Guided Walks, Workbees & Other Events
Upcoming Hikes & Events
Spring at Swanson Preserve – Saturday, April 11 at 10:00 am
Spring arrives quietly at the Swanson Preserve. During this gentle walk with docents Sharon Oriel and JoAnne Gerben, we will see some of the 173 species of native plants awaking. Boardwalks over gently flowing streams that feed Little Traverse Lake will take us past emerging ferns and early spring ephemerals. We may hear spring peepers if the weather is warm enough. This walk has something for everyone, so bring your family and friends for a wonderful breath of spring air and a visual treat.
Wildflower Rescue Committee Meeting – Thursday, April 16 at 1:00 pm
Come learn about how you can get involved with the group that rescues wildflowers from lands that are being developed and sells them at the annual plant sale every Memorial Day Weekend on the Leland Village Green. Learn more about this great group here. We’ll meet on Thursday, April 16 at the Munnecke Room of the Leland Library at 1:00 pm. Brian Zimmerman will be the guest speaker.
Birding Walk at Lighthouse West Natural Area – Saturday, April 18 at 8:00 am
Join experienced birders Ed and Linda Ketterer in a search for migrating and nesting birds at the Lighthouse West Natural Area. A great deal of migratory activity is focused on this part of the Leelanau Peninsula in the spring. We’ll explore all habitats on the property with a goal of finding as many species as we can during the hike. Come and help us compile the day’s bird list. Bring binoculars!
Birds & Wildflowers Walk at Kehl Lake Natural Area – Sunday, April 19 at 2:00 pmJoin docents Ann McInnis and Ed Ketterer as we explore the Kehl Lake Natural Area in search of spring wildflowers and migrating birds. This is a particularly rich time of year on this property with a wide variety of habitats. Kehl Lake Natural Area is host to a rich assortment of wildflowers and offers a stop-over for migrating birds that seek forest, wetland, and lake habitat. Bring binoculars and a field lens, if you have them. We’ll be focusing our attention both upwards and downwards during this hike!
Earth Day Green Fire Showing at the Bay Theatre, Wednesday, April 22 at 6:00 pm
All are welcome to come watch the Emmy winning film, Green Fire, this Earth Day, 6:00 pm at the Bay Theatre in Suttons Bay. Join us for a brief introduction by Leelanau Conservancy director Tom Nelson and a free showing of this inspiring film.
The first full-length documentary film ever made about legendary environmentalist Aldo Leopold, Green Fire highlights Leopold’s extraordinary career, tracing how he shaped and influenced the way we think about land and our relationship to it. Leopold remains relevant today, inspiring projects all over the country that connect people and land.
Birding at Lighthouse West Natural Area – Saturday, April 25 at 8:00 am
Lighthouse West Natural Area north of Northport is filled with birdsong on early spring mornings! Join docents Ed Ketterer and Ann McInnis in a search for migrating and nesting birds at Lighthouse West. A great deal of migratory activity is focused on this part of the Leelanau Peninsula in the spring. We’ll explore all habitats on the property with a goal of finding as many species as we can during the hike. Bring binoculars!
Explore Clay Cliffs Natural Area – Sunday, April 26 at 2:00 pm
Join docents Janet Ward and Mary Petterson at the beautiful Clay Cliffs Natural Area and climb the bluff to the overlook above the shore of Lake Michigan. Look for early signs of Spring: birds, buds, and blooms along the way and watch for the eagle at the overlook. Trekking poles may be helpful.
Guided Exploration of Belanger Creek Preserve — Saturday, May 2nd at 10:00 am
Join Conservancy docents Ann McInnis, Mary Smart, Judy Smart, Marsha Buehler on a guided exploration of the 70 acres of uplands and wetlands at the gorgeous and unique Belanger Creek Preserve, full of habitats extraordinaire. Spring ought to be in full swing with all its pristine glory and wildlife activity in evidence. Since trail development is only in the planning stages here, it is advisable that boots, and perhaps even walking sticks, be used.
Spring at Kehl Lake Natural Area — Saturday, May 9 at 8:00 am
This is a great time of year to visit Kehl Lake Natural Area. Join docents Ed Ketterer and Holly Pharmer as we explore the diverse collection of uplands, forest, wetlands, and shoreline that this beautiful property offers. We’ll be looking for spring wildflowers and migrating birds in each habitat. Bring binoculars and a hand lens, if you have them, and be prepared for some wet spots on the trail.
Mother’s Day at Clay Cliffs — Saturday, May 9th at 10:00 am
Join docent Ann McInnis in this pre-Mother’s Day guided walk, as we discover some of the unique characteristics of animal and plant moms on the 105 acre jewel, Clay Cliffs Natural Area. Learn a bit about early Leelanau homesteading and the recovering farmland while discovering some of the super special features of Clay Cliff’s high quality ecological communities which support a diversity of native animals and plant life.
Birding at Lighthouse West Natural Area — Saturday, May 16 at 8:00 am
The spring bird migration should be approaching its peak about this time. Many of the warblers and a variety of other species will just be passing through on their way north. Join docent Ed Ketterer and expert birder Kay Charter for a hike with the goal of identifying all of the species that can be found at the Lighthouse West Natural Area. In addition to many migrants we should see some of the favorite summer residents, such as Scarlet Tanagers and Indigo Buntings. Bring binoculars and your favorite birding guide or app.
Annual Plant Sale at the Village Green — Memorial Day Weekend
The Annual Plant Sale at the Village Green in Leland is on tap for Memorial Day Weekend! Now is your chance to purchase native ferns, trillium and other wildflowers, along with a selection of native trees and shrubs provided by locally owned Four Season Nursery, who will be on hand to answer questions about going native.
Sale runs Friday, May 22nd and Saturday May 23rd; hours 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day. All proceeds help maintain the Village Green and assist with other Conservancy projects. The Wildflower Rescue Committee continually seeks new sites on which to dig. If you are building a home, driveway, addition, or know of someone who is, please contact the WRC so they may have a chance to remove these precious wildflowers before the excavators arrive! Contact Patty Shea: 256-9249 or Joanie Woods: 256-7154.
Spring at Clay Cliffs – Saturday, May 23 10:00 am
Join docents Janet Ward and Joanne Gerben to explore the spring bounty and beauty of Clay Cliffs Natural Area. Beautiful views of Lake Leelanau and Lake Michigan are guaranteed, but what other wonders of nature will we find? Trekking poles may be useful, as we will walk up to bluffs.
Spring Orchids at Houdek Dunes — Sunday, May 24 at 2:00 pm
Join docent Ann McInnis at Houdek Dunes Natural Area to view more than 300 hopefully-blooming Pink Lady Slipper orchids and learn about orchid’s special features from a guest orchid specialist. Hike through several ecological communities to the wetland overlook while discovering the geological features of this 370 acre unique area. Discover evidence of the many native Leelanau animals and plants for whom this area is home and with whom we, in Leelanau, coexist.
Leelanau Peninsula Birding Festival: May 28–May 31, 2015
Come to beautiful Leelanau and join us for the Fifth Annual Leelanau Peninsula BirdFest!
Fees: $15 daily registration; $30 for 2 or 3 day registration; plus any additional fee as indicated when you choose one of our special field trips.
Birdfest is sponsored by Saving Birds Thru Habitat, the Leelanau Conservancy, and the National Park Service, among other organizations. Many of the events take place at Leelanau Conservancy Natural Areas and Preserves. Click Here for Detailed Event Information.
Click Here to Register! You may also register by calling the Leelanau Peninsula Chamber of Commerce at 231-271-3738.
Wacky Over Warblers – Wednesday, June 3 at 10:00 am at Saving Birds Thru Habitat
They’re back! Share a bit of warbler magic with Bobbie Poor and Kay Charter as we learn about these tiny wonders. How and why do they travel so far? How can we help them? A bird walk on the Saving Birds thru Habitat property will follow the indoor program. Binoculars will be available for those who do not bring their own. Click here for more information on Saving Birds Thru Habitat.
Please call Saving Birds Thru Habitat to register: 231-271-3738.
Wildlife at Houdek Dunes — Saturday, June 6 at 10:00 am
Join docent Ann McInnis in exploring the diversity of wildlife species that successfully live within the 370 acres of multiple ecological communities at Houdek Dunes Natural Area. We’ll look for evidence of bears, cougars, deer, fox, weasels, rabbits, bobcats, birds, and much more…while learning why these species are essential , along with the unique native plant species, in maintaining healthy high quality natural areas.
Wildflowers at Clay Cliffs — Sunday, June 7, 1:00 pm
Explore the beautiful Clay Cliffs Natural Area with docents Janet Ward and Mary Petterson. In addition to its stunning views of Lake Leelanau and Lake Michigan, the Clay Cliffs property is known for its many varieties of wildflowers. How many will we find in bloom in early June? Trekking poles may be useful for the walk up to the bluffs.
June is Busting Out All Over at Kehl Lake – Saturday, June 13 at 10:00 am
The woods in June are teeming with miracles and mysteries. Share the wonder and search for answers with docent Bobbie Poor. Amble along the Kehl Lake trail along pristine water and under a towering mixed forest with majestic old growth White Pine trees. The wetlands provide food and cover for wildlife, particularly birds, and contribute to the lake’s exceptional water quality.
Solstice Hike at Clay Cliffs — Saturday, June 20 10:00 am
On the day before the summer solstice enjoy a guided walk, with docent Ann McInnis, through the amazing Clay Cliffs Natural Area as we work our way to the summit of a lateral moraine with a spectacular view of Lake Leelanau as well as of Lake Michigan & the Manitou Islands from the overlook. Keep ears and eyes tuned for the communications of young eagles and other bird species while observing an exciting assemblage of some of the highest quality native plant species in the County. Soak up the beauty of this natural area as you rejoice in the magnificent accomplishments of Leelanau Conservancy in preserving, in perpetuity, the best of the best.
Crystal River Amble- Saturday June, 20 1:00 pm
This is your chance to see the Crystal River from the land side. We will walk the Crystal River Natural Area on land protected by the Leelanau Conservancy and then sold to the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. This globally rare dune and swale environment is truly magical. You will see dunes which are 6-12 inches high! The old hemlocks and pines are majestic. We will see where the beavers have been busy and where the otters slide into the river. Docents Sharon Oriel, Lou Riccord, and JoAnne Gerben will lead you over dune and swale!
Parking will be along CR 675 just after you turn of M-22. Wear sturdy walking shoes as we will be walking off trail. Depending on conditions, we could have damp/mucky spots and mosquitoes. A walking stick might be helpful.