Calendar of Events – 2023

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JANUARY

Monday, January 16, 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. – MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. DAY OF SERVICE AND BRUSH PILE BURNING AT BEAVER LAKE NATURE PRESERVE
This event is hosted by the Indiana DNR in partnership with Friends of the Sands. Celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day together with DNR staff and volunteers at Beaver Lake Nature Preserve. The group will be dragging cut brush into a pile and burning to make way for more prairie plants in the year ahead. For more information, including the meeting location, RSVP to Gus Nyberg at nyberggus@gmail.com.

Saturday, January, 21, 12:30 – 3:30 pm, BRUSHCUTTING WORKDAY AT KANKAKEE SANDS
This event is hosted by The Nature Conservancy in partnership with Friends of the Sands. Join Kankakee Sands staff for an afternoon of removing small trees and shrubs growing in the prairies of Kankakee Sands. We’ll discuss the work to be done, how it effects that larger picture of prairie diversity that we strive for, enjoy warm drinks and finish in good time for the Owl Prowl later that same day. Staff may be using brush cutters and/or chainsaws. Volunteers have the option of using loppers cut small saplings, using hand-held herbicide wicking wands to treat cut stumps, and/or dragging cut brush into piles. Meet at the Kankakee Sands Office at 3294 N US 41, Morocco, IN. We will carpool the work location. Please RSVP! Contact Olivia Schouten at Olivia.schouten@tnc.org or 641-629-0175.

Saturday, January 21, 4:00 – 5:30 p.m. – KANKAKEE SANDS OWL PROWL
Join two bird-watching enthusiasts, Barb Lucas and Jeanette Jaskula, to search for owls at dusk. We may also see other winter raptors, such as Northern Harriers and Rough-legged Hawks. Dress warmly and bring binoculars. Meet at The Nature Conservancy’s office (3294 N US 41, Morocco, IN) for a short introduction to owls before carpooling to a few parking areas for owl-viewing. Please RSVP! Contact Jeanette Jaskula (jmjaskula@yahoo.com, 219-869-1004).

FEBRUARY

Wednesday, February 8, 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. – BRUSH PILE BURNING AT BEAVER LAKE NATURE PRESERVE
This event is hosted by the Indiana DNR in partnership with Friends of the Sands. Join together with DNR staff and volunteers at Beaver Lake Nature Preserve for a day of dragging cut brush to a brush pile. We’ll be kept warm by the small fire and make the prairie a better place by making way for more wildflowers in the spring ahead. For more information, including meeting location, RSVP to Gus Nyberg (nyberggus@gmail.com).

Thursday, February 9, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. – FRIENDS OF THE SANDS GREENHOUSE WORKDAY AND POTLUCK LUNCH
It’s seed-sowing time! Help Friends of the Sands sow native plant seeds that we will grow out for our Native Plant Sale in May. It may be cold outside, but we’ll gather in the warmth of the greenhouse for sowing and a potluck lunch. Feel free to bring a dish to share with the group. Meet at the Kankakee Sands Native Plant Nursery (1492 W 250 N, Morocco, IN). Please RSVP! Contact Jeanette Jaskula (jmjaskula@yahoo.com, 219-869-1004).

Wednesday, February 22, 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. – BRUSH PILE BURNING AT BEAVER LAKE NATURE PRESERVE
This event is hosted by the Indiana DNR in partnership with Friends of the Sands. Join together with DNR staff and volunteers at Beaver Lake Nature Preserve for a day of dragging cut brush to a brush pile. We’ll be kept warm by the small fire and make the prairie a better place by making way for more wildflowers in the spring ahead. For more information, including meeting location, RSVP to Gus Nyberg (nyberggus@gmail.com).

MARCH

Tuesday, March 7, 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. – CONRAD BY MOONLIGHT
Join local historian, Mary Kay Emmrich, for a full moon stroll among the majestic oaks of Conrad Station Savanna. We’ll make our way to the foundation of the old hotel in the ghost town of Conrad and learn about the town’s matriarch, Jennie M. Conrad. You will have the option to continue on the loop trail or return to the parking lot. Children and families are especially welcome. Bring a flashlight. Meet at the Conrad Station Savanna parking area located on CR 725 N, a half mile east of US 41. Please RSVP! Contact Jeanette Jaskula (jmjaskula@yahoo.com, 219-869-1004).

Saturday, March 11, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. – TNC KANKAKEE SANDS GREENHOUSE WORKDAY
Come spend a morning in the warm and cozy greenhouse transplanting tender seedlings into individual pots. This event is very family-friendly! Meet at the Kankakee Sands Nursery at 1492 W CR 250 N, Morocco, IN. Please RSVP! Contact Alyssa Nyberg (anyberg@tnc.org, 219-866-1706).

Greenhouse workday at TNC’s Kankakee Sands. Photo by Alyssa Nyberg/TNC.

Saturday, March 25, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. – FRIENDS OF THE SANDS GREENHOUSE WORKDAY
The seeds Friends of the Sands sowed in February for our Native Plant Sale are now ready to transplant. Come spend a morning in the warm and cozy greenhouse transplanting tender seedlings into individual pots. This event is very family friendly. Meet at the Kankakee Sands Nursery (1492 W CR 250 N, Morocco, IN). Please RSVP! Contact Jeanette Jaskula (jmjaskula@yahoo.com, 219-869-1004).

APRIL

Wednesday, April 5, 7:00 – 8:15 p.m. – WOODCOCK WALK
Come experience a harbinger of spring, the call of our paradoxical upland shorebird: the American woodcock. We will discuss a little of the biology of this unusual bird while we stalk a calling male in the prairie. Stalking will be off trail, so please bring appropriate foot-wear. Meeting location to be determined soon.

Saturday, April 8, 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. – TNC KANKAKEE SANDS GREENHOUSE WORKDAY
Come spend a morning in the warm and cozy greenhouse transplanting tender seedlings into individual pots. This event is very family friendly! Meet at the Kankakee Sands Nursery at 1492 W CR 250 N, Morocco, IN. Please RSVP! Contact Alyssa Nyberg (anyberg@tnc.org, 219-866-1706).

April 13, 6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. – CREATING BEAUTY WITH A NATIVE PLANT GARDEN
Are you interested in gardening with native plants, but don’t know where to begin? Join Friends of the Sands President, Jeanette Jaskula, for an introduction to native wildflowers and grasses for your home. Learn the benefits of native plants, how to choose the right species, and how to prepare your yard for them. Whether you’re looking to remove portions of your lawn or add native plants to your existing garden beds, Jeanette will show how to create a vibrant, beautiful landscape not only for your family, but also butterflies, bees, birds, and more. Attendees will also learn about the Friends of the Sands Native Plant Sale coming in May and how to pre-order plants. This talk is sponsored by Newton County Public Library, Friends of the Sands, and The Nature Conservancy. Register by visiting the Lake Village Memorial Township Library (9444 N 315 W, Lake Village, IN), calling 219-992-3490, or online.

Backyard native plants. Photo by Jeanette Jaskula of her home in 2021.

Saturday, April 29, 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. – iNATURALIST NATURE SCAVENGER HUNT AT KANKAKEE SANDS
This event is hosted by The Nature Conservancy in partnership with Friends of the Sands. Join Kankakee Sands Site Manager, Trevor Edmonson, for an introduction to iNaturalist and the City Nature Challenge, followed by a Nature Scavenger Hunt at Kankakee Sands. We will make a meandering, easy, slow-paced hike to look at insects, plants, fungi, and birds. We will use the iNaturalist app to help identify the species we find and also upload the observations to the iNaturalist City Nature Challenge page. We have set a goal of making 50 observations on iNaturalist on our scavenger hunt. Bring your smartphone/devices with the free iNaturalist app downloaded. We’ll meet at the Kankakee Sands office at 3294 N US 41, Morocco, IN and then carpool to the hiking location. Please RSVP to Trevor Edmonson at trevor.edmonson@tnc.org. This event is limited to 10 individuals.

More events, hikes, and learning opportunities coming! Stay tuned…