LINO LAKES, Minn. – (Nov. 9, 2017) – The Wargo Nature Center has rolled out a new program this year to engage seniors who are interested in learning more about Nature.
“It is to reach out to the seniors in our community and get them involved here in our nature center,” explained Amy Manning, an Interpretive Naturalist at Wargo.
“So lunch with a naturalist is an hour and a half long program that is kind of bring your own bag lunch and watch a talk about a nature or natural history subject, and then there’s usually an optional walk afterwards,” Manning said.
It’s always a little something new or different. The classes are taught by different instructors each time, so you never quite know what to expect.
“Last month we did voyagers which was very interactive and I walked in and they had the whole group up singing voyager songs and pretending to paddle a canoe so that was really fun,” Manning said. “We did wild ricing earlier in this fall and had a good turnout for that as well so, we’ve had a lot of great topics.”
The topic of discussion this time? Bird Language.
“The way birds communicate with each other within their species but also between species about things like predators moving on the landscape, other threats, food sources, things like that” Manning said.
For those who are unaware, bird language isn’t all just chirps and squeaks. Manning explained to the group of about 20 seniors that it’s also about body language and the awareness of surroundings as well.
“Often when people see a bird just sitting up in a tree they think that means that it must just be resting, but actually if a bird is sitting up in a tree and intently looking in one direction, it might not look like an alarm to a human but that is an alarm posture and they’re looking at something that might be a threat, so sometimes if you see a bird totally frozen and you follow its gaze, you can find that there’s an owl, or a cat or some kind of predator in that area.”
Most attendees walk away with some new interesting facts about nature and Manning finally gets a chance to speak her language.
“It’s fun for me to get to go a little more in depth on topics because generally most the time I’m working with children and we mostly work with the 3rd grade and under crowd, so it’s really fun to kind of get to put my ecology background into use and get a little bit more into some more science topics, or get deeper into some ecological topics.”
Lunch with a Naturalist at the Wargo Nature Center caters to seniors who are 50 plus. There’s no fee or pre-registration to attend, just show up and bring your lunch.