The Burgess-Shadbush Nature Center in Shelby Township will host its annual winter hike event from noon to 3 p.m. Feb. 16. The hike will cover how animals in Michigan survive the freezing weather.

The Burgess-Shadbush Nature Center in Shelby Township will host its annual winter hike event from noon to 3 p.m. Feb. 16. The hike will cover how animals in Michigan survive the freezing weather.

Photo by Megan Schildberg


Nature hike to teach how animals survive Michigan’s weather

By: Kara Szymanski | Shelby - Utica News | Published February 11, 2019

SHELBY TOWNSHIP — Have you ever wondered how animals survive in Michigan’s freezing weather?

The Burgess-Shadbush Nature Center will offer people the opportunity to spend a few hours appreciating the beauty of the wintry outdoors while also learning all about the animals that survive in the cold during its winter hike event from noon to 3 p.m. Feb. 16 inside and outside the center in Shelby Township.

The winter hike will involve a brisk nature walk with the nature center employees to learn how animals in Michigan survive, identify the signs that animals leave behind, and track where they go.

“This event is a guided nature walk along our upper trail, where we search for wildlife and signs that they are still active even in the cold weather,” said Megan Schildberg, the nature center’s assistant nature interpreter, in an email.

Schildberg said the nature center has been doing the winter hike event for at least 15 or 16 years, since the building was built and the trails were put in.

She said that she enjoys being part of the event and talking about the different things that animals do during the winter in Michigan.

“If we have the snow for it, we even pull out our snowshoes and let kids (or parents) try walking around in them. It’s a lot of fun talking about the different signs animals leave behind in the winter and showing people that they don’t just disappear when the weather gets cold,” Schildberg said.

She said that the animals are still here, but people just don’t see them as much as in the warmer seasons.

“Even if we don’t always see them, there’s still plenty of things to look for that shows you what’s really going on in the forest during the winter months.” Schildberg said.

Animals are known to leave footprints or the remains of yesterday’s meal, which show they were once there. Footprints can also be used to find where they may have traveled to next.

Everything animals do during the winter is for survival. They use the natural resources available to them.

The nature center will have winter animal crafts and activities indoors. Warm cider and hot chocolate will be provided, and participants may bring their own snacks.

The nature center recommends dressing warmly for the weather during the hike.

“The winter hike is a great opportunity to come out, enjoy the trails, look for animal tracks and do a winter craft!” said Faith Rembisz, an animal care specialist at the nature center.

The event is free and open to all.

The Burgess-Shadbush Nature Center is located at 4101 River Bends Drive.

For more information on the hike, call the nature center at (586) 323-2478 or visit its Facebook page.