Blue Weekend 2012 is a hiking, biking, educational and entertainment package of activities intended to create widespread awareness of the Oak Openings area. A partial list of the activities is below. The event runs Thursday through Sunday at a wide range of sites in Ohio and Michigan.
Thursday, May 17, 6:30 p.m. Savanna Saunter and Stewardship, ODNR, Mielke Road Savanna. Explore the area, search for Karner Blue, work on removing invasive species. Bring: work gloves, drinking water, 1-2 big trash bags, and shovel or trowel. Wear long pants and closed shoes.
Friday, May 19 at the IHM campus, 610 Elm St., Monroe, Mich.:
6 p.m.: Explore the physical and spiritual connection to the landscape around us on a tour of the Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (IHM) campus.
7:30 p.m.: lecture on “The Oak Openings Flora and Modern Systematic Biology” presented by Tony Reznicek of the University of Michigan
Saturday, May 19:
All Day: Native Plant Sale at Kitty Todd Preserve
10 a.m.: Family Time with the Frogs, Salamanders and Snakes of Irwin Prairie, at Irwin Prairie State Nature Preserve
11 a.m.: Kitty Todd Tour with Tony Reznicek, starting from the office at Kitty Todd
Noon -- 5 p.m.: Oak Openings Blues Photo Exhibit, National Center for Nature Photography, Secor Metropark
Noon -- 6 p.m.: Sand to Glass: Metroparks and The Toledo Museum of Art. Meet at the Oak Openings sand dunes to learn about natural glass before traveling on their own to The Toledo Museum of Art for a tour of the Glass Pavilion. The program concludes by creating your own glass flower as a reminder of this unique outing. Registration required at 419-254-5771 ext. 7432.
1 p.m.: The Geology, Ecology and Restoration of Irwin Prairie Irwin State Nature Preserve, lecture by Todd Crail, University of Toledo
2 p.m.: Oakwoods Winged Wonders, Oakwoods Metropark Nature Center 17854 Savage Rd, Belleville, Mich. Walk through the Certified Monarch Waystation, a 5-acre area designated as suitable Monarch habitat. Bring binoculars.
3 p.m.: Butterflies of the Oak Openings, Kitty Todd Preserve, Jan Dixon & Jackie Riley speak, followed by a self guided hike.
8:30 p.m.: Bats of the Oak Openings, Toledo Memorial Cemetery, with Maureen Schell of ECO Discovery! Meet at Treo in Sylvania and walk to the Toledo Memorial Cemetery to discover what bats call the Oak Openings Region home .
Sunday, May 20
All Day: Native Plant Sale, Kitty Todd Preserve
7 a.m.: Bird Banding, Kitty Todd Preserve, with Jeremy Ross of Bowling Green State University. Meet at the Kitty Todd office then go into the field to view capture nets, then watch banding at the station near the office. Wear field appropriate clothing. Kids encouraged to attend.
7:30 a.m. : Oak Openings Birds, Kitty Todd Preserve, with James Cole of TNC. Bring field appropriate clothing and binoculars for a hike.
9 a.m. – noon: Volunteer Adventures, Southview Oak Savanna, with Erika Buri of The Olander Park System. Join in to help restore wildlife habitat in Sylvania. Wear long pants and bring gloves if you have them. Meet at the Olander Park Maintenance Building. Registration at 419-882-8313, extension 29.
9 a.m. – 11 a.m.: Cooridor Exploration with Tim Schetter, Irwin Prairie SNP. Be one of the first to walk the Oak Openings Corridor on a rigorous off-trail adventure through three miles of newly preserved lands. Starts at Irwin Prairie SNP and ends at Kitty Todd Preserve. Bring insect repellant and a water bottle.
2 p.m.: Karner Blue Butterfly Project at the Petersburg State Game Area with Jenny Finfera of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Mike Losey of TNC. Learn about the work the Green Ribbon Initiative does and how it manages in landscapes where there are rare and endangered species.
4 p.m.: Invasive Species Workshop, Kitty Todd Preserve. Outdoors demonstrations and a short hike.
4 p.m.: Fire Ecology in the Oak Openings, Kitty Todd Preserve, with Steve Woods of TNC
7:30 p.m.: Bonfire and Bluegrass, Kitty Todd Preserve, with TNC volunteers Jim and Janet Toppin, and the Root Cellar String Band. Music, hot dogs and marshmallows.