Programs

The Belle Isle Nature Center is offering a variety of outdoor programs. All programming is limited to a capacity of 25 registered participants including siblings, adults, and/or caregivers.

Programs are FREE but registration is required.

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Questions? Email us at BINC@dzs.org


Hikes

  • Program days and times vary. Check the registration page for details.

Children on a woodland hike

Fall Colors Hike  Fall is here! The trees of Belle Isle are turning crimson, golden and a beautiful kaleidoscope of colors in between. It’s the peak time to come for a guided walk celebrating the colors of the season and the natural changes happening in autumn. The flatwood forests of the island invite you to unplug, take a breath, and join us for a scenic walk for hikers of all ages and abilities.


Family Nature Hike  Get ready for adventure and explore Belle Isle’s natural wonders. This facilitated hike is a great introductory hike for you and your family to discover the wonders of this urban gem. There are endless possibilities to what you might discover!  Great for all ages, experience, and ability levels.


Mindfulness Hike  Time spent in nature is a great way to clear the mind. Join us as we participate in observation activities to immerse us in the natural world and go on a brief walk spaced out from others. We will conclude the session with a final meditative activity. You will feel connected, refreshed and rejuvenated.


Belle Isle Exploration Hike  It has been a stressful year! Hikes are a great way to get back outside to enjoy natural spaces, right near the city. This hiking series is your opportunity to get to know this unique space we share. From the forest to the shoreline, Belle Isle has many fascinating areas to explore.


Participatory Science Hikes Let’s learn about participatory science projects while exploring the island! Participatory science projects utilize the passions and talents of volunteers to participate in data collection. We’ll take a hike and explore a science project that you can participate in. Whether your interest is water quality, butterflies, or simply using your phone’s camera to make wildlife observations, there is a science project for everyone.


Nature Tots 

What shapes can you find in the clouds? What’s the recipe for the perfect mud pie? Can you paint without a paintbrush? Important questions like these and more will be answered in Nature Tots, a sensory-rich exploration of the natural world for children 2-4 years old and their caregivers. Each session is designed to support early learning with stories, movement, adventures in nature and crafts. Themes and activities will change monthly. 

 Program will take place outdoors and each group is limited to 25 total participants including children, siblings, and adult caregivers.


 

Neighborhood Nature Adventure

  • Program days and times vary. Check the registration page for details.

A collage of photos featuring kids enjoying camp activities, holding a caterpillar, looking at birds, and playing with flowers

 Let’s explore nearby nature. Each Neighborhood Nature Adventure program will focus on a natural theme and include a story, nature activities, a craft and a way to continue the learning and exploring at home. Themes and activities will change monthly.

Over and Under the Pond What lives Over and Under the Pond? With Kate Messner’s book as our guide, we’ll take a hike to the pond, use nets to carefully explore the animals who live there, create an art project and learn about ways to keep our waterways clean for everyone.


Waiting for Wings  How does a butterfly grow and change through time? What do they need to survive? With Lois Ehlert’s colorful book to lead us, we’ll take a hike to seek out butterflies, caterpillars, and chrysalids; learn about the flowers that grow and how to help attract butterflies to our yards and parks; and create a piece of art to take home.


In the Tall, tall Grass What will we find In the tall, tall grass? Denise Fleming’s book leads us on an insect adventure: let’s discover insects, search for their homes, create a craft, and learn about ways to welcome insects into our backyards, balconies, and schoolyards.


 

Nature at Night

Nature Night LogoNature at Night is a celebration of animals who call Belle Isle home and become more active after dark. Take a hike and learn more about the island’s wildlife through crafts, activities and participatory science projects.


Nature at Night- Full Moon  Each month, we’ll have one special nature at night that focuses on the full moon.  

  • Thursday, June 24 at 6 p.m. Strawberry Moon
  • Thursday, July 22 at 6 p.m. Buck Moon
  • Thursday, August 19 at 6 p.m. Sturgeon Moon
  • Thursday, September 23 at 6 p.m. Corn Moon
  • Thursday, October 21 at 6 p.m. Harvest Moon
  • Thursday, November 18 at 6 p.m. Beaver Moon

 

Nature Art Hike

  • Program days and times vary. Check the registration page for details.

The natural world is a perennial inspiration for the creation of art. Join us for activities that use the beauty, shapes and textures of nature as our subject, inspiration, and sometimes even materials. Bring your creativity and sense of adventure as we enjoy a hike to our natural art studio and then have time to create.

Nature Art Inspired by the groundbreaking work of Andy Goldsworthy, we will be creating art from the natural world. By using natural materials like wood, rocks and soil to create something amazing, we are reminded of just how wonderful nature can be. These works of art will only last a short time, but your creativity will not. 


Sunprint Art Sunprints, or cyanotypes, utilize the sun to create permanent images of natural materials on specially-coated paper. These prints have a long history in the world of nature art- they were used to create permanent artistic and scientific collections of algae, ferns, and other plants, dating back into the 1800s! Join us as we learn about this simple technique, make observations and plan our designs, and then create brilliant works of solar-powered art with leaves, sticks, stones, and other materials. 

 


Printmaking Let’s take a hike and learn to focus on the shapes and textures of nature. We’ll use natural materials to create beautiful nature prints to take home. This project can be messy, so dress for a fun afternoon creating art in the outdoors!

 


Sunprint Art Sunprints, or cyanotypes, utilize the sun to create permanent images of natural materials on specially-coated paper. These prints have a long history in the world of nature art- they were used to create permanent artistic and scientific collections of algae, ferns, and other plants, dating back into the 1800s! Join us as we learn about this simple technique, make observations and plan our designs, and then create brilliant works of solar-powered art with leaves, sticks, stones, and other materials. 

 


Bee Friendly 

""Come visit the honeybee hives at the Belle Isle Nature Center, where beekeepers will offer you an inside peek at our busy working hives. You will learn why we need bees, including diverse native species, and what we can do to help them survive. The visit includes a tour of our pollinator gardens with a stop at the pollinator hotel. The one-hour program will take place outdoors and each group is limited to 20 participants including children and their adults.  

  • Saturday, July 31, 11:00 a.m.
  • Saturday, August 7, 11:00 a.m.
  • Saturday, September 11, 1:00 p.m.
  • Saturday, October 2, 10:30 a.m.

 


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