Celebrate the First Signs of Spring at Oakland County Parks and Recreation

With daylight savings time and the official start of spring just around the corner, it’s time to head outdoors and watch nature awaken from its winter slumber. Hike the more than 70 miles of trails to watch as birds fly back home, learn to identify maple trees as maple syrup season gets under way and enjoy watching professional chefs in action during cooking demonstrations at the Oakland County Farmers Market. Other upcoming events include:

March 1

  • Morning Munchkins is set from 10:30-11:15 a.m. March 1 at Red Oaks Nature Center, 30300 Hales St., Madison Heights. This series just for preschoolers is offered the first Friday of each month. Bring your munchkin to the nature center for a favorite story and a related hands-on, nature-based discovery activity. Cost is $1/person. Pre-registration with payment required by calling 248-858-0916.

March 2

  • Junior Girl Scouts: Detective is set from 10 a.m.-noon or 2-4 p.m. March 2 at Red Oaks Nature Center, 30300 Hales St., Madison Heights. Naturalists will help scouts complete the necessary requirements to achieve a badge. Snacks and materials are provided, but badges are not supplied by the nature center. Cost is $7/scout and $3/adult. Pre-registration is required by calling 248-858-0916 weekdays or registration forms are available at OaklandCountyParks.com.
  • Senior Discover Michigan Fresh, a free program geared toward people ages 60 and older, will be held from 10-11 a.m. March 2 at the Oakland County Farmers Market, 2350 Pontiac Lake Road, Waterford. Learn tips on growing, handling and preserving fresh food and receive healthy recipes that focus on the delicious flavors of Michigan-grown bounty from backyard gardens and local farmers markets. Call 248-858-5495 or email OCmarket@oakgov.com for more information.
  • Maple Magic is 1-3 p.m. March 2 at Wint Nature Center in Independence Oaks County Park, 9501 Sashabaw Road, Clarkston. Learn to identify maple trees, take a hike to tap a tree and taste the sap. Learn the tools, tips and methods needed to make your own batch of maple syrup at home. Taste sweet maple treats by a campfire and take home maple-based recipes. Cost is $5/person. Pre-registration with payment required by calling 248-858-0916 weekdays or 248-625-6473 Saturdays.

March 3

  • Bluebird Nest Box Season Kick-off is 1-3 p.m. March 3 at Wint Nature Center in Independence Oaks County Park, 9501 Sashabaw Road, Clarkston. Oakland County Parks and Recreation manages nest boxes at seven parks for Eastern Bluebirds and other cavity-nesting native birds. Nest boxes are monitored by trained volunteers through the Oakland County Parks and Recreation’s Citizen Science Program. This training session will provide information about the birds, monitoring techniques and other volunteer requirements. Volunteers are asked to check nest boxes routinely March through August. Nests are tracked in NestWatch through Cornell Lab of Ornithology. This training is free and open to the public. Pre-registration is required by calling 248-858-0916.

March 6

  • A St. Patrick’s Day Social will be held from 6-8 p.m. March 6 at Waterford Oaks Activity Center, 2800 Watkins Lake Road, Waterford. Designed for individuals with disabilities ages 18 and older, activities include music, dancing and pizza. Cost is $10/participant; $5/caregiver and pre-registration with payment is required by calling 248-424-7081. Visit OaklandCountyParks.com for a registration form or email Adaptive@oakgov.com for details.

March 9

  • Youth Abilities – Saturday Sports Special will be held from 9:30-11 a.m. March 9 at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Oakland and Macomb Counties, 1545 East Lincoln Road, Royal Oak. Designed for children with disabilities ages 6-18, activities include parachute games, floor hockey, kickball, scooters, basketball and more. Individuals must pre-register by calling 248-424-7081. This program is limited to 20 participants. Visit OaklandCountyParks.com or email Adaptive@oakgov.com for details.
  • Discover cooking secrets from local chefs and sample dishes using produce available from Oakland County Farmers Market vendors during a free cooking demonstration held in cooperation with edibleWOW from 10-11 a.m. March 9. The presentation will be given by Chef/Owner Michael Metevia from Slows Bar-B-Q. The Oakland County Farmers Market is located at 2350 Pontiac Lake Road, Waterford. For more information, call 248-858-5495 or visit OaklandCountyParks.com.
  • March Mammal Madness is 2-3:30 p.m. March 9 at Wint Nature Center in Independence Oaks County Park, 9501 Sashabaw Road, Clarkston. Root for your favorite mammal as the animal food chain is explored by pairing predator and prey all the way to the championship round, creating crafts and playing games along the way. Make and take a mammal print T-shirt, too. Bring a light colored T-shirt for printing. This program is suitable for all ages. Cost is $5/person and pre-registration with payment is required by calling 248-858-0916 weekdays or 248-625-6473 Saturdays. Visit OaklandCountyParks.com for more information.
  • Adopt a Clay Pet is 10:30 a.m.-noon or 2-3:30 p.m. March 9 at Red Oaks Nature Center, 30300 Hales St., Madison Heights. Make a pet and cool accessories like a bed, food and toys out of clay. Pets will be finished and taken home, complete with adoption certificate. This program is appropriate for ages 6 and up (younger children may need adult help). Cost is $16/person. Pre-registration with payment required by calling 248-858-0916 weekdays or 248-585-0100 Saturdays.

March 16

  • Youth Abilities – Saturday Sports Special will be held from 9:30-11 a.m. March 16 at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Oakland and Macomb Counties, 1545 East Lincoln Road, Royal Oak. Designed for children with disabilities ages 6-18, activities include parachute games, floor hockey, kickball, scooters, basketball and more. Individuals must pre-register by calling 248-424-7081. This program is limited to 20 participants. Visit OaklandCountyParks.com or email Adaptive@oakgov.com for details.
  • Daisies: Rosie Petal is set from 10 a.m.-noon or 2-4 p.m. March 16 at Wint Nature Center in Independence Oaks County Park, 9501 Sashabaw Road, Clarkston. Naturalists will help scouts complete the necessary requirements to achieve a badge. Snacks and materials are provided, but badges are not supplied by the nature center. Cost is $7/scout and $3/adult. Pre-registration is required by calling 248-858-0916 weekdays or registration forms are available at OaklandCountyParks.com.
  • Senior Discover Michigan Fresh, a free program geared toward people ages 60 and older, will be held from 10-11 a.m. March 16 at the Oakland County Farmers Market, 2350 Pontiac Lake Road, Waterford. Learn tips on growing, handling and preserving fresh food and receive healthy recipes that focus on the delicious flavors of Michigan-grown bounty from backyard gardens and local farmers markets. Call 248-858-5495 or email OCmarket@oakgov.com for more information.
  • X Marks the Spot is 2-3:30 p.m. March 16 at Red Oaks Nature Center, 30300 Hales St., Madison Heights. Find leprechauns at the nature center while enjoying an afternoon of trickery and treasure hunting. Program includes a snack, craft and outdoor excursion. Sport St. Patty’s Day green if you wish. Cost is $5/person. Pre-registration with payment required by calling 248-858-0916 weekdays or 248-585-0100 Saturdays.

March 22

  • Swing Into Spring will be held from 6-8 p.m. March 22 at Oak Park Community Center, 14300 Oak Park Blvd., Oak Park. Designed for individuals with disabilities ages 18 and older, activities include music, dancing and pizza. Cost is $10/participant; $5/caregiver and pre-registration with payment is required by calling 248-424-7081. Register by March 8. Visit OaklandCountyParks.com for a registration form or email Adaptive@oakgov.com for details.

March 23

  • Youth Abilities – Saturday Sports Special will be held from 9:30-11 a.m. March 23 at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Oakland and Macomb Counties, 1545 East Lincoln Road, Royal Oak. Designed for children with disabilities ages 6-18, activities include parachute games, floor hockey, kickball, scooters, basketball and more. Individuals must pre-register by calling 248-424-7081. This program is limited to 20 participants. Visit OaklandCountyParks.com or email Adaptive@oakgov.com for details.
  • Brownies: Letterboxer is set from 10 a.m.-noon or 2-4 p.m. March 23 at Wint Nature Center in Independence Oaks County Park, 9501 Sashabaw Road, Clarkston. Naturalists will help scouts complete the necessary requirements to achieve a badge. Snacks and materials are provided, but badges are not supplied by the nature center. Cost is $7/scout and $3/adult. Pre-registration is required by calling 248-858-0916 weekdays or registration forms are available at OaklandCountyParks.com.
  • Discover cooking secrets from local chefs and sample dishes using produce available from Oakland County Farmers Market vendors during a free cooking demonstration held in cooperation with edibleWOW from 10-11 a.m. March 23. The presenting chef will be Chef Phil Jones from Slow Food Detroit Central City. The Oakland County Farmers Market is located at 2350 Pontiac Lake Road, Waterford. For more information, call 248-858-5495 or visit OaklandCountyParks.com.
  • A Spring Invasive Species Summit is scheduled from 1-4 p.m. March 23 at the Waterford Oaks Activity Center, 2800 Watkins Lake Road, Waterford. Oakland County Cooperative Invasive Species Management Area’s Spring Invasive Species Summit will feature guest speakers, hands-on workshops, vendor tables and kids activities. Guest speakers include Kelley Smith on invasive red swamp crayfish, Tom Alwin on a new aquatic invader–European frogbit and Erica Clites on the Oakland County Cooperative Invasive Species Management Area. Phillip Kurzeja will give the keynote address on preventing the spread of oak wilt. Workshops include invasive species identification, how to report invasive species in your area, gardening with native plants and a kids game modeling the spread of invasive species. This is a free event and no registration is required. For more information, call 248-660-0716.
  • Cadettes: Trees is set from 2-4 p.m. March 23 at Red Oaks Nature Center, 30300 Hales St., Madison Heights. Naturalists will help scouts complete the necessary requirements to achieve a badge. Snacks and materials are provided, but badges are not supplied by the nature center. Cost is $7/scout and $3/adult. Pre-registration is required by calling 248-858-0916 weekdays.

March 30

  • Youth Abilities – Saturday Sports Special will be held from 9:30-11 a.m. March 30 at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Oakland and Macomb Counties, 1545 East Lincoln Road, Royal Oak. Designed for children with disabilities ages 6-18, activities include parachute games, floor hockey, kickball, scooters, basketball and more. Individuals must pre-register by calling 248-424-7081. This program is limited to 20 participants. Visit OaklandCountyParks.com or email Adaptive@oakgov.com for details.
  • Senior Discover Michigan Fresh, a free program geared toward people ages 60 and older, will be held from 10-11 a.m. March 30 at the Oakland County Farmers Market, 2350 Pontiac Lake Road, Waterford. Learn tips on growing, handling and preserving fresh food and receive healthy recipes that focus on the delicious flavors of Michigan-grown bounty from backyard gardens and local farmers markets. Call 248-858-5495 or email OCmarket@oakgov.com for more information.
  • Boy Scouts: Merit Badge – Environmental Science is set from 2-4:30 p.m. March 30 at Wint Nature Center in Independence Oaks County Park, 9501 Sashabaw Road, Clarkston. Naturalists will help scouts complete the necessary requirements to achieve a badge. A second session will be held from 2-4:30 p.m. April 6 and scouts must attend both dates. Snacks and materials are provided, but badges are not supplied by the nature center. Cost is $7/scout and $3/adult. Pre-registration is required by calling 248-858-0916 weekdays.

For information on other events, visit OaklandCountyParks.com. Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.