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April Programs at McDowell Nature Center

(March 19, 2023) The McDowell Nature Center and Preserve offers a wide variety of programs for adults, children, and families. Listed below are programs for April 2023. To sign up or for more information, go to the Activity Search web page and search by program keyword or number, or call (980) 314-1128. To request a modification based on the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), please contact staff at (980) 314-1192 or email TRInfo@MeckNC.gov. Click on the following link for more details about Group Programs and other Environmental Education & Nature Programs.

The McDowell Nature Center is located at 15222 York Road within the McDowell Nature Preserve (off NC Highway 49 across from Palisades High School). Direct questions to the McDowell Nature Center at 980-314-1128.

See volunteer opportunities at Volunteer Connect. .

Program Name: MDNP: Archery 101 (Youth)
Ages 10-12
#138039 Sat, April 1st 10am-12pm
$15 resident/$18 non-resident
Bows and arrows are some of the oldest tools humans have every used, and still use to this day! Participants will start with basic terminology, practice proper form and safety with a recurve bow, then use their newfound knowledge with a little target practice. Pre-registration required.

Program Name: MDNP: Nature Crafting: Garden Art
Ages 5+
#138000 Sun, April 2nd 2pm-3pm
$5 residents/$6 non-residents
Tap into your artistic side with a nature-based craft! Participants can expect to practice their creativity and open their eyes to the natural wonders around them. No walk-ins accepted. Pre-registration required (for adult and child alike).

Program Name: MDNP: Nature Book and Look
All Ages
#138010 Mon, April 3rd 10am-11am
#138011 Mon, April 10th 10am-11am
#138012 Mon, April 17th 10am-11am
#138013 Mon, April 24th 10am-11am
Journey through a nature BOOK and take a LOOK at the nature around us with a hike, hands-on activity, or a craft. Pre-registration required for adult & child alike.

Program Name: MDNP: Adult Trail Trekkers-April 2023
Ages 18+
FlexReg #138298
Tues April 4th 1pm-2:30pm
Tues April 11th 1pm-2:30pm
Tues April 18th 1pm-2:30pm
Tues April 25th 1pm-2:30pm
Get active in nature with a McDowell Naturalist during this 90-minute, adults-only hike. Discover what is happening seasonally throughout the preserve. Meets on the boardwalk in front of the Nature Center unless e-mailed otherwise day of the event. Pre-registration is required.

Program Name: MDNP: Spring Stream Stomp
All Ages
#138005 Tue, April 4th 12pm-2pm
#138006 Thurs, April 27th 11am-1pm
Splash around and discover all the tiny creatures that make the stream their home. We will search for macroinvertebrates and examine them under microscopes to learn more about our stream quality. Pre-registration required.

Program Name: MDNP: Egg-STrEMe Birds
All Ages
#136930 Thurs, April 6th 5pm-7pm
The North Carolina Science Festival, April 1st-30th, provides the opportunity to cultivate a positive environment that encourages children to pursue science-related careers. For one night, be a part of this statewide event happening at the McDowell Nature Center! Fly through stem related activities geared for the whole family that will soar through the natural history of birds. Pre-registration required.

Program Name: MDNP: After-Work Hike
Ages 18+
#137998 Thurs, April 6th 6pm-7:30pm
#137999 Thurs, April 20th 6pm-7:30pm
Unwind after work with a 90-minute hike around the preserve. We will start and end at the Waterfront Deck overlooking Lake Wylie. Pre-registration required.

Program Name: MDNP: Trails and Tails - McDowell Nature Preserve
All Ages
#138041 Sat, April 8th 9:30am-11:30am
Have a K-9 companion? Want to meet other dog lovers in Mecklenburg County? Together with our "Tails" we will hit the "Trails". Each month we will meet at different parks, preserves or greenways around the Charlotte area. Please call Chad Moore at 980-314-1565 for more information.

Program Name: MDNP: Photography Hike
Ages 18+
#138028 Sat, April 8th 2pm-3:30pm
Enjoy a hike guided by a naturalist from the McDowell Nature Center on one of the preserves scenic trails. This hike will have many opportunities to pause and photograph what the preserve has to offer such as plants, trees, Lake Wylie, and wild animals that call the preserve home. Pre-registration is required.

Program Name: MDNP: Spring Sensations: Spring Poe-Tree
All Ages
#138038 Mon, April 10th 3pm-4pm
Experience the McDowell Nature Preserve in spring by spending time amongst the trees getting introduced to the different types of poetry inspired by and written about nature! You will have an opportunity to write your own poems inspired by what you see during a stroll in the preserve and have them displayed in a poetry book located inside the nature center! Pre-registration required (for adult and child alike).

Program Name: MDNP: MeckTeen Explorers Spring Break Camp: South Mountain State Park
Ages 12-14
#138040 Mon-Thurs, April 10th-13th
$250 residents/$300 non-residents
Attention Mecklenburg County Teens!!! Any plans for spring break? Let's go on an adventure and explore South Mountain State Park. This is a two-night, 3-day backpacking trip through South Mountain State Park. Beginner backpackers are welcome, and gear is provided if needed. Registration for the program ends 4/3, there is a mandatory parent meeting on 4/5 at 6pm.

Program Name: MDNP: Spring Sensations: Busy Beavers
Ages 7+
#137894 Tues, April 11th 10:30am-12pm
Nature's very own engineer, the beaver, is celebrated every year in April to raise awareness of their importance in our wetland ecosystems. We will explore the natural history of North America's largest rodent and hike to McDowell's very own dam! This is not a drop off program. Adult participation required. Pre-registration required (for adult and child alike).

Program Name: MDNP: Outdoor Classroom: Wonderful Wildflowers
Ages 7+
#138025 Tues, April 11th 3pm-4pm
$4 residents/$5 non-residents
Come to the McDowell Pavilion to celebrate wildflowers in their prime! Discover fun facts about native species through games, activities, and a short exploratory hike! Pre-registration is required (for adult and child alike).

Program Name: MDNP: Spring Sensations: Geocaching Adventure
Ages 6+
#137941 Thurs, April 13th 10am-12:30pm
Hunt for hidden treasure in the woods with other participants using a GPS. No prior experience or special equipment needed! A naturalist will be there to guide you through this 2-3 mile geocaching experience. This is not a drop off program. Adult participation required. Pre-registration required (for adult and child alike).

Program Name: MDNP: Plalking Hike
Ages 18+
#138036 Sat, April 15th 2pm-3:30pm
Have you ever heard of the term Plalking? Plalking means to pick up litter while walking! Participants will enjoy a scenic hike guided by a naturalist from the McDowell Nature Center while helping to ensure the nature preserve stays in its most natural and trash-free state. A few trash grabbers and trash bags will be provided for the group. Pre-registration is required.

Program Name: MDNP: Animal Ambassador Meet n' Greet
All Ages
#138008 Sun, April 16th 3pm-3:30pm
#138009 Sun, April 23rd 3pm-3:30pm
Head over to the McDowell Nature Center for a close up encounter with one of our live animal ambassadors! Discover fun facts about the animals' adaptations and everyday life out in the wild! Pre-registration required (for adult and child alike).

Program Name: MDNP: Kids in the Woods
#137935 Sprites Ages 6-8
#137934 Pathfinders Ages 9-10
Weds April 19th-May 24th 1pm-4pm
$65 residents/$78 non-residents
This 6-week child-led class is held ENTIRELY outdoors! Children are allowed to sprout and grow at their own pace as they explore, experience and come to appreciate the wonder of the natural world. Our more capable and oldest KitW, venture to new locations within the preserve to stretch their legs and develop their confidence. They may decide to investigate a stream, bushwhack off-trail, build a stick fort, or muck around in the beaver cove - all under the guidance of an experienced environmental educator. Research has shown that time spent in nature, especially engaged in play, is critical to a child's development. Not only does outdoor play leads to increased physical activity but it can alleviate symptoms of ADHD and asthma as well as promote creativity, self-discipline, problem-solving skills, cooperation, and confidence. No walk-ins accepted. Pre-registration required.

Program Name: MDNP: Preschool Explorers Series: Buzzing Bees
Ages 4-6
#137936 Fri, April 21st 1:30pm-3pm
$5 residents/$6 residents
Little ones and an experienced Naturalist will explore nature together starting with a story and then rotating through discovery stations that expand upon the story which may include crafts, games, songs, animal encounters and/or outdoor exploration. No walk-ins accepted. Pre-registration required.

Program Name: MDNP: Earth Day Scavenger Hunt
All Ages
#138015 Sat, April 22nd 1pm-3pm
Celebrate this Earth Day by heading over to the McDowell Nature Center for an afternoon of nature appreciation! You will have the option to choose a scavenger hunt that helps you to fully experience our nature center or one of our nature trails. Make sure to check back in at the front desk to choose a prize when you are finished! Pre-registration is not required as this is a drop-in program.

Program Name: MDNP: Public Homeschool: Fantastic Flowers
#137898 Ages 7-9
#137899 Ages 10-12
Thurs, April 27th 1:30pm-3pm
$5 residents/$6 non-residents
Flowers provide us with much more than beauty and scents! Explore the form and function of plant reproduction with this hands-on program that is aligned with NC DPI K-12 Standards and Curriculum. Pre-registration required.

Program Name: MDNP: Yoga and Hiking Amongst the Trees
Ages 18+
#137946 Sat, April 29th 2:30pm-4:30pm
$7 residents/$8 non-residents
What better way to relieve stress than to take your practice outside in our beautiful nature preserve. Practice grounding and breath in the fresh air during our asana practice led by a naturalist and certified yoga teacher. This practice includes a trail hike and meditation. The yoga portion will be done inside during the colder months. Pre-registration is required.

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