Lance DeVoe, a naturalist at Rochester Hills, shows off a plant during a past outdoor program offered by the city’s Parks and Natural Resources Department.

Lance DeVoe, a naturalist at Rochester Hills, shows off a plant during a past outdoor program offered by the city’s Parks and Natural Resources Department.

Photo provided by the city of Rochester Hills

Fall programs head outdoors in Rochester Hills

By: Mary Beth Almond | Rochester Post | Published September 8, 2020


ROCHESTER HILLS — Getting outside is arguably more important now than ever.

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Rochester Hills Natural Resources Manager Matt Einheuser said park usage has skyrocketed throughout the city.

“With how things have been over the last year, it’s really highlighted the importance of being outside and getting out in our parks and enjoying our trails and natural features,” he said.

People continue to look for safe ways to engage outside of their home, so this fall, Rochester Hills plans to host a number of parks and recreational offerings within the city’s nearly 1,000 acres of green spaces, trails and parks.

“We are really excited to get back to the outdoor engagement portion of our department because it’s such a big part of what we do,” said Lance DeVoe, a naturalist for Rochester Hills.

All programs, DeVoe said, will continue to follow up-to-date social distancing and gathering guidelines, and participants should bring a mask to wear when within 6 feet of others.

The offerings kick off with a fly tying program for those ages 14 and older 10 a.m.-noon Sept. 12 at the Rochester Hills Museum at Van Hoosen Farm. For $15, participants can learn how to tie their own flies and make two of their own flies to take home. According to the Clinton River Watershed Council and the Michigan Fly Fishing Club, Paint Creek is considered a high-quality cold water stream, its water quality conducive to maintaining a good trout population. A map of fishing access points and parking areas can be found at Residents also find good fishing in the Clinton River at Yates Park, located off of Avon Road, at Dequindre Road.

Families can participate in “Nature on Wheels” 5-7 p.m. Sept. 12 in the Boogie Babies Parking Lot, 1928 Star-Batt Dr. B, in Rochester Hills. For a fee of $25-$35 — which includes bike rental — families can rent a bike through Boogie Babies Entertainment Facility and join naturalists for a guided biking tour along the Clinton River Trail. Toddler trailers are available.

Children ages 10-14 can take part in the new “Animal Archaeology” program at Bloomer Park 1-3 p.m. Sept. 13. For a $10 fee, participants will tap into their inner Indiana Jones and embark on an all-new hands-on adventure to excavate and identify animal bones.

A “Parent and Child Hike in the Woods” will run 10-11 a.m. Sept. 17. For $6 per person, children ages 3-6 and their caregivers can enjoy a light hike in the woods while learning about the nature, plants and animals in the community.

Also on Sept. 17, the city will host a new program, “Adaptive Nature Hike with a Naturalist,” in partnership with the Rochester Area Recreation Authority, from 5:30-6:30 p.m. in Bloomer Park. Participants ages 14 and older with special needs — along with their parents — are invited to participate in a nature hike for $6 per person.

The city’s “Painting in the Park” program, which runs 4:30-7 p.m. Sept. 24, will also return this fall. For $35, people of all ages can learn from a Paint Creek Center for the Arts instructor, who will demonstrate how to watercolor paint the surrounding environment and transform an ordinary canvas into a piece of the park that you get to take home.

To register for a program or to learn about other upcoming outdoor engagement opportunities, visit or call the Parks and Natural Resources Department at (248) 656-4673.