Art of nature found at Howard Christensen Nature Center

Do you see beauty in a snow-covered landscape, or does it simply make you want to head to a warmer climate? Many people, even the “snowbirds,” see beauty in nature. During November and December, the Howard Christensen Nature Center (HCNC) is hosting several workshops and a quilt raffle that are inspired by nature’s beauty.

The Rockford Sportsman’s Club is again showing their support for the educational programs at the nature center by sponsoring the third annual quilt raffle. The prizes for the raffle include a wildlife-themed quilted wall hanging by Sandy Afton, a framed “sand dune” print by Jeanne Rockett, and a 60-inch wreath created by Kare Greenup. A raffle ticket costs $5, with all proceeds going to the nature center, which is located on 135 acres in the Rogue River State Game Area. Raffle tickets can be purchased from Shawn and Barb Blough at the Rockford Sportsman’s Club, at Independent Bank in Sparta, and at the nature center during upcoming events and regular office hours.

Kare Greenup, a HCNC naturalist/floral designer, is leading a nature-inspired workshop for children in kindergarten through fifth grade. On Saturday, Dec. 3, children can attend a “Holiday Make and Take Workshop” from 9 to 11 a.m., where they’ll make eight unique gifts and wrap them with the assistance of volunteers. The cost is $12 per child, and your children’s holiday shopping is done! Register in advance by calling (616) 675-3158, so there will be enough supplies for each child.

December 10 is the date to get outside and see the beauty of nature first hand. In the morning, from 9 a.m. to noon, attend the “Leave No Family Inside: Winter Survival Workshop,” where naturalist Tom Noreen will teach ways to stay warm outside, including fire starting and shelter building. Winters in Michigan can be ever changing, so being properly prepared for outdoor adventure is important. He’ll also discuss a variety of adaptations that allow animals to survive Michigan’s winters. The cost is $6 per person or $10 per family, with registration and payment due December 4.

At 7:00 p.m. on December 10, the raffle drawing will be held just prior to the start of the “Full Moon Workshop and Hike.” Jeanne Ausema will lead a short indoor program about the names given to each month’s full moon, myths, legends and lore, which will be followed by a full-moon hike. The cost is $6 for adults, $4 for students and seniors, and $12 per family.

Registration details, directions and other information about HCNC can be found by calling (616) 675-3158, or at www.lilysfrogpad.com. Lily’s Frog Pad Inc. is an independent nonprofit organization formed in April 2011 to manage HCNC.

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