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Outdoor Engagement

Our naturalist is available to answer wildlife nuisance questions about deer, raccoons, skunks, bats, groundhogs, and snakes, as well as other outdoor-related questions. Literature is available regarding deer-proofing your yard, including planting suggestions and techniques to prevent deer from eating your landscape plants. Please visit our Deer Management Advisory Committee page for more information.

Please keep in mind that no pets are allowed at any of our Outdoor Engagement Programs.

Special Interest/Scout Group Programming
To set up programs, hikes, etc. specific for Special Interest or Scout Groups please contact our Natural Resources division directly at 248.656.4775 or by emailing . 

Fly Tying - CANCELLED 
Description: Learn how to tie your own flies in this informative, hands on two-hour session at the Museum at Van Hoosen Farm. Learn what equipment you need to get started in this unique and valuable hobby. Make your own fly to take home and enjoy coffee or juice and donuts. This program is for adults and children 12+, all materials will be provided.

When: Saturday March 28th, 10am-12pm REGISTRATION CLOSES MARCH 26th
Cost: $15/person
Where: Rochester Hills Museum at Van Hoosen Farm
Age Restrictions: Adults and Children 12

Antler Amble - CANCELLED 
Description: Each winter, white-tailed deer shed their antlers only to grow new ones in the spring. Learn about this amazing cycle then search the trails and wooded areas in Bloomer Park for dropped antlers. Dress for the weather and walking in the woods, rain or shine! You can take home any antlers you may find. Recommended for ages 7+.

When: Friday April 3rd, 1:00 -2:30pm REGISTRATION CLOSES APR 2nd
Cost: $5/person
Where: Bloomer Park, meet at the Pine Grove shelter
Skill level: beginner
Ages: All (children under 12 must be accompanied by a paid adult)
Tickets

Mom's Hike - CANCELLED
Description: Join our Outdoor Interpreter (and mom) Lauren, along with other local moms, for what will attempt to be a relaxing, smooth, no-tears, no bug bites and no poison ivy, pre-nap walk through Innovation Hills while we learn about some local plants and animals. This program is available to mom's and their little ones ages 10 and under. Join us if you're feeling adventurous!

When: April 16th, 10:00-11:00am REGISTRATION CLOSES APR 15th
Cost: Free
Where: Innovation Hills, meet in the parking lot
Skill Level/Age: Beginner, moms and kids 10 and under
Register for Mom's Hike Here

Spring Nature Walk - CANCELLED
 
Description: Join us for a one hour nature walk to search for signs of spring. Lance and Lauren will guide you though winding trails, over wooded hills and past lush ponds to see what might be out soaking up the spring sunshine. Wear appropriate footwear and attire. All ages welcome but the terrain is not suitable for strollers.

When: Thursday, April 23rd from 6-7pm
Where: Avon Nature Study Area, meet in the City Hall parking lot
Cost: $5/person (children under 12 must be accompanied by a paid adult)
Tickets


Painting in the Park with Paint Creek Center for the Arts
Description: Learn the art of Plein Air Painting! During this amazing workshop, a PCCA instructor will demonstrate how to watercolor paint the surrounding environment and transform the ordinary canvas in front of you into a piece of the park that you get to take home. Contact PCCA for more information at https://www.pccart.org/

When: May 11th 4:30-7pm
Where: Bloomer Park, meet at the Stone Shelter
Cost: $35/person



OAK in the Hills (Outdoor Adventure Kickoff)
Presented by Moosejaw

Description: OAK in the Hills is our newest annual event and looks to get summer started off on the right foot by letting guests discover, learn about and try the many things you can do outdoors. Join Rochester Hills and Oakland County Parks to find your next hobby! Guests can try out rock climbing, zip lining, kayaking, fishing, hiking, biking, archery, art and more. Fun for all ages no matter how adventurous you feel. Moosejaw will also give away a kayak to one lucky winner!
When: May 16th 11am-3pm
Where: Spencer Park
Skill Level: Beginner/all ages
Cost: Free
S’mores and Stars
Description: Enjoy a campfire with our Naturalist and the Oakland Astronomy Club, as we look through telescopes and see the night sky from a different view.
When: May 20th 8:30 - 10:00pm Registration Closes May 20th
Where: Bloomer Park
Skill Level/Age: Beginner, all ages (children under 14 must be accompanied by a paid adult)
Cost: $5/person
Tickets

Fly Fishing with Orvis
Description: Rochester Hills has partnered with Orvis Fly Fishing Shop to provide Fly Fishing 101 course where you will learn fly fishing basics. Fly Fishing 101 will provide you a lesson on fly fishing equipment, fly casting, and outfit rigging.
When: June 8th, 6:00-8:30 pm Registration Closes June 5th
Where: Yates Park
Skill Level/Age: Beginner, 12 and up (children under 14 must be accompanied by an adult)
Cost: Free

Sign up Here
Mom’s Hike
Description: Join our Outdoor Interpreter (and mom) Lauren, along with other local moms, for what will attempt to be a relaxing, smooth, no-tears, no bug bites and no poison ivy, pre-nap walk through the Bloomer Park trails while we learn about some local plants and animals. This program is available to moms and their little ones ages 10 and under. Join us if you're feeling adventurous!
When: June 10th, 10:30-11:30am Registration Closes June 10th
Where: Bloomer Park, meet at the Stone Shelter
Skill Level/Age: Beginner, moms and kids 10 and under
Cost: Free

Sing up
 here

Nature Discovery Camp
Description: Join Naturalists Lance and Lauren for an outdoor experience packed with adventure and exciting camp activities. We’ll spend time looking for creatures in the river, woodlands and ponds while learning how we’re all connected to the natural world. We’ll spend some of our time catching bugs, learning to use microscopes, splashing in the river and roasting marshmallows. Reference your camp packet for further information upon sign up.
When: June 23rd-25th 9:00-1:00 pm Registration Closes June 19th
Where: Bloomer Park, Hilltop Shelter
Skill Level/Age: Beginner/kids 6-9
Cost: $100/child

Tickets

Fishing for Beginners
Description: Come fish with us in this informative program for beginners. We will learn some fishing basics, common types of fish, local fishing regulations, general safety and hopefully catch some fish along the way! All materials are provided.
When: July 10th 9-10:30am Registration Closes July 7th
Where: Spencer Park, meet at picnic tables near the beach
Skill Level/Age: Beginner/7+
Cost: $5/participating child, parents free


Child Admission (no charge for parents)

Evening Kayak
Description: What better way to spend a summer evening than paddling around the lake at Spencer Park enjoying the beauty of nature from a kayak. Come join us to look for wildlife and soak in the setting sun. We will be here to assist you both on and off the water but you should come to this program with a small amount of kayaking or canoeing experience as this is not an instructional course. Kayaks provided.
When: July 22nd 7:00-8:00pm
Where: Spencer Park, meet at the dock
Skill Level: Beginner/adults and children ages 12+ (children under 14 must be accompanied by a paid adult)
Cost: $5/person
Tickets

Kayaking 101
Description: This beginner’s class is designed for someone wanting to try out kayaking for the first time. It will cover basic kayaking safety, etiquette, and boat and paddle basics. Boats and safety equipment provided. Please wear appropriate clothing for water activities and plan to leave your valuables in your vehicle.
When: July 25th 9:00 -10:30 am or 11:30-1:00 pm Registration Closes July 24th
Where: Spencer Park, meet at the dock just north of the beach
Skill Level/Age: Beginner/12+ (children under 14 must be accompanied by a paid adult)
Cost: $20/person
Admission: July 25th

River Float
Description: View the Clinton River from a whole new perspective - RAFT IT! With twists and turns, combined with swift current, this event is for those individuals who enjoy the splendor of nature coupled with a
physical workout. Spanning the better part of an afternoon; this tour may last a full 3 hours. Come join us!
Advisory: Participants are required to be: ambulatory, able to swim, and physically fit to paddle and portage their own solo raft and stand up from their tubes without assistance.
Suggested Apparel: Swimsuits worn under water-wear clothing, along with aqua shoes is strongly encouraged.
This program is subject to very short notice cancellation due to weather or river conditions.
When: July 26th, 1-4pm Registration Closes July 24th
Where: Meet at Eagles Landing, West side of Livernois just south of Avon Rd. - Transportation to our starting point will be leaving promptly at 1:10pm
Skill Level/Age: Intermediate, 12 and up (Children 12 to 18 must be accompanied by a paid adult)
Cost: $30/person
Admission

Outdoor Adventure Camp
Description: Join Naturalists Lance and Lauren for an outdoor experience packed with adventure and exciting camp activities. We’ll spend time looking for creatures in the river, woodlands and ponds while learning how we’re all connected to the natural world. Wilderness skills such as fire building and debris huts will also be taught, among many other fun activities. Reference your camp packet for further information upon sign up.
When: Aug 4th-6th; 10 am - 3 pm Registration Closes July 31st
Where: Bloomer Park, Hilltop Shelter
Skill Level/Age: Beginner/kids ages 10-13
Cost: $120/child
Tickets

Night Hike and Campfire
Description: Enjoy a guided night hike, owl calling and the sounds of nature followed by marshmallows roasting over a crackling campfire.
When: Aug 12th, 7:30-9:00 pm Registration Closes Aug. 12th
Where: Meet in Bloomer Park parking lot
Skill Level/Age: Beginner, all ages (children under 14 must be accompanied by a paid adult)
Cost: $5/person
Admission

Outdoor Scavenger Hunt – A Unique Twist on a Traditional Scavenger Hunt
Description: Join us for an unusual hiking experience to learn about nature in a different way. Test your nature knowledge and code breaking skills as you embark on this unique scavenger hunt. This event caters to adults, couples and children ages 10 and up. Bring your thinking caps!
When: August 19th 6:30-8pm Registration Closes Aug. 18th
Where: Bloomer Park, Meet at the Stone Shelter
Skill Level/Age: Beginner, Ages 10+
Cost: $5/person
Tickets

Wild Edibles
Description: Ever wondered which berries are safe to eat? Come join us and be surprised by how many different things in nature are edible! We will also learn some very dangerous things to avoid. Be sure to prepare you taste buds for some wild treats!
When: August 26th 6-7:30pm Registration Closes Aug. 25th
Where: Bloomer Park, meet at the Pine Grove shelter
Skill level: Beginner, 10+ with paid adult
Cost: $7/person
Tickets

Teen River Float
Description: Float the Clinton River over three miles of winding bends and weeping willows while we look for turtles, snakes, deer and other wildlife. Once we arrive at Eagles Landing, we’ll end our day with a picnic lunch, s’mores over a crackling campfire and a swim in the river.
Advisory: Participants are required to be: ambulatory, able to swim, and physically fit to paddle and portage their own solo raft and stand up from their tubes without assistance.
Suggested Apparel: Swimsuits worn under water-wear clothing, along with aqua shoes is strongly encouraged.
This program is subject to very short notice cancellation due to weather or river conditions.
When: August 30th, 2-6pm Registration Closes Aug. 28th
Where: Drop off at the entrance to Heritage Oaks (northwest corner of Crooks and Hamlin). Pickup at Eagles Landing on the southeast corner of Avon and Livernois.
Ages: Teens, ages 14-18
Cost: $25/person
Tickets


Lance Devoe
Lance DeVoe
Naturalist
Email
248.841.2675

Lauren Oxlade
Lauren Oxlade
Outdoor Interpreter
Email
248.656.4775

Department Email

Wild in the Hills
Fall Deer Tips


Coexisting with Coyotes

Click for more information on coyotes

Gardening with Deer



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