Farmington Hills Nature Center volunteer  Dianne Long is a participant in adult naturalist programs. The Farmington Hills Nature Center  is offering Nature Education Classes for  Adults in February and March.

Farmington Hills Nature Center volunteer Dianne Long is a participant in adult naturalist programs. The Farmington Hills Nature Center is offering Nature Education Classes for Adults in February and March.

Photo provided by Jill Pines


Nature Center offers education classes for adults

By: Mark Vest | Farmington Press | Published January 12, 2022

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FARMINGTON HILLS — According to Farmington Hills Nature Center Supervisor Ashlie Smith, there are typically a lot of nature programs offered for children 12 and under.

However, grown-up nature enthusiasts in the community now have something to look forward to as well, as a series titled “Nature Education Classes for Adults” is being offered to residents.

The Nature Center scheduled a topic for each month January-March, offered both virtually and in person.

Coyotes were the topic for January, with a virtual class offered Jan. 4 and an in-person one the following week.

In February the topic will be owls, with a virtual offering set for 7-7:45 p.m. Feb. 1 and an in-person class scheduled for 6-8 p.m. Feb. 8.

March’s topic is winter trees, with the virtual class set for 7-7:45 p.m. March 1 and the in-person offering scheduled 6-8 p.m. March 8.

“I’m excited to be able to offer these types of opportunities to the adults in our community,” Smith said. “This is their park. It’s a gem in our community. Folks should know more about it — more about what we offer too.”

The Nature Center’s naturalist team leads the virtual offerings and assists with in-person classes.

Michelle Serreyn is a naturalist with the Nature Center.

She shared what excites her about the classes being offered.

“Getting people engaged, educated, excited about what’s in their own neighborhood, so that not only are they more knowledgeable, but they can share that with other people,” Serreyn said. “So, we start building a community of people who are aware and interested in the wildlife around us.”

A guest speaker was booked for the in-person class in January, and Smith said that, “hopefully,” that will also be the case in February and March.

She said the Zoom portion of the series is a basic overview of the topic.

“In addition to being informative, we’re excited to make it enjoyable and interactive, even though it’s in a virtual setting,” Smith said. “In person, we’ll dive deeper into some of those concepts.”

Smith shared what her pitch would be to encourage people to check out the series.

“I think there are very few opportunities for folks to dive deep into a subject versus just learning about things on the surface,” she said. “This is an opportunity for those that want to know more, and it’s great because you have the virtual and/or the in-person option, so you can attend both or just one or the other. So, it’s wonderful for folks that have different comfort levels or just different scheduling conflicts.”

Smith discussed what people can expect to learn about in the winter trees class.

“Identifying trees in winter, learning about their amazing adaptations and the ways they’re able to successfully survive the winter season,” she said.

Those who like the idea of the Nature Education Classes for Adults series have even more to look forward to.

“In addition to (these) winter dates, we have planned spring and summer dates into 2022,” Smith said. “So, folks will be able to look for different topics each month. … This is the first time that we’ll be doing it more of like a series, where we have something each month, versus just a stand-alone program that we might do, like, once a season.”

The fee for in-person classes is $5 for Farmington Hills residents and $ 8 for non-residents.

Virtual classes are offered for free. The in-person classes are set to be held at the Nature Center in Heritage Park, which is located at 24915 Farmington Road, between 10 Mile and 11 Mile roads.

Pre-registration is required for in-person classes, but not for virtual offerings, according to Smith.

To register, visit recreg.fhgov.com or do so in-person at The Hawk – Farmington Hills Community Center, which is located at 29995 12 Mile Road.

For questions or to get a link for a Zoom offering, call the Nature Center at (248) 473-1870.

Questions can also be directed to Smith at asmith@fhgov.com.

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