Speaker series, starting March 12, focuses on making the most of your outdoor experiences

Nature lovers interested in new ways to explore and engage with Michigan’s great outdoors are invited to a series of presentations focusing on how to make the most of their outdoor experiences. Hosted by the Michigan History Foundation, with the support of Dart Bank, the three-part speaker series will be held at the Michigan Historical Center, located at 702 W. Kalamazoo St. in downtown Lansing, in conjunction with its special exhibit Inventing the Outdoors

The speaker series includes:

Shaun McKeon
Raising an Outdoor Child
Saturday, March 12, at 1 p.m.
Today’s children are addicted to screens large and small, and increasingly divorced from the natural world. How can we reconnect our children to the outdoors – to the lessons of woods and fields, and to outdoor physical fun? Raising an Outdoor Child will give parents ideas and skills to get their children outdoors, engaged, learning and loving it. Emphasis will be placed on showcasing hands-on activities that will inspire nature exploration in youth. Come prepared to learn about activities that kids and families can do outside together in area parks. This event also will highlight some of Michigan's many regional assets, including nature centers, local parks and county and state facilities.

Presenter Shaun McKeon is the education coordinator for Michigan United Conservation Clubs and the editor of Tracks Magazine, MUCC’s publication that teaches kids about Michigan wildlife and ecosystems.

Ashley Stofer
Taking Your Dog into the Great Outdoors
Saturday, April 9, at 1 p.m.
Those of us who love our dogs and the outdoors often want to take our furry friends with us to explore and play. But each activity presents special challenges to keeping our dogs safe, healthy and happy. Taking Your Dog into the Great Outdoors will explore the right considerations, safeguards and gear to make sure your outdoor adventures are on track for you and your pet. From camping and canoeing to hiking, snowshoeing and many other outdoor activities, you’ll learn how to avoid problems and maximize enjoyment of your time together outside.

Ashley Stofer, a licensed veterinary technician at the Okemos Animal Hospital and frequent presenter to pet owners and students – as well as an outdoor enthusiast who includes her three dogs in activities like hiking and snowshoeing – will present the program.

Lisa Rose
Foraging in the Spring Woods, Fields and Backyard
Thursday, April 21, at 6:30 p.m.
Tasty, nutritious wild plants are everywhere. Even if you live in the middle of the city, wild foods are all around you: dandelions in the park, basswood flowers on the trees lining the streets, nettles growing in garden beds. The key is to know how to forage safely – from plant identification to proper preparation to knowing the plant’s soils. The class will take you on a wild journey to learn about local plants that can be used for food and herbal medicine. The class may venture outdoors, so participants should wear appropriate shoes and clothing for the weather.

Presenter Lisa Rose is an author, herbalist and forager whose professional career has included food work in California’s Napa Valley and Michigan’s Leelanau County and Grand Rapids. In her most recent book, "Midwest Foraging: 115 Wild and Flavorful Edibles from Burdock to Wild Peach," Rose writes about the familiar edible plants that grow wildly across the Midwest. Rose aims to take the mystery out of foraging with plant descriptions and photographs and includes tips on how to safely forage and what to be mindful of to ensure healthy plant communities.

Thanks to Dart Bank’s generous sponsorship, this speaker series is free and open to the public, but preregistration is required. To register, contact the Michigan History Foundation at 517-335-2796 or cindy@michiganhistory.org.

About the Michigan History Foundation
The Michigan History Foundation was created to raise private funding to assure Michigan’s rich history and culture are preserved for future generations. The foundation encourages the preservation, protection and interpretation of Michigan’s history by supporting museum exhibits, archival projects, historic preservation and history education programs. It accomplishes this mission through a long-standing partnership with the Michigan Historical Center. 

About the Michigan Historical Center 
The Michigan Historical Center tells the real stories of Michigan in order to help people discover, enjoy and find inspiration in their heritage. It comprises the Michigan Historical Museum, 10 regional museums, Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary and Underwater Preserve, and the Archives of Michigan. The Michigan Historical Museum offers three levels of permanent and changing exhibits that tell the story of Michigan's past from pre-contact through the late 20th century.

About Dart Bank
Dart Bank is not just in the banking business; we are in the people business. Getting to know our customers is truly a privilege and serving them is an honor. With 90 years of experience, we embrace current technology to fully serve our communities. That is who we are!

Source: Michigan DNR