One of Discovery Southeast's partners and supporters, Eaglecrest Ski Area, will be having a public planning meeting about the Eaglecrest Master Plan on Wednesday, November 2, 7:00 pm at Centennial Hall.
Eaglecrest is currently in the process of developing a twenty year master plan to identify multi-season recreation opportunities to provide enjoyment and healthful activity to Juneau and its visitors.
The purpose of the November 2nd meeting:
Present results of initial market research and site suitability analysis Give examples of possible multi-season uses and activities for public consideration Invite people to comment on their vision and recommendations for future uses and activities at Eaglecrest
Even if you can't make it to the meeting, plant some of your insight by participating in Eaglecrest's online community survey.
A look back at some recent ways Discovery Southeast and Eaglecrest have teamed up:
- We held a Discovery Day there this past Tuesday, October 18th.
- Discovery Southeast hosted the Decomposition Decathlon at Discover Eaglecrest Day.
- Eaglecrest sponsored a species at the July 4th Parade of Species. Can you spot the Eaglecrest eagle in these photos?
- We had a Discovery Day there in February that included working up a sweat snowshoeing, building a snow cave, and drinking plenty of hot chocolate. [view pictures]
- We had another Discovery Day there in March, splitting off into two groups. One group worked on backcountry skills, and the other focused on animal tracking and snowshoeing. After a morning of the separate group activities, we all met up at the lodge to make ice cream with DIPAC's Rich Mattson. [view pictures]
Did you miss this month’s Discovery Days? No worries, we are offering the next Discovery Day on Monday, November 21st.
We ventured to the Eagle Valley Center on Monday for our first day of fun. Naturalist Kevin O'Malley led us through a backcountry adventure where we put together clues about the previous visitors along our trail. We learned about animal adaptations and saw some critters along the way.
We also had lots of fun identifying all the edible plants that are still hanging around. We discovered many berries still among the muskeg, and learned about the difference between tasting and eating a mystery food in the woods. By the end of the trip we were basically experts, with the help of our naturalists and parent volunteers.
We were really interested in all the exploration, but some of the time we were just checking out the local color. The changing fall foliage never fails to be delightful and refreshing. It is a much needed burst of color between Juneau’s fall rain and winter snow.
Have you ever wondered how and why the leaves fall and change colors? Why an alder’s leaf eventually turns to brown? Ask your children!
It turned out that what we were finding all over the trees was Rag Lichen, a beautiful southeast addition. Did you know that rag lichens can be found everywhere from branches to twigs, but are often found on younger trees? We didn't . But we did know that it was pretty cool to touch these smooth and wrinkled lichens!
After an awesome Monday, we headed out to Eaglecrest with naturalist Cathleen Balantic, for some fun in the rain.
When we say rain, we mean rain. Good thing we had the lodge to dry off in and catch a bite under shelter.. . Thanks Eaglecrest!
We also spent our time playing a new edible plants game, which focused on the plants that we may still find around town. Our newly found knowledge allowed us to feel confident in our foraging skills later in the afternoon.
If any of this sounds like fun, feel welcomed to join us at our next Discovery Day! Check out our album for snapshots of these great adventures.
Call 463-1500 to sign up over the phone, or find our registration form at the Discovery Days section of our webpage.
What created the silvery pattern on this cottonwood leaf?
We decided this was the work of a leafmining insect -- likely some kind of moth. These insects spend the beginnings of their lives feasting on leaf tissue, which gives them food and protection from predators all in one. Can you find the spot where this one exited the leaf (and probably pupated, if it was a moth)? We guessed that the exit spot was just to the left of that big vein in the center.
What happened to this raven?
You really never know what you'll find on a walk outside, and that's what keeps it interesting. Unexpectedly, we came upon this dead raven. Careful not to touch it, we snapped a few pictures of some very curious growths on the leg. We came up with a few theories about the growths: were they tumors... something caused by an infection... or something else? (Our naturalists are still doing some background investigation research on this phenomenon...)
What are the tiny circles on this log?
We identified this as "bird's nest" fungi. The "nest" serves as a splash cup, and the tiny "eggs" inside each fungus are reproductive spores that get launched out of the cup when a rain drop hits inside.
What else did we do?
After taking a lap around Sandy Beach to...
- Measure the water temperature (we recorded 44*F)
- Take pictures of the downward-creeping snowline on Mount Roberts and Mount Juneau (we'll compare them to future weeks)
- Practice identifying willow and cottonwood leaves, and
- Observe whether the tide was coming in or going out...
...we explored the Treadwell historic mining ruins and tried to visualize what the area might have looked like one hundred years ago.
And then we tried to imagine two hundred.
The Early Dismissal Monday groups at Gastineau and Mendenhall River are small -- we have plenty of room for you. Interested in signing up? Call 463-1500, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or download a registration form. Scholarships are available.
Were you wondering if we still have room in our Discovery Days programs next Monday and Tuesday?
Tuesday is full, but there are a few spots left in the van for Monday's exciting excursion out the road to Amalga Meadows. Come explore, hike, play games outside, and hang out/warm up in the fantastic Eagle Valley Center lodge - we'll use it to take refuge from rain if we need to.
If you missed signing up during the work week, not to worry: We'll be checking email and voicemail messages over the weekend to fit you in last-minute.
What to bring: Children should come with a lunch, snack, water bottle, and weather-appropriate clothing to stay comfortable and happy outside. Discovery Southeast can also help outfit your child with rubber boots or raingear if needed - please ask in advance.
Transportation: We'll shuttle kids in the Discovery Southeast van, with pickup and dropoff locations at Riverbend Elementary in the valley or Harborview Elementary downtown. For Monday's program, the dropoff/pickup times are:
Call 463-1500 or email us to sign up.
Need a registration form? Download one here, fill it out, and bring it with you on Monday. We'll also have blank forms on hand for you at the van.
Check the Discovery Days webpage for more information.
Discovery Southeast is excited to thank our supportive members for all that they do. Our first meeting will include refreshments and a wonderful slideshow put together by Rick Bellagh, one of Discovery Southeast's naturalists.
Nature studies in Juneau would be impossible without our members. We encourage all members to join and celebrate Discovery Southeast's mission. Rick will be discussing his experiences running Wabi Sabi Organic Wilderness Farm on Shelter Island. This should be fantastic presentation!
Where: Juneau-Douglas City Museum
When: Monday, October 17th, from 7-8:30
What a wonderful way to learn about the amazing farming that is happening so close by!
Membership lapsed? Browse to our Get Involved tab on the right side of the website. You may also call 907-463-1500 for more information.
Discovery Southeast is offering two separate Discovery Days for children age 7-12 on Monday, October 17th and Tuesday, October 18th. (Those are both days off from school!)
On Monday: We will head out the road with naturalist Kevin O'Malley to explore autumn in the Amalga Meadows area and use the Eagle Valley Center lodge as a base.
On Tuesday: We strike out to Eaglecrest with naturalist Cathleen Balantic to enjoy a day discovering it's wild spaces at a time of year most people don't usually experience them, using the lodge as a warm-up spot.
What to bring: Children should come with a lunch, snack, water bottle, and weather-appropriate clothing to stay comfortable and happy outside. Discovery Southeast can also help outfit your child with rubber boots or raingear if needed -- just ask.
Prices: $35 per day for Discovery Southeast members, $40 per day for non-members. Scholarships available -- call 463-1500 to inquire.
Transportation: We'll shuttle kids in the Discovery Southeast van, with pickup and dropoff locations at Riverbend Elementary in the valley or Harborview Elementary downtown.
Call 463-1500 to register, and visit the Discovery Days page for more information about pickup and dropoff times!
Community members are encouraged to come and support the need for children to be outdoors more. Missions like these are extremely dependent on the support of our community, so even just stopping by to see what’s happening is great! The coalition started a couple of years ago with the idea that locals can promote getting youth outside for a variety of fun, recreational, and educational activities. There are a number of organizations and community members that participate, but we are trying to expand the coalition to include many more folks.
Need a larger view of the flyer? Click here.
Born and raised in Massachusetts, Christine finds adventure exploring both the intertidal and the forest. It has always been her desire to live and work in a variety of coastal environments. She enjoys biking, hiking, practicing yoga and working with children in hands on, experiential ways. Christine incorporates color and creativity into every part of her life, something she finds through her love of fruits and colored clothing, as well as her everyday activities in the outdoors. Working with children has always enhanced this side of her, as all the lessons and materials she creates have had some sort of hand made, funky spin. Last summer she and a couple of interns spear headed a three week summer science day camp at Joppa Flats Education Center in Newburyport, MA. At camp, children learned about invertebrates, fish and deep sea creatures, went tide pooling to find a few, and then turned their knowledge into art with some recycled materials. Christine holds an Associates of Science in Early Childhood Education and a Bachelor of Arts in environmental studies. “Joining the Discovery Southeast team as an AmeriCorps member has been exciting for me, and will surely influence the next chapter of my life.” Christine assists Rick Bellagh with Nature Studies at Harborview Elementary School and also leads the Early Dismissal Monday program there. You can find her walking around town at most any time, singing and splashing around in the rain.
Familiar with the Hunger Games book trilogy? Stop by the downtown branch of the Juneau public library system this Saturday, October 1st from 7-8pm for a Hunger Games-inspired gathering. This event is free and open to the public.
Discovery Southeast will be there with information and an activity -- would you survive if you had to live off Juneau's autumn edibles? Which plants are still around to eat this time of year, and which parts of the plant are best? There will be other organizations and activities too. Hope to see you there!
Discovery Southeast's Early Dismissal Mondays are back this year, and our first one is happening in just a few days.
From 1:30-3:30pm on each early release Monday, we'll have first through fifth graders out and about in all weather as they explore nature, play games, create nature-inspired art, become confident and comfortable outdoors, and learn in the natural areas surrounding their schools.
To learn more about pricing and dates, head to our Early Dismissal Mondays webpage. Scholarships are available. If you have questions or would like to register, call 463-1500 or scroll to the bottom of the webpage to download a registration form.