2013-01-17 / Front Page

Seven Ponds Nature Center warms up with Winterfest

DRYDEN TWP. — It may not be exactly Currier & Ives weather outside, by Seven Ponds Nature Center is moving forward with plans for it’s Winterfest, set for 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at the center at 3854 Crawford Road.

“Oddly enough,” Seven Pond’s executive director, Michael Champagne, over the years, we’ve gotten bigger crowds when the weather’s been warmer.”

Still, the lack of snow means the planned horse-drawn sleigh from Pinecrest Percherons through Earl’s Prairie will now be a wagon ride. There will be a $2 per person fee for wagon rides.

Winterfest admission is $3 for the public and free for Seven Ponds members.

Recent warm weather has thinned the three inches of ice that was on the center’s ponds, which means the planned ice cutting demonstration and ice skating on Tree Top Pond after off the table. “We like to err on the side of caution,” said Champagne, adding he prefers to see six inches of ice on the ponds before letting people venture on them.

To make up for the lack of ice, Champagne said the staff will be adding additional crafts and trail activities The center will also have hot dogs, brats and chips available for lunch.

Staff members will offer a host of indoor activities for those who need to warm up. There will be winter crafts for children; animal track printing on T-shirts and sweatshirts (you need to bring your own); and slide presentations on the history of ice cutting. Visitors can see that history come alive when staffers demonstrate ice cutting on Tree Top Pond.

Winterfest participants will also have a chance to toast marshmallows and drink hot chocolate by a roaring campfire.

Winterfest, said naturalist Lois Rheame, is a “perfect way to enjoy a winter day with your family or children’s group.” Groups, she said, need to pre-register by Jan. 15 by calling 810-796-3200.

Seven Ponds Nature Center is located on Crawford Road one mile south of Dryden Road, which runs between M-53 and M-24. The center is about three miles west of the village of Dryden.

For more information about this and other Seven Ponds programs, call 810- 796-3200.

— Phil Foley

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