The Ridges Family Discovery Trail made its debut on June 25, welcoming 60 children from the Door County YMCA to try out the ten interactive stations along the trail. Activities included bird blind building, tree identification, bug catching and identification and locating animal homes.
The Family Discovery Trail is part of the site expansion taking place as part of The Ridges Sanctuary’s new visitor facility. Its location on the west side of Hwy 57 was selected for the hardiness of the landscape.
“Children learn by doing,” notes Ridges Executive Director Steve Leonard, “and the Family Discovery Trail is a unique trail system featuring highly interactive areas and stations.”
Children are encouraged to use their imaginations, to play and to explore their surroundings through a series of activities along the trail and by using a variety of learning resources. Activities will vary throughout the year, using each season to enhance children’s curiosity about the natural world.
This summer, The Ridges is pleased to partner with the McArdle Library and the Door County Library Summer Reading Program. Discovery Libraries are located along the trail and contain children’s books for families to read together surrounded by the beauty of nature. Summer reading program booklets can be picked up at the McArdle Library or The Ridges Nature Center.
“The Trail is a new and evolving part of The Ridges campus,” said Leonard. “We are actively soliciting feedback about activities and books from families who use the trail. As a thank you for helping us, families will receive a unique, compostable birdhouse for their own backyard.”
The Family Discovery Trail is open to the public from 10 am – 4 pm Friday thru Sunday in July and August and Saturdays from 10 am – 4 pm in September and October. Main entrances are located on County F, just north of the Baileys Harbor Fire Station and on the west side of Hwy 57 just north of County Q. Naturalists are on site to provide assistance.
The Family Discovery Trail is made possible with funding by The Cordon Family Foundation. Books for the Discovery Libraries were purchased by the McArdle Library with funds provided by the Harbor Ridge Association.