The following was sent to the Bloomingtonian:
May 2023 E-Newsletter
- Gatehouses open for the season
- Wildflower ID Workshop, April 26
- Spring Wildflower Foray, April 28-30
- Flora Field Days, May 2
- Kids to Parks Day, May 20
- Memorial Day Weekend Activities, May 26-29
- Upcoming Virtual Programs
- Virtual Program Collection: View on demand!
Gatehouses open for the season (Paynetown and Fairfax SRAs)
The entrance gatehouses at Paynetown and Fairfax SRAs began operating for the 2023 season at the beginning of April. Entrance fees at these SRAs will be charged Friday-Sunday through the rest of April and then switch to daily operations at the beginning of May. Entrance fees at $7 per vehicle with Indiana license plates ($9 per vehicle with out-of-state plates). Indiana State Park Annual Entrance Permits are also available for purchase at both gates, as are motorized and non-motorized boat permits.
Wildflower ID Workshop, April 26 at 1 p.m. (Paynetown SRA)
This three-hour workshop is for people with a strong interest in learning how to identify wildflowers using a key. The focus will be on understanding terms and techniques so that participants can use their skills to identify a wide variety of wildflowers throughout the seasons. The first portion of the workshop will be held inside; the second portion will be outside, practicing hands-on identification. Sign up at bit.ly/wildflowerID-apr2023 by noon on April 24. Limited to 16 people, recommended for ages 16 and up. *FULL, wait list available at registration link
Spring Wildflower Foray, April 28-30 (Brown and Monroe counties)
The Foray returns for its 38th season. This year’s schedule contains 21 hikes and programs at multiple locations throughout Brown and Monroe counties, led by local experts. While half of the programs do not require registration (just show up), the other half have limited space and/or require registration by noon on April 26. For the complete program schedule, see bit.ly/foray2023
Flora Field Days
Want to work on your flora identification skills? Practice with a naturalist. Field day emphasis is on proper use and application of an ID key, which opens the door to identifying thousands of species. The naturalist will work with each attendee based on their prior experience. If you’ve never worked with flower ID before, this is a great way to learn. If you have prior experience, this is a fun way to practice your skills (and maybe add some new blooms to your life list). The two-hour sessions are free (gate entrance fees may apply, depending on location) and are recommended for ages 12 and up.
- Tuesday, May 2 at 9:30 a.m. (Tailwater Area): Sign up at bit.ly/florafield-may2023 by April 30.
Kids to Parks Day, May 20 (Fairfax SRA)
Kids to Parks Day is a national day of outdoor play celebrated annually on the third Saturday of May. The day connects kids and families with their local, state, and national parks and public lands through thousands of park events that promote discovery and exploration in the great outdoors. Monroe Lake will be offering a special set of three programs for children ages 6-12 at Fairfax SRA for this event; the programs are free, but the park entrance fee applies. Each program is limited to 14 children.
- Osprey Watch at 4 p.m. (60 minutes): Children will learn about the newest bird to nest at Monroe Lake, the osprey. This fish-catching raptor has only been nesting at our lake for a few years. We’ll practice using binoculars (provided) and then take a short hike down to the shoreline to look at an osprey nesting platform. Kids will then create their own osprey stick puppets to take home. Sign up at bit.ly/k2p-2023-osprey by May 17. *13 spots open
- Salamander Search at 6:30 p.m. (60 minutes): Explore the differences between salamanders and lizards and then head into the woods to roll over logs and lift up rocks as we search for salamanders in their natural habitat. Be prepared to get a little muddy – and wear insect repellant (for tick protection). Sign up at bit.ly/k2p-2023-salamander by May 17. *14 spots open
- Sunset Painting at 8:15 p.m. (60 minutes): We’ll learn what creates the beautiful colors seen in a sunset and then settle down in the grass to paint the evening sky. Bring a blanket or folding chair to sit on; all painting supplies will be provided. Sign up at bit.ly/k2p-2023-sunset by May 17. *9 spots open
Memorial Day Weekend Activities, May 26-29 (Paynetown SRA)
Camping at Paynetown SRA for the holiday, or planning a family picnic or beach visit? Add a little extra to your weekend by taking advantage of our scheduled activities. Crafts and games begin on Friday evening (“Snared in the Spider’s Web”), continue through Saturday (“A Kettle of Vultures,” “Fish Bone Stampers,” “Skull Stumpers,” and “The Incredible Journey”) and Sunday (“Hammered Leaf Prints,” “Clever Crows,” “Snapper Stories,” and “Pioneer Weaving”), and wrap up on Monday morning (“Leaf Litter Pop-up Cards”). The Paynetown Activity Center, located next to the swimming beach, will also be open all four days from 1 to 5 p.m. Details (time, location, description) for all these activities can be found on the Monroe Lake Online Calendar.
Upcoming Virtual Programs
- Thursday, April 20 at 11:30 a.m., Spring Wildflower Walk: Jill Vance, Monroe Lake’s interpretive naturalist, will take you on a virtual walk through the woods to see what spring wildflowers are poking up through the leaf litter. Watch us live at facebook.com/events/890090872236509
- Thursday, May 25 at 11:30 a.m., History Photo Quiz: Are you a fan of local history? Love old photos? We’ve got a special “quiz” just for you. Jill Vance, Monroe Lake’s interpretive naturalist, is digging into the archives and pulling out a variety of historic photos. How many of the locations will you identify correctly? Watch us live at facebook.com/events/517036887243714