West Bloomfield Parks’ New Nature Room!

WILDER SIDE OF OAKLAND COUNTY

“Every child should have mud pies, grasshoppers, water bugs, tadpoles, frogs, mud turtles, elderberries, wild strawberries, acorns, chestnuts, trees to climb. Brooks to wade, water lilies, woodchucks, bats, bees, butterflies, various animals to pet, hayfields, pine-cones, rocks to roll, sand, snakes, huckleberries and hornets; and any child who has been deprived of these has been deprived of the best part of education.” ― Luther Burbank

That powerful quote from Burbank came to mind last Friday afternoon while I waited in the hall outside of the newly renovated Nature Room at the West Bloomfield Parks Recreation Activities Center for its grand reopening ribbon cutting ceremony. The unbridled enthusiasm of the children in attendance was contagious and increased as the clock counted down to the cutting of the ribbon by Parks Director Jennifer Tucker, with park commissioners and park staff in attendance. While waiting for that moment, some of the excited children, and adults too, posed in the hallway’s monarch butterfly face cutout board for photos while others explored the exhibits in the hall. Continue reading

West Bloomfield’s Wilder Side

WILDER SIDE OF OAKLAND COUNTY

The wilder side of nature is often thought to be found only in faraway places, destinations that take hours of travel and detailed planning to get to. Henry David Thoreau sought out the wilder side and wrote, “I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.” In reality, pockets of wild nature not only survive in Oakland County, but often thrive, making the division between wild nature and suburban living blurry at times. Continue reading