Learn about the history, wildlife and island of Lake Joanis at one of the free nature programs at Schmeeckle Reserve this spring. Registration is required. Photo courtesy University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point.

STEVENS POINT – Outdoor nature programs led by University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point environmental education students will return to the campus’ Schmeeckle Reserve this spring.

Offered in April and May, the programs will be limited to 25 participants each, with face coverings and physical distancing required. All attendees must register ahead of time – no walk-ins will be allowed. To register, email schmeeckle@uwsp.edu with the title(s) of the programs you want to attend, the number in your group, email address and phone number. Registrations will be confirmed by email.

All programs will be held outdoors, starting at the campfire ring near the Visitors Center unless otherwise noted. In case of heavy rain or storms, registrants will be contacted with a rain date. In case of cancellation, attendees will be notified.

Spring programs will include:

· The Maple Tree’s Treat, Tuesday, April 6, 5:30-6:30 p.m. – Discover the annual springtime tradition of collecting and transforming the sap into syrup.

· True Crime: Schmeeckle’s Predators, Thursday, April 8, 5:30-6:30 p.m. – Become a detective and solve a murder mystery about wildlife hunters.

· Schmeeckle’s Sounds of Spring, Tuesday, April 13, 5-6 p.m. – Turn up your ears to explore the sounds of spring at the reserve, from birds and bees to frogs and trees.

· The Birds are Back in Town, Thursday, April 15, 5:30-6:30 p.m. – Welcome our migrating feathered friends back to Schmeeckle after a long vacation down south.

· Get the Dirt on Life, Tuesday, April 20, 5:30-6:30 p.m. – Discover a world underneath Schmeeckle’s wetlands, forests and prairies. What lives underground?

· Keep Your Head in the Clouds, Thursday, April 22, 5:30-6:30 p.m. – From wispy clouds to dark thunderheads, clouds come in a variety of shapes and colors. Join in for some cloud watching and learning.

·  Who’s Behind the Hoot?, Saturday, April 24, 6:30-7:30 p.m. – Uncover the secrets of mysterious owls through storytelling. Take a walk through the forest to find who is behind the hoots. *Meet at the Menzel Pavilion Shelter Building.

· The Story of Stumps, Thursday, April 29, 5:30-6:30 p.m. – Restoration projects enhance the woods. Visit some stumps and listen to their stories about the future of the forest.

· The Lake’s View, Saturday, May 1, 1-2 p.m. – Join a free canoe and kayak paddle around Lake Joanis to learn about its creatures, its island and history. *Meet at the beach on the south side of Lake Joanis off Maria Drive.

· A Dinner Date with Nature, Tuesday, May 4, 5:30-6:30 p.m.  – Look no further than the local forest to find wild edibles such as mushrooms, ramps and fiddleheads.

· Oak Savannas: Rising from the Ashes, Saturday, May 8, 4-5 p.m. – Take a trip through the past, present and future of oak savannas to discover how Schmeeckle is restoring this rapidly disappearing native habitat.

Learn more about Schmeeckle Reserve at www.uwsp.edu/cnr-ap/schmeeckle.