Junior Master Wildlife Gardener Class Offered At Wesselman Woods


Junior Master Wildlife Gardener Class

Join certified Indiana Master Gardeners and Wesselman Woods naturalists for 6 sessions full of hands-on activities designed to teach youths grades 2-5 to identify and understand the wildlife you may encounter in a garden, recognize the basic components of habitats, and learn how to bring these components into your backyard to attract wildlife to your very own wildlife garden. Work together with other students to create a native habitat inside the grounds at Wesselman Woods and also grow plants and create shelter elements to kickstart a home garden. You may also earn awards and become a certified Junior Master Wildlife Gardener!

Date Theme
3/3 Picking a location
3/17 Attracting specific wildlife
3/31 Providing Food
4/14 Providing Shelter and Water
4/28 Identifying Wildlife
5/19 Service Project

Cost is $25 per student and includes the award pins and items to start a backyard habitat. Students may miss one session and still meet the requirements to be certified gardeners. Class size is limited to 25 students. Registration closes on February 24.

Box Turtles

Have you ever wondered why box turtles are called box turtles?  They have a special adaptation that lets them close up their shell like a box.  When box turtles feel threatened, they cannot run away effectively.  Their large shell is heavy and their legs are short.  Instead, they retreat inside their shell, tucking in their head, tail, and legs.  Their plastron (bottom shell) has a hinge so they can shut the doors against their predator.  Even the infamously dexterous paws of raccoons can’t penetrate this defense!  They patiently wait inside their shell until the predator gives up.

This wild box turtle opens his plastron a bit so he can check his surroundings.

Maple Sugarbush Festival & Pancake Breakfast


Celebrate the maple sugar harvest from the trees of Wesselman Woods Nature Preserve at our 41st Annual Maple Sugarbush Festival! Bring the family to enjoy a hearty breakfast, including sausage, all-you-can-eat pancakes with pure maple syrup, and juice, milk, and/or coffee. After breakfast, families can take a guided tour through the woods to observe how sap is harvested from the sugar maple trees, and then visit the sugar shack to witness the process of boiling the sap into pure, delicious maple syrup. Family-friendly activities add to the festivities. Maple confections and Maple Soap, along with Wesselman Woods Maple Syrup will be for sale as well.
We welcome you to join us for this local tradition of discovery and fun in the Wesselman Woods Nature Preserve!

7:00 am – 1:00 pm
Saturday, March 2 & Sunday, March 3
Note that Wesselman Woods will ONLY be open for the event on Saturday, we will re-open to the public at 2 pm on Sunday.
$8.00 for adults
$5.00 per child (ages 3-12)
Children 2 and under are free
($1/person discount for WNS members)
As we are now utilizing time specific breakfast seatings, you may choose to reserve your tickets in advance online or in person at the Nature Center. Advance tickets are not required but are highly recommended. Those not purchasing tickets in advance may have to wait in line to be seated.

Nature Writing for ages 10 – 14

Students ages 10 – 14 will explore various forms of nature writing in the beautiful setting of Wesselman Woods, under the guidance of an experienced writing coach. All materials will be provided. This is a drop-off program, and students should dress to be outdoors each week. The class will meet Tuesdays from 5:30 – 6:30 pm, March 5 – April 30 (no class March 26). The cost is $45 per student for the entire series ($40 for members) and class size is limited. Registration for this program is available online and closes on February 28.

WEEK 1 – What Is Nature Writing?
WEEK 2 – Nature Journals
WEEK 3 – Describing Nature
WEEK 4 – Field Guides
WEEK 5 – Nature Poetry
WEEK 6 – Short Stories in Nature
WEEK 7 – Conservation Writing
WEEK 8 – Nature Reading


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