Spring is almost here, and Bernheim offers many opportunities to enjoy the longer days and the warmer weather. From Forest Tours to Wildflower Hikes and Wildlife Tracking, visitors can celebrate the first signs of spring in a variety of ways.
Events and programming for all ages throughout March are listed below.
Introduction to Wildlife Tracking
Come to Bernheim from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, March 2 and learn about the fascinating world of wildlife tracking. Every time we step outside of our door, there are myriad stories to be told of the comings and goings of animals, and one of the oldest human practices is to read and interpret these stories. The art and science of tracking offers a holistic look into the living world around us. Expert tracker and educator Marcus Reynerson will be facilitating the one-day introduction to the art and science of tracking.
Meet at the Garden Pavilion and dress for outdoor activity. Be prepared to get muddy, walk up and down steep slopes and go off trail. This program is intended for ages 18 and up, and the cost is $55 for Bernheim members and $65 for non-members. Registration and payment are required by Thursday, February 28 at 4 p.m. Call (502) 955-8512 to register.
ECO Kids Discovery Days
The E-C-O stands for Every Child Outside, and that’s exactly where kids can be found during ECO Kids Discovery Days. Discovery Days take place the first and third Saturday of each month at Bernheim’s Visitor Center and include:
On Your Own Challenge from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Discovery Stations from 1 to 4 p.m.
Hike of the Day led by a Bernheim guide, starts at the Visitor Center at 2 p.m. and runs 45 to 60 minutes.
Children and their families are invited to Cool Conifers on Saturday, March 2. Conifers, special cone-bearing trees with needle and scale-like leaves, can be found throughout the arboretum. Kids and their families will have fun locating these trees and then exploring Discovery Stations and the Hike of the Day during the afternoon.
On Saturday, March 16 join Bernheim for a Spring Lookout. Children will investigate springtime clues in the day’s On Your Own Challenge and then explore hands-on Discovery Stations and the guided hike of the day in the afternoon.
For details on ECO Kids Discovery Days, call (502) 955-8512. Both events are free, with the regular $5 environmental impact fee per car applying to non-members.
Bernheim at Night
Bernheim at Night programs provide ample opportunities to marvel at the moon, ponder distant planets and be awed by the vastness of space. Something new yet ancient appears in the heavens and on earth with each turn of the season.
Creatures of the Night: Woodcocks
Journey into a secluded section of Bernheim on Friday, March 15 from 7:15 to 9:45 p.m. for a nighttime adventure with nature. Those who venture outside on winter and early spring nights are rewarded by encounters with creatures that are not active during daytime. This guided hike allows participants to experience sights and sounds of nature that often go unnoticed.
Full “Crow” Moon Hike
Join Bernheim on Wednesday, March 20 from 7:45 to 9:45 p.m. on a Full “Crow” Moon Hike. Full Moon programs weave together stories about night ecology, moon lore, history and the magic of nature at night.
Spring Star Stories & Sky Night Watch
Join Bernheim on Saturday, March 23 from 8 to 10 p.m. for Spring Star Stories & Sky Night Watch. In the spring, the stars shine bright against the night canvas and the woods are waking up from their winter nap.
Laser Guided Star Tour
Join Bernheim again on Saturday, March 30 from 8 to 10 p.m. in a Laser Guided Star Tour. Take an evening stroll around Lake Nevin with “Star Captains” Bill Napper and Don Spain. These Volunteer Naturalists will use a laser pointer to help you experience celestial happenings in the night sky.
All Bernheim at Night programs are $10 for members and $12 for non-members. Groups meet at the Garden Pavilion unless otherwise noted in the event description. Registration and payment are required by 4 p.m. on the day prior to the program. Call (502) 955-8512 to reserve a spot. Space is limited for events and pets are not allowed.
Pollywog Play Parties: Our Friendly Trees
Bernheim’s youngest visitors are invited to Our Friendly Trees at the Pollywog Play Party on Saturday, March 2 from 10:30 a.m. to noon at the Education Center. Early learners (infants to five-year-olds) will have fun discovering the friendly nature of trees through bark rubbings, needle painting, wood building and much more. Pollywog Play Parties combine music, art, language and outside play to encourage children to learn about nature.
Registration is required by 4 p.m. on the day prior to program by calling (502) 955-8512. The cost is $10 for Bernheim members and $15 for non-members. The fee covers one caregiver and one child. Non-members are required to pay a $5 per car environmental fee at the gate.
First Sunday Nature Hike
Join a Bernheim Volunteer Naturalist at the Visitor Center on Sunday, March 3 from 2 to 3 p.m. for an engaging 45 to 60-minute nature walk. Registration is not required for this free event, and all ages are welcome. Participants are encouraged to wear comfortable walking shoes. The regular $5 environmental impact fee applies at the front gate for non-members.
Lunch & Learn: Signs of Spring
Join in the fun of seeking out the first flowers, swollen buds of trees and perhaps the harbingers of spring blooming on a sunny woodland slope at the Bernheim Lunch & Learn program from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Wednesday, March 6. Designed for adults who enjoy spending time outdoors with others and celebrating the natural world, each program includes a guided program and lunch at Isaac’s Café.
The cost for Bernheim members is $15 and for non-members is $20. Registration and payment due by 4 p.m. the day prior to program by calling (502) 955-8512.
Forest Homeschool Hike
On Wednesday, March 6, from 1 to 2 p.m., Bernheim takes homeschool to the woods! Bernheim is offering the opportunity for homeschool families and co-ops to join Bernheim educators for an afternoon of learning, exercising and adventure. Appropriate for grades K-5, each Forest Homeschool Hike will include a short lesson followed by a hike that will bring the experience to life.
Registration and payment are required by 4 p.m. on the day prior to the program. Call (502) 955-8512 to reserve a spot. The cost for Bernheim members is $5 per student and $7 per student for non-members. There is no fee for adults and children must be accompanied by an adult.
90thAnniversary Forest Tours
To celebrate Bernheim’s 90thanniversary of connecting people with nature, Bernheim is hosting “Forest Tours” – a three-hour forest immersion experience into Bernheim’s Natural Areas. Old Trees on the New Cedar Grove Wildlife Corridor occurs on Friday, March 8 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Participants will meet at the Bernheim Visitor Center and travel by van to the new 494-acre Cedar Grove Wildlife Corridor to hike amongst a magnificent assemblage of large old trees. Learn about the newly acquired wildlife corridor, the importance of mature forests and catch up on the first signs of spring. This trip includes strenuous hiking with rugged terrain and is recommended for serious off-trail and uphill hikers only. The event is limited to 15 participants.
On Friday, March 22 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., explore the wild side of the Big Level with Bernheim’s Big Level and Cave Hollow Bushwhack, taking in the cliffs, caves and rarely seen natural areas. Participants will meet at the Bernheim Visitor Center and travel to the top of the Big Level, plunge off the east side of the Level into Cave Hollow, and bushwhack their way back to the top in what is sure to be an epic excursion. This trip allows participants to view more than 1,000 acres of Bernheim’s recent additions. Due to steep drop-offs and strenuous hiking on rugged terrain, this event is not for the timid and recommended for serious off-trail and uphill hikers only. This excursion is limited to 10 hikers.
All Forest Tours are for ages 8 and up, and are led by Bernheim Forest Manager Andrew Berry, who oversees the environmental stewardship and land conservation efforts of Bernheim’s 16,000-acre natural area. Forest Tours are $15 for Bernheim members and $20 for non-members.
Want to give back while having fun in the great outdoors? Volunteers can give a few hours or several hundred hours, providing support to Bernheim and our visitors. Take the first step in becoming a Bernheim volunteer by attending this general orientation on Saturday, March 16 from 10 a.m. to noon at the Research building. This event is free but non-members are required to pay a $5 per car environmental fee at the gate.
Forest Kindergarten Forum Public Pre-Event
The Children at Play Network is pleased to present Dr. Jean Lomino, Ph.D, Co-Founder of the Wauhatchie Forest School, who will speak on “Nature-based Learning: Why Our Children Need it Now.” This program is free and is presented on Monday, March 18 at 7 p.m. at the Louisville Nature Center.
Dr. Lomino, a former classroom teacher and nature center director, will discuss the growth of forest kindergartens and nature preschools and the importance of nature-based learning for children’s healthy development.
The CAPN Forum on Forest School and Nature-Based Learning
Are you interested in learning more about forest kindergarten and nature preschools? Would you like to network with other forest school and nature preschool educators? Come to The CAPN Forum on Forest School and Nature-Based Learning on Tuesday, March 19 from 12 to 5 p.m. This Children at Play Network event will explore nature-based learning in a variety of settings, including forest kindergarten, preschools, home school, public school and daycare.
Highlights include keynote speaker Jean Lomino, PH.D, and co-founder of the Wauhatchie Forest School in Chattanooga, TN and presentations from Thrive Forest Preschool in Louisville and the Red Oaks Forest School in the Red River Gorge.
The forum will be held at the Sassafras Room at Bernheim’s Visitor Center. Call (502) 955-8512 to register. The cost is $20 for Bernheim members and $25 for non-members. Scholarships are available and lunch will be provided. For more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org. ECE-TRIS professional development credit is available.
Spring Tree Walk: Trees for the Urban Landscape
Urban trees are extremely important for providing shade, removing air pollutants, reducing stormwater runoff, and providing recreational and aesthetic benefits. Join Horticulturist Casey Hammett for a Spring Tree Walk on March 20 from 1 to 3 p.m. to explore Bernheim’s trees for urban landscapes. This event is free for Bernheim members and $10 for non-Bernheim members. Registration is required by 4 p.m. on the day prior to program by calling (502) 955-8512.
NAI Certified Interpretive Guide Training
Branch out this spring and become a Certified Interpretive Guide (CIG).Led by Bernheim’s award-winning Interpretive Programs Manager Wren Smith, the National Association for Interpretation CIG training from Friday, March 22 – Monday, March 25 from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. will help you gain skills and become more confident in creating and presenting programs, hikes and other presentations.
Register at interpnet.com.
Volunteer Free Play Facilitator Training Events
Would you like to help bring more free play to children outdoors? The Children at Play Network will partner with the Louisville Olmstead Conservancy to train Volunteer Free Play Facilitators for events at Bernheim and throughout the community. Learn about the importance of play and develop skills to support children’s play. The location for both is the Louisville Olmstead Parks Conservancy at 1299 Trevilian Way in Louisville.
The cost is $20 for each training and scholarships are available. ECE-TRIS professional development credit is available for early childhood educators.
Free Play Volunteer Training Part 1
The Spectrum of Play for Free Play Facilitators
Saturday, March 23 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Free Play Volunteer Training Part 2
Facilitator Skills for Free Play Days
Saturday, March 23 from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m.
Muddy Boots Play Group
Bernheim’s Children at Play Network (CAPN) hosts the Muddy Boots Play Group, a model forest kindergarten program for children ages 3-6, on Saturday, March 23, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Woodland Pavilion. Children will enjoy free play in the forest and self-directed exploration in an all-weather adventure under the trees. This month, parents will have the opportunity to participate in a Forest Bathing Walk with professional facilitators while their children attend the program.
Registration is required by noon on the day prior to program by calling (502) 955-8512. The cost is $15 for Bernheim members and $20 for non-members. Space is limited. For more information on CAPN visit childrenatplaynetwork.com
Early Spring Wildflower Hike
See some of Bernheim’s earliest wildflowers at the Early Spring Wildflower Hike on Saturday, March 30 from 2 to 3:30 p.m.Watch the forest floor come alive with color and learn about how Bernheim manages for their continuance. Meet at the Visitor Center.
Those interested in attending should register by 4 p.m. the day before by calling (502) 955-8512. The cost is $10 for members and $12 for non-members.
Early spring is one of the best times to explore Bernheim’s backcountry, and that’s what visitors can do in this five-hour driving tour from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday, March 31. A team of Volunteer Naturalists will lead the program and will allow for frequent stops to investigate nature up close. Participants should meet at the Visitor Center and bring a sack lunch and beverage.
Those interested in attending must register by 4 p.m. the day before the program by calling (502) 955-8512. The cost is $20 for members and $30 for non-members. The program is for adults and children ages 8 and up.
Fe Fi Fo Fum, Forest Giants Here They Come!
Stay tuned for details about the forest’s newest inhabitants…