service Wilderness system. Join Bonnie Peacock, author of the book Sylvania, for a look at the history and characteristics of this beautiful, wild area.