Going into the woods at dark was anything but spooky last Friday, August 9th as CWC partnered up with Chippewa River District Library, Veteran’s Memorial Library branch for a Stargazing Hike on the preserve. Library and Conservancy staff led two activities that immersed the 37 participants into the sights and sounds of twilight in nature. Three telescopes sponsored by NASA were available to view the summer constellations. Sightings included Saturn, Jupiter, the Perseid Meteor shower and countless stars.
While half the group used the telescopes and star map, the others braved the dark and headed into the woods with CWC staffer, Alexis Wixson. As they hiked by the light of glow sticks, participants heard crickets buzzing and the rustling of leaves in the wind. Fireflies were blinking and the sky changed from the pale pastel hues of a summer sunset to the dark inky black of a country night before their eyes. The hikers visited the river’s edge and gained a new perspective on the forest by tapping into senses other than sight to absorb their surroundings. Children and adults alike learned about local astronomy, crepuscular and nocturnal critters and the differences in a habitat from day to night. Many participants were first time visitors to Sylvan Solace Preserve and got to have quite a unique experience for their inaugural visit. The telescopes, on loan from NASA, can be checked out from the library for personal use. Veteran’s Memorial Library is located at 301 S. University Ave. in Mt. Pleasant (right across from the CWC office).
Future library and CWC events can be found on there respective websites and social media pages.