Full information about Homeshool and Fledgling (preschool) programs can be found in the tabbed pages just above this post.

March 31, 2010

Maples in Bloom

Have you noticed a gentle wash of pink spreading over some tree branches? Those are red maples starting to bloom. Red maples are medium to large-sized trees that are especially common along lakes, ponds, streams, and other wetlands and are often the first trees to bloom in the spring.

From a distance the warm color of the red-maple flowers is a welcome change from the greyness of winter, and up-close, the flowers are lovely.

March 27, 2010

Spring's First Bloom

The first flowers of spring are getting ready to bloom along the banks of streams and in High Point's wetlands. Skunk Cabbage may not be what comes to mind when someone says "wildflower," but it is. Come for an early spring hike and look for the mottled skunk cabbage hoods and other signs of spring!


To learn more about this common but interesting plant go to the skunk cabbage page at enature.com.

March 13, 2010

Spring Programs for Homeschoolers

Homeschool Naturalists
Children ages 6 to 9, accompanied by an adult.
Group size is limited. Registration is required. Call 973-875-1471 or email highpointprograms@gmail.com.

These hands-on activities provide homeschoolers with opportunities to explore the natural world and interact with other homeschooled students. Suggestions for further study and resources will be provided for each program.

A Sense of Spring
Friday, April 23, 2010 from 10:30 AM to 12:30 PM
This April we'll use our senses to explore the sights, sounds, and smells of the spring season, and we'll take a walk and see how many signs of spring we can find.

Stream Stomping!
Friday, May 21, 2010 from 10:30 AM to 12:30 PM
In May we'll explore life in and around one of High Point's streams. You'll want to wear boots or shoes that can get wet, and you may want to wear insect repellent. We won't walk terribly far, but we will be off-trail. Plan to get a bit dirty and have fun! Suggested reading: The Four Story Mistake by Elizabeth Enright.  First published in 1942, this is the second of four books about the Melendy Family and it follows their adventures as they explore their new country home (including a stream). I have a spare copy if anyone would like to borrow it.

Get Outdoors NJ! Discovery Packs
Friday, June 25, 2010 from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM
Pick up a pack at any time after 10:00 AM.  Packs must be returned to the Interpretive Center by 4:00 PM. Come celebrate the end of the school year and "Great Outdoors Month" by borrowing one of High Point's new Habitat Discovery Packs and spending the day exploring the Park. These packs include a variety of tools that will help you explore and discover nature. Each pack includes a take-home discovery guide full of fun outdoor activity ideas, resources, and suggestions for how to use the tools contained inside. Spy on the treetops, try to catch a newt, corner a cricket, make a collage, climb a rock, observe nature up close and at distance, play a game...the only limit is your imagination! 

Homeschool Adventurers
Children ages 9 to 13, accompanied by an adult.
Group size is limited. Registration is required. Call 973-875-1471 or email highpointprograms@gmail.com.

These monthly programs offer older homeschoolers opportunities to get out "in the field" through a  series of thematic hikes with  hands-on activities and lessons. In addition to fresh air and exercise, there will be time for students to socialize and work cooperatively together. Older and/or younger siblings are welcome to accompany us. In the case of younger siblings, they will need to be able walk the planned distance.

Reading the Landscape
Friday, April 23, 2010 from 1:30 PM to 3:30 PM
In April we'll take hike (about 2.5 miles over mostly easy terrain) and focus on the signs and clues in the landscape that tell us the stories of the land and ways it has changed over the past few centuries. Although geology will not be a focus of this hike, you may find a book called Stone Wall Secrets by Kristine and Robert Thorson to be an appropriate supplement if you are interested in delving into both geologic and human history. From the book jacket: "Scattered throughout New England there are thousands of stone walls crisscrossing woods and fields as if they have been there forever. Each one has a story to tell, a story of farmers, and oxen and hard, muddy work. And every stone in every wall also has a story to tell, and older story of the land itself, of mountains and glaciers, of soils, and seas."

Stream Stomping!

Friday, May 21, 2010 from 1:30 PM to 3:30 PM
In May we'll explore life in and around one of High Point's streams. You'll want to wear boots or shoes that can get wet, and you may want to wear insect repellent. We won't walk terribly far, but we will be off-trail. Plan to get a bit dirty and have fun! Suggested reading: The Four Story Mistake by Elizabeth Enright.  First published in 1942, this is the second of four books about the Melendy Family and it follows their adventures as they explore their new country home (including a stream). This book may not appeal to the teens in the group, although it remains one of my favorite books and I'm way older than that! I have a spare copy if anyone would like to borrow it.

Get Outdoors NJ! Discovery Packs

Friday, June 25, 2010 from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM
Pick up a pack at any time after 10:00 AM.  Packs must be returned to the Interpretive Center by 4:00 PM. Come celebrate the end of the school year and "Great Outdoors Month" by borrowing one of High Point's new Habitat Discovery Packs and spending the day exploring the Park. These packs include a variety of tools that will help you explore and discover nature. Each pack includes a take-home discovery guide full of fun outdoor activity ideas, resources, and suggestions for how to use the tools contained inside. Spy on the treetops, try to catch a newt, corner a cricket, make a collage, climb a rock, observe nature up close and at distance, play a game...the only limit is your imagination!

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Recommended website: The Children and Nature Network  Building a Movement to Reconnect Children and Nature. This site has a wealth of information and resources for families and educators interested in having fun with their children in the outdoors.

Fledgling Naturalists - Programs For Preschoolers - Spring 2010

For 3 to 5 year-olds and an adult partner. Class size is limited. Registration is required. Call 973-875-1471 or email highpointprograms@gmail.com.

Fledgling Naturalist programs are designed to encourage young children's curiosity, engaging them hands-on in the natural world through outdoor activities, stories, games and crafts.

Out of an Egg
Thursday, April 15, 2010 from 1:00 PM to 2:00 PM
Friday, April 16, 2010 from 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM
Come learn about the different kinds of eggs and the critters that hatch from them.

Everyone Eats!
Thursday, April 29, 2010 from 1:00 PM to 2:00 PM
Friday, April 30, 2010 from 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM
All animals need to eat to survive, but they go about it in lots of different ways. Come explore High Point's wildlife and learn what and how they eat.

Stream Slogging
Thursday, May 13, 2010 from 1:00 PM to 2:00 PM
Friday, May 14, 2010 from 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM
We'll use nets to explore one of High Point's streams in search of crayfish, salamanders, and other critters. Wear boots or shoes that can get wet (just in case!) and be prepared for it to be a big buggy (but still lots of fun!).

Get Outdoors NJ - Go Play Outside!
Thursday, June 10, 2010 from 1:00 PM to 2:00 PM
Friday, June 11, 2010 from 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM
Come celebrate "Great Outdoors Month" by taking a short naturalist-guided walk and then trying out High Point's new Habitat Discovery Packs. Each pack contains an assortment of tools and field guides to help you explore and discover on your own as well as a take-home discovery guide full of fun outdoor activity ideas, resources, and suggestions for how to use the tools contained in the pack. Packs must be returned to the Interpretive Center by 4:00 PM.

Recommended website: The Children and Nature Network  Building a Movement to Reconnect Children and Nature. This site has a wealth of information and resources for families and educators interested in having fun with their children in the outdoors.