Educational Programs in January & February at The Institute

The Nature and Culture Institute has some great events coming up in the area. See the list below for more information.

Mondays, January 23 & 30 and February 6 & 13 from 9:45–11 a.m.

Wee Wonders Nature Series for Preschool—January–February 2023

Pine Hill Recreation Area, 12684 Mentzer Gap Rd, Waynesboro, Pa.

Outdoor nature series for kids ages 2.5 years through 5. Pre-registration for full series required. Children must be accompanied by a parent. Taught by Institute educators, age-appropriate program activities make learning fun, and include exploring the outdoors, hikes, nature stories, rhymes, finger plays, nature games, and puppets.

Series Fee: $28 member, $32 general public. Register on The Institute’s website: www.natureandcultureinstitute.org. For more information, call 717-762-0373 or email to info@natureandcultureinstitute.org. Website link: https://natureandcultureinstitute.org/event/winter-wee-wonder-series-for-preschoolers/2023-01-23/

Saturday, January 14  • 4 pm 

Birding Field Trip: Short-eared Owls

Meet in Gettysburg

Travel to Gettysburg with us this winter for a special late afternoon birding excursion in search of Short-eared Owls. Short-eared Owls are medium-sized owls with rounded heads and sometimes visible short, feathered tufts that resemble ears. These special birds are only seasonal residents in our area that migrate back to the arctic tundra in the spring. 

Unlike most owls, Short-eared Owls tend to hunt in open fields and meadows in the morning and evening but occasionally can be seen during normal daylight hours. We will search for these spectacular winter guests at several sites in Gettysburg. Binocular, camera, or spotting scope use is encouraged, but electronic bird call use is strictly prohibited. Specific meeting and program details will be sent to participants following registration. The trip is led by ornithologist Larry Williams, assisted by Institute faculty member and naturalist, Dave Graff. Bad weather backup date: Saturday, February 11. Registration is limited to 20. For more information or to register, email to: info@NatureAndCultureInstitute.org. Website link: https://natureandcultureinstitute.org/event/birding-field-trip-short-eared-owls/

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Tuesday, January 24, 4 to 5 p.m.        

Winter Explore! Series: Winter Fun and Fort Building   

Pine Hill Recreation Area, 12684 Mentzer Gap Rd, Waynesboro, Pa.

For kids in grades K–5. 

Students will go on a guided “wondering walk” through the forest, and learn how humans keep warm in the winter. Students work together with others to gather a variety of natural materials like branches and leaves, and build a lean-to structure or fort, requiring collaborative creativity and teamwork. This program introduces STEM concepts through problem solving. Cost: $6 for Institute members; $7 general public. Register on The Institute’s website: www.natureandcultureinstitute.org. For more information, call 717-762-0373 or email to info@natureandcultureinstitute.org. Website link: https://natureandcultureinstitute.org/event/explore-winter-2023-winter-fun-fort-building/

Sunday, January 29  • 1–3 pm 

Winter Season Appalachian Trail Hike

Part of a series of monthly trail hikes on the last Sunday of the month, through April 2023. Hike with us along a portion of the legendary Appalachian Trail! Led by an Institute naturalist, the hike will explore some of the wonders to be found in the woods and along the byways. Meeting point for the hike provided on registration. Make sure to dress warmly for the weather. This event is FREE (donations accepted). Enrollment is limited and pre-registration is required; register via email at info@NatureAndCultureInstitute.org. NOTE: Children must be age 10 or older. Website link: https://natureandcultureinstitute.org/event/appalachian-trail-hike-series-january/2023-01-29/

Tuesday, January 31, 4 to 5 p.m.        

Winter Explore! Series: Let’s Go on a Hiking Adventure!

Pine Hill Recreation Area, 12684 Mentzer Gap Rd, Waynesboro, Pa.

For kids in grades K–5. Students will hike and explore Fox Crossing and Deer Trail at Pine Hill park. They will discover signs and clues about the animals that live in the park, searching for animal tracks, homes, food, and where they might get water in the winter. During the hike, kids will try to spot the elusive black squirrel of Pine Hill. 

They will learn how animals stay warm in the winter, and think about how people stay warm when it’s cold outside—do animals and people do any of the same things to stay warm? 

Activities include listening to the book, The Hat, by Jan Brett. If there is snow, they will make colorful snow volcanoes. If not, kids will make an edible nature garland for birds and other small animals to enjoy. Cost: $6 for Institute members; $7 general public. Register on The Institute’s website: www.natureandcultureinstitute.org. For more information, call 717-762-0373 or email to info@natureandcultureinstitute.org

Website link: https://natureandcultureinstitute.org/event/explore-winter-2023-lets-go-on-a-hiking-adventure/

Thursday, February 2 • 6 pm 

Owl Walk for Age 15 & Up

Pine Hill Recreation Area, 12684 Mentzer Gap Rd, Waynesboro, Pa. 

Naturalist Dave Graff conducts a walk to areas likely to attract owls. A pre-walk information session teaches about the nocturnal creatures and methods to locate them. For ages 15 and older. Dress warmly and bring flashlights. Limited space; pre-registration required. Snow/rain date TBA if needed. Register on The Institute’s website: www.natureandcultureinstitute.org. For more information, call 717-762-0373 or email to info@natureandcultureinstitute.org.  Website link: https://natureandcultureinstitute.org/event/creatures-of-the-night-owl-walk-for-age-15-%e2%80%88up/

Tuesday, February 7, 4 to 5 p.m.        

Winter Explore! Series: Where’s My Worm? How birds survive in the winter.

Pine Hill Recreation Area, 12684 Mentzer Gap Rd, Waynesboro, Pa.

For kids in grades K–5. Students will search for birds during a hike on Fox Crossing Trail, exploring the trail and learning about how our feathered friends cope with cold winter weather. Do birds ask themselves, “Should I stay or should I go?” Kids investigate the challenges and benefits for birds of staying in our area or migrating to someplace warmer, and learn about special adaptations (including diet and behavioral changes) of birds that don’t migrate. 

Kids also discover how birds’ beaks and bills are specialized tools to help them capture and eat their food. The kids will experience “catching food” with different household items that work like birds’ beaks and bills. Other activities include building a bird feeder to take home and place outside to help birds find food during the winter months. Cost: $6 for Institute members; $7 general public. Register on The Institute’s website: www.natureandcultureinstitute.org. For more information, call 717-762-0373 or email to info@natureandcultureinstitute.org. Website link: https://natureandcultureinstitute.org/event/explore-winter-2023-wheres-my-worm-how-birds-survive-in-the-winter/

Sunday, February 12, 1:30 to 3 p.m.      

StoryWalk® Sundays–February

Pine Hill Recreation Area, 12684 Mentzer Gap Rd, Waynesboro, Pa.

Kids join a guided walk and activities along the story trail as they read the book, “Snowmen at Night,” by husband-and-wife team Caralyn and Mark Buehner, then make a special craft project to take home, and enjoy a campfire and s’mores! Free, but registration is required. Register on The Institute’s website: www.natureandcultureinstitute.org. For more information, call 717-762-0373 or email to info@natureandcultureinstitute.org.

Website link: https://natureandcultureinstitute.org/event/storywalk-sundays-february-2023/

Tuesday, February 14, 4 to 5 p.m.        

Winter Explore! Series: I (Heart) Pine Cones: Discover the Pines at Pine Hill 

Pine Hill Recreation Area, 12684 Mentzer Gap Rd, Waynesboro, Pa.

For kids in grades K–5. Students will take an adventure hike on Deer Trail to look for pine trees and cones, and try to spy the elusive black squirrel “pine-cone-eater” that lives there. They will learn about pine cones and why they exist—what is their job? Kids will engage in activities including pine cone science experiments, such as trying to close up an open pine cone, a sink or float discovery activity, and finding out how far they can throw a pine cone. A pine cone wind chime craft will be created if time permits. Cost: $6 for Institute members; $7 general public. Register on The Institute’s website: www.natureandcultureinstitute.org. For more information, call 717-762-0373 or email to info@natureandcultureinstitute.org. Website link: https://natureandcultureinstitute.org/event/explore-winter-2023-i-heart-pine-cones-discover-the-pines-at-pine-hill/

Thursday, February 16 • 7 pm 

Astronomy’s Greatest Eye on the Sky—The James Webb Telescope

Online, via Zoom

A quarter of a century in the making, the recently launched James Webb Telescope (JWST) is the successor to the Hubble Space Telescope as a premiere instrument for astronomical research. JWST not only affords us a view of the universe that is almost three times sharper and 10 times deeper than ever before, but it is an engineering marvel. Marschall will discuss its remarkable design and dramatic deployment, and comment on the significance of some of the remarkable images it has returned in its first few months of operation. Register on The Institute’s website: www.natureandcultureinstitute.org. For more information, call 717-762-0373 or email to info@natureandcultureinstitute.org. Zoom link will be sent upon registration. Website link: https://natureandcultureinstitute.org/event/astronomy-program-with-dr-larry-marschall/

Sunday, February 26  • 1–3 pm 

Winter Season Appalachian Trail Hike

Part of a series of monthly trail hikes on the last Sunday of the month, through April 2023. Hike with us along a portion of the legendary Appalachian Trail! Led by an Institute naturalist, the hike will explore some of the wonders to be found in the woods and along the byways. Meeting point for the hike provided on registration. Make sure to dress warmly for the weather. This event is FREE (donations accepted). Enrollment is limited and pre-registration is required; register via email at info@NatureAndCultureInstitute.org. NOTE: Children must be age 10 or older. Website link: https://natureandcultureinstitute.org/event/appalachian-trail-hike-series-february/2023-01-29/

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