Schmeeckle Reserve will host a variety of free outdoor nature programs in October and November. Photo courtesy University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point.

STEVENS POINT – Take a walk on the wild side this fall as the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point’s Schmeeckle Reserve offers nature programs led by environmental education students.

Offered in October and November, the programs will be limited to 30 participants each. 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 woodchipped seating area near the Pankowski Friends Amphitheater 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.

Fall programs will include:

  • Tiny Creatures, Big Impact, Thursday, Oct. 7, 5-6 p.m. – Take a closer look at dragonflies, mayflies and beetles and find out the crucial role of these aquatic invertebrates in Lake Joanis. Meet at the South Shore Beach of Lake Joanis.
  • Workaholic Woodpeckers, Saturday, Oct. 9, 1-2 p.m. – Learn about the hardworking woodpecker and its job as the forest’s engineer.
  • The Mystical Moon, Tuesday, Oct. 12, 6:15-7:15 p.m. – Ponder old-age tales about the moon, its roles in history and science and how its light affects the creatures of the reserve. Meet at the Menzel Pavilion.
  • If Looks Could Quill, Thursday, Oct. 14, 5-6 p.m. – There is much more to learn about porcupines than their sharp quills.
  • Fall Frenzy, Sunday, Oct. 17, 3:30-4:30 p.m. – Reptiles and amphibians are preparing for winter. See live animals to learn how snakes, turtles and bullfrogs adapt for the cold. Meet at the Menzel Pavilion.
  • Take a Walk on the Wild Side, Thursday, Oct. 21, 5-6 p.m. – Search Schmeeckle Reserve for the clues that critters leave behind to discover what those signs mean.
  • Creatures of the Night, Saturday, Oct. 23, 5-6 p.m. – Learn how nocturnal wildlife use their senses to navigate in the dark. Meet in the Parkway Shelter north of Maria Drive (parking in Lot J is free on weekends).
  • Virtual Candlelight Hike program, Friday, Oct. 29 – Check out Schmeeckle Reserve on Facebook for details and activities Oct. 25-29, then watch the live-streamed “Schmeeckle Olympics” program on Friday.
  • Falling for Fungi, Thursday, Nov. 4, 5-6 p.m. Take a walk through the reserve to discover the different types of fungi that grow there and how they are used.
  • Near and Deer to My Heart, Saturday, Nov. 6, 4-5 p.m. The bucks of Schmeeckle are looking for mates. Explore the behavior of these deer bachelors and how they get attention.