Inspiring exploration, appreciation, and conservation of our natural world.

#StayHome with Nature

Can’t make it to the Boardman River Nature Center today? No worries! Check out the activities below for naturalists of all ages to explore while in the comfort of their own home. These activities are designed to use minimal materials or none at all to get you thinking about everything that Nature has to offer. Join us from home and #GetOutside with these interactive activities and free resources we have compiled for you to enjoy!

Signs of Spring

Spring is near! #Getoutside and explore the growing things around you. Look at the buds on the trees, observe the catkins blowing in the wind and record any blossoms you see in your adventures.

1.) #GetOutside on a walk. Whether it’s your backyard or a trail, get out and explore!

2.) Observe the signs of spring! Buds, catkins, and blossoms are great signs of spring that you may come across.

3.) Consider the following when observing your findings:
⁣ ▪️Use your senses to observe each of these items
⁣ ▪️Record your findings, compare and contrast each item
⁣ ▪️Choose and watch a bud to observe over the next week

Signs of Wildlife

As the snow continues to melt, look for tracks, scat, and other signs of wildlife that give you clues to what wildlife may be around you!

1.) #GetOutside on a walk. Whether it’s your backyard or a trail, get out and explore!

2.) Observe signs of animals. If you come across a track or another sign, draw or take a picture so that you can identify later.

3.) Consider the following when observing your findings:
⁣ ▪️Does the track have claw marks?
⁣ ▪️What is the composition of the scat?
⁣ ▪️What color are the feathers or fur?

Beautiful Butterflies

Spring is taking its time to arrive in Michigan, so lets fast forward to summer! Monarch’s will embark on their long journey and other butterflies will emerge from their chrysalis like the Eastern Tiger Swallowtail! The Boardman River Nature Center pollinator garden is the perfect place to observe many of these species in the summer, especially monarchs!

1.) #GetOutside on a walk in your backyard or on one of our many trails!

2.) Identify an area with enough space to spin yourself in a circle. Now go to that TP stock and grab a roll of toilet paper. Use a roll of toilet paper (if you do not have one to spare, use a blanket or whatever else you can find to wrap up in). Wrap yourself in the toilet paper or material of choice to resemble a butterfly pupa wrapped up in a chrysalis. Break out of it like a beautiful butterfly!

3.) Consider the following after completing this activity:
⁣ ▪️Pupa is what stage of the butterfly life cycle?
⁣ ▪️What is the difference between a chrysalis and a cocoon?
⁣ ▪️Are all chrysalis’ the same color and size? Why or why not?

Free Resources:


Free Phone Apps

Search in your app store for these fun and interactive FREE phone apps.

  • inaturalist
  • leafsnap
  • TreeBook
  • VTree
  • What Knot to Do
  • Ready Jet Go
  • Nature Cat
  • AllTrails
  • Audubon Bird Guide
  • Audubon Owls Guide
  • Explore Michigan
  • Michigan Wildflowers
  • ebird