Rogue River State Game Area

Art of nature found at Howard Christensen Nature Center

November 24, 2011 // 0 Comments

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 […]

Howard Christensen Nature Center offers healthy outdoor event

September 22, 2011 // 0 Comments

Walk or run: benefits for all  According to research, natural settings increase a sense of self-worth and decrease stress. The Howard Christensen Nature Center (HCNC), nestled in the Rogue River State Game Area, is the perfect setting for a walk or run, especially on Sunday, October 23. This is the date for the first Red Pine Run, which is being held to promote healthy lifestyles and to benefit the nature center. The public is invited to enjoy a beautiful Michigan fall day by running or walking the 5K (3.1-mile) trail, or grabbing a friend or family member to participate as a relay team. The course, designed by Kent City cross-country coach Jill Evers, is a flat, scenic, double loop through the nature center on well-marked trails. Each relay team member will do one loop. Participants doing the full 5K will run/walk the loop twice. The race begins at 2:00 p.m. Refreshments and an award presentation are scheduled for the finish of the family-friendly race. Participants receive a t-shirt, and awards will be given for the top two finishers in each age division. For participants 19 years old and up, the fee is $20 for registrations received before October 3, and $25 after that date. The registration fee for participants 18 years and younger is $15 before October 3, and $20 afterwards. Registration forms are available online at Lily’s Frog Pad Inc. manages HCNC and is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Proceeds from the race will help keep the nature center buildings open for school field trips, family workshops and Snow Shoe Saturdays during the winter. Contact Cindy at (616) 675-3158 or with questions. An informational flyer, directions and other information can also be found at