Experience the highest tides in the world on the Bay of Fundy in Nova Scotia. About 100 billion tons of water move in and out of the bay twice a day.
Dallas Trout Lily sightings are now being reported! The delicate and small flowers are among the first harbingers of spring. The species in the metroplex have exquisite nodding one-inch white flowers tinged with lavender. The delicate petals re-curve upward towards the light. The pointy lily-like leaf is only about 3-4 inches tall.
The lilies poke-up through the thick carpet of leaves on the forest floor and give surprising delight to the casual passerby. Trout Lilies dwell in woodland habitats and appear before the trees bud so that they have optimal sunlight. They thrive on slopes.
The Perot Museum’s Junior Master Naturalist outdoor education program is a unique well rounded curriculum. It is also one of the first of its kind in the United States. Perot Museum staff educator Jessica Crowley, said “From day one, students participating in our kick-off season of the Junior Master Naturalist program have been super excited and engaged in the content.” The program is a joint activity of Perot and highly trained North Texas Master Naturalists volunteers.
Nineteen students grades 4-6 gather one Thursday night a month in the Perot learning lab to study Texas geologic history, aquatic science, plant biology, and the biology and identification of mammals, birds, amphibians, reptiles and invertebrates. They then follow-up each lab with a field trip on specified Saturdays to local Dallas area nature parks to explore what they have learned in the labs. Everything from collecting fossils, setting up game cameras, scat identification, planting seed balls to restore a Blackland Prairie and learning how to track animals in the field. Both the labs and the field trips are extraordinarily well organized with expert educators who are adept a making learning fascinating. The pilot program began September 2015 and will conclude June 2016, sign-up will begin July 2016 for the 2016/2017 year.
Educating Dallas kids in nature has never been easier! Dogwood Canyon Audubon Center is an amazing place to easily give yourself a break and let kids of all ages be free to explore and have adventures. Dogwood Canyon is unique in that it is the only true canyon in the Dallas area and is a mere 15 minutes south of downtown Dallas off 67 in Cedar Hill.
For younger children, Dogwood Canyon offers a specially designed natural play and picnic area. It is enclosed so you can relax and watch your child do what is so inherent to their being – play in nature. Called “Nature Play” the space has stump jumping, a climbing wall, a crawling tube and a sandbox. The Dog Wood Canyon educators feature story time in Nature Play. Currently a story is told featuring a turtle’s adventure while the staff shows a live turtle. By March 2016 Dogwood Canyon will expand Nature Play to include a sensory garden and a small trail, where small children can feel like they are hiking.
Imagine educating your kids in Dallas’ most beautiful nature preserves. Well you can. It may be just a few miles away but it’s hundreds of miles from the madness of carpools, appointments and over scheduled kids.
While there are many nature options available, Cedar Ridge Nature Preserve is a Dallas treasure. Perched on the edge of the Edwards Plateau off Highway 67, it’s the ideal place where both parents and kids can truly take a breath, relax and revel in Dallas’ own slice of the hill country. Besides the views at an elevation of 775 feet, it’s where the Blackland Prairie meets the limestone escarpment of the plateau. It’s one of the few places in Dallas kids get to see native grassland, wildflowers, and spectacular hills all in one place. Not to mention, those incomparable Texas sunsets and coyotes serenading at dusk and morning!