Upcoming events at Monroe Lake

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Daily Activities at Monroe Lake

Summer programming is offered six days a week at Monroe Lake! We offer all kinds of scheduled programs, crafts, games, hikes, and more that you won’t find mentioned in this e-newsletter. If you’re planning a visit to Monroe Lake, make sure you check our complete activity list on the Monroe Lake Online Calendar. The posted schedule is currently complete through Aug. 30.

Moth Madness! July 22 (Fairfax SRA)

Drop by to see insect research in action from 9 p.m. until midnight at the Big Oak Shelter in Fairfax State Recreation Area! Sawyer Scheid, who is in his third year of an entomology survey at Monroe Lake, will be collecting and identifying moths and other insects. He invites you to stop by to see what his lights have brought in, check out his personal collection of silk moths, and ask questions about local insects. Visitors should wear dark clothing and bring a flashlight.

Salt Creek Valley History Week, Sept. 11-17

Local history lovers will want to mark their calendars now for our annual dive into the stories, families, and locations of Salt Creek Valley pre-1960! The full schedule of presentations, hikes, and other presentations will be released soon at bit.ly/scv-history2023.

Flora Field Days, multiple dates at 9:30 a.m.

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 2-hr sessions are free (gate entrance fees may apply, depending on location) and are recommended for ages 12 and up.

Beginner Kayaking Workshops, multiple dates at 10 a.m. (Paynetown SRA)

If you love seeing wildlife or just enjoy exploring, kayaking is for you! Kayaks let you reach backwater areas and quiet bays that aren’t otherwise accessible. It’s a wonderful way to experience Monroe Lake. This workshop is specifically designed for beginners with zero (or very little) paddling experience. We’ll teach you basic paddling and safety skills and provide supervised paddling time in a quiet water area to practice. Kayaks, paddles, and lifejackets are all provided. $10 per person workshop fee. Each workshop is limited to 8 people, ages 10 and up only. 2 hours

Explore Monroe Paddling Trips, multiple dates

Explore the quieter side of Monroe Lake during these guided paddling trips that journey through backwaters, wetlands, bays, and/or slow-moving streams. Trips highlight beautiful views, hidden wildlife, aquatic plants, and unique land features. Find your new favorite place to kayak! $10 per person trip fee. Each trip is limited to 10 people, ages 16 and up only. All participants must have at least 2 hours of prior paddling experience OR have completed one of our Beginner Kayaking workshops. Bring your own canoe/kayak, or rent a kayak from us for an additional $20. Most trips are about 2 hours.

  • Sunday, Aug. 20 at 6:30 p.m. (Cartop SRA): Sign up at bit.ly/explore-aug20-2023 by August 16. *FULL, wait list available at registration link
  • Tuesday, Aug. 22 at 9 a.m. (Cartop SRA): Sign up at bit.ly/explore-aug22-2023 by August 17. *2 spots open
  • Sunday, Sept. 17 at 5:30 p.m. (Allens Creek SRA): Sign up at bit.ly/explore-sep17-2023 by September 13. *FULL, wait list available at registration link
  • Tuesday, Sept. 19 at 9 a.m. (Northfork of Salt Creek): Sign up at bit.ly/explore-sep19-2023 by Sept. 14. *FULL, wait list available at registration link

Upcoming Virtual Programs

  • Friday, July 21 at 9:30 a.m., Fascinating Ferns: Ferns have been with us for hundreds of millions of years, but they continue to confuse many people and surprise scientists. Join Jill Vance, Monroe Lake naturalist, for an in-depth look at what makes a fern a fern – and an introduction to some of the amazing discoveries that have been made about this group of plants. Watch us live at bit.ly/fblive-monroe-jul2023
  • Friday, Aug. 25 at 9:30 a.m., Sunflowers and Goldenrods: Two of the most iconic flowers of late summer and fall in Indiana are the sunflowers and goldenrods. But these flowers aren’t just beautiful! Join Monroe Lake naturalist, Jill Vance, for an exploration of their natural and cultural history. Watch us live at bit.ly/fblive-monroe-aug2023.
  • Monday, Sept. 11 at 9:30 a.m., The Mormons Come to Salt Creek Township: In the 1890s, citizens of Salt Creek Township in Monroe County were abuzz with news and rumors about a group of Mormon elders who were going from house to house to “speak their strange religion to the people.” Converts included many members of the prominent Chandler and Sexton families, including some who later left the county due to intolerant attitudes of their neighbors. Jill Vance, Monroe Lake’s interpretive naturalist, will discuss this interesting period in the history of the Salt Creek Valley using contemporary newspaper reports, government records, and family stories. Watch us live at bit.ly/fblive-sep2023.

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