February 25 Birding and Nature Outing with Seth McGee (Sunday, 1:30–3:00 p.m.). Join other nature lovers, family and friends for a beautiful winter nature hike at the Lakeshore Nature Preserve! Biocore Prairie manager Seth McGee will help answer burning questions such as: How can fire help preserve nature? What started fires historically? Where do we see the benefits in prairies and woodlands? Why do woodpeckers and other birds flock to burned areas? Free, family friendly outing, no pets, no registration required. We may have a campfire afterward at Fire Pit 2 with marshmallows and hot chocolate and a reading or two from Wisconsin alumni John Muir and Aldo Leopold. As always, dress appropriately for winter weather. Leader: Seth McGee, 608-698-0104 Meet at the UW parking lot #129 at the Picnic Point entrance.
March 25 Birding and Nature Outing with Chuck Henrikson (Sunday, 1:30–3:00 p.m.). Early Birds. Meet at the UW parking lot #129 at the Picnic Point entrance.
April 8 Exploration Stations at Picnic Point (Sunday, 2:00–3:30 p.m.) Learn the natural and cultural history of Picnic Point with the Friends of the Lakeshore Nature Preserve. Stop at our four exploration stations to learn from experts about rocks and fossils, trees, birds, and effigy mounds. We’ll have binoculars and a spotting scope available. Children can engage in related activities at each station. For more information about Science Expeditions, see www.science.wisc.edu/events-science-expeditions.htm. Meet at the UW parking lot 129 at the Picnic Point entrance.
April 18 Beyond Backyard Birding (Wednesday, 7:30–9:30 a.m.) This trip is especially for backyard birders looking to improve their skills. Come to have your bird questions answered and get help identifying those small streaky brown birds and other early spring migrants as we visit prairie and woodland habitat. The walk will be on even trails at a leisurely pace, so bring the whole family. We will have binoculars for loan. This trip is limited to 20 people—registration is required! Register with the Madison Audubon office (255-2473, firstname.lastname@example.org). Meet at the UW parking lot 129 at the Picnic Point entrance. Leader: Kenny Younger.
April 22 Birding and Nature Outing–The Wonders of Migration with Ryan Treves (Sunday, 1:30–3:00 p.m.). Join Wisconsin Young Birder Ryan Treves for a walk through the Lakeshore Nature Preserve to look for migrating warblers, sparrows, flycatchers and other songbirds. We will learn about how each bird we see got here, where it's going next, and why. For a bonus, bring a recorder/smartphone and we'll try to record as many birdsongs as we can! Free, family friendly outing, no pets, no registration required. Co-sponsored by Madison FUN Friends of Urban Nature partner groups Madison Audubon and Friends of the Lakeshore Nature Preserve. Meet at the UW parking lot 129 at the Picnic Point entrance. Contact 608-698-0104
April 29 Bill's Woods Spring Wildflowers (Sunday, 1:30–3:00 p.m.) Explore the restoration area at Bill’s Woods—the first Friends project, started in 2001. We will look for spring ephemerals and other tender new growth that is poking up through leaf litter. Learn how to identify spring ephemerals such as wood phlox, violet, bloodroot, Jacob’s ladder, wild strawberry, and many others. This is a family-friendly hike. Meet at the UW parking lot 129 at the Picnic Point entrance. Leader: Glenda Denniston, 231-1530, email@example.com.
May 4 The Night Sky in the Preserve (Friday, 8:00–9:00 p.m.) Weather permitting, join the staff of the University of Wisconsin Space Place in viewing the spring sky. After a short introduction about the stars and planets, take a closer look by telescope. Meet at UW parking lot 131 (at the intersection of University Bay Drive and Lake Mendota Drive). Leader: Jim Lattis, 262-4779, firstname.lastname@example.org.
May 16 Warblers of Frautschi Point (Wednesday, 7:30–9:30 a.m.) We will focus on seeing warblers through leafy foliage and will look for other spring migrants. Bring binoculars and a field guide if you have them. Meet at the Frautschi Point parking lot on Lake Mendota Drive. Leader: Roma Lenehan, 238-5406, email@example.com.
May 27 Birding and Nature Outing with Emily Steinwehe (Sunday, 1:30–3:00 p.m.).
Plant Phenology. Meet at the UW parking lot 129 at the Picnic Point entrance.
June 3 Vision at the Lakeshore Nature Preserve: Our Nocturnal Neighbors (Sunday, 1:00–3:00 p.m.) Co-sponsored with the McPherson Eye Research Institute, this special field trip, to be held at the Eagle Heights Community Center, will feature short presentations on the opossum and the flying squirrel by comparative ocular pathologist Gillian Shaw and wildlife ecologist David Drake, followed by hands-on stations and a hike in the Preserve. Park at the Eagle Heights Community Center at 611 Eagle Heights Dr.
June 24 Birding and Nature Walk with John Magnuson at the Class of 1918 Marsh (Sunday, 1:30–3:00 p.m.). Hike around the Class of 1918 Marsh with John Magnuson. This easy walk will reflect on the past, present, and future of the marsh – its history, nature, and challenges. The marsh’s story is one of change and it will continue to change. Check out the short article in the Friends Newsletter “Preserve/Winter 2017-18.” If wet, wear appropriate hiking boots.
June 27 Lake Mendota Boat Trip (Wednesday, 9:00–11:30 a.m.; weather date: Friday, June 29) Learn about Lake Mendota and the shoreline of the Lakeshore Nature Preserve from a different perspective aboard LIMNOS, the research vessel for teaching, research, and outreach operated by the UW Center for Limnology. Group size is limited to 12; reserve your place early for this popular field trip. Meet at Hasler Limnology Laboratory one block west of Memorial Union. Register with John Magnuson, firstname.lastname@example.org.
July 14 The Biocore Prairie Experience (Saturday, 9:00–11:00 a.m.). Get a behind-the-scenes summer look at natural restoration efforts and various student related research projects. The UW Biocore Prairie provides a unique and successful natural classroom experience that supports the goals of the Lakeshore Nature Preserve. Meet at UW parking lot 129 at the Picnic Point entrance. Leader: Seth McGee, 265-2870, email@example.com.
July 22 Birding and Nature Outing (Sunday, 1:30–3:00 p.m.) What is a Bioblitz! Meet at the UW parking lot 129 at the Picnic Point entrance. Leader: Paul Noeldner. Contact 608-698-0104
July 29 Native Pollinators in the Preserve (Sunday, 9:00–11:00 a.m.) Join us in searching for bees and other pollinators while learning about their diversity and lifestyles as well as the importance of these intriguing insects. Meet at UW parking lot 129 at the Picnic Point entrance. Leader: Susan Carpenter, 886‑7504, firstname.lastname@example.org.
August 4 Bird Banding in the Preserve (Saturday, 7:00 a.m.–noon) Join Jackie Sandberg, Wildlife Rehabilitation Training Coordinator for the Dane County Humane Society to learn about bird banding (hands-on if you wish), how banding helps expand our knowledge of birds, and our efforts towards conservation. Stop by any time between the listed hours. Park at UW parking lot 129 at the Picnic Point entrance and walk up to the Biocore Prairie above the Eagle Heights Gardens. Leader: Jackie Sandberg, 838‑0413, email@example.com.
August 11 Pretty Things with Wings Saturday, 10:00 a.m.–noon) Join in a search for butterflies, dragonflies, and an occasional bird. Bring your binoculars. Co-sponsored with the Madison Audubon Society and the Southern Wisconsin Butterfly Association. Meet at UW parking lot 129 at the Picnic Point entrance. Leader: Edgar Spalding, 265-5294, firstname.lastname@example.org.
August 26 Birding and Nature Outing (Sunday, 1:30–3:00 p.m.) Being a Bird Buddy. Meet at the UW parking lot 129 at the Picnic Point entrance. Leader: Paul Noeldner. Contact 608-698-0104
Free public field trips are one of the most valuable contributions the Friends make to the Preserve. They have been organized every spring and fall for over 10 years on various topics and are all led by Friends volunteers. Many are professional naturalists and emeritus faculty and staff. The Friends also partner with other environmental organizations for field trips.
Field trip coordinator: Peter Fisher
Bird and Nature Walks 1:30-3:00 pm-
Every 4th Sunday of the month
These informal outings welcome students, families and kids. Discover the gentle paths that wind through prairies, woods, and wetlands. Enjoy vistas along the Lake Mendota shoreline and Picnic Point. Walk leaders and participants share their knowledge about the birds, animals and plants along the way. Meet at the Picnic Point Parking Lot. Cordinator: Paul Noeldner (608-698-0104)