Children learn about nature and science in day camps. (Submitted photo)
Children learn about nature and science in day camps. (Submitted photo)

Archived Story

Upcoming programs, camps at Fernwood

Published 8:54am Monday, June 9, 2014


Animal Explorers Nature Day Camp: 5 and 6 year-olds

June 17–20 or June 24–27; 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Fernwood’s forests, ponds, river and prairie serve as classrooms for these popular day camps. Hikes along nature trails, fun games, educational activities and crafts open children to the wonders of nature while encouraging appreciation of the plants and animals of our region. Register in advance. $75 (Members $60)

Junior Botanists Science Day Camp: 10-12 year-olds

June 17–20; 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

New this year, Fernwood is offering three exciting science-based day camps for children. Students will learn valuable skills through hands-on experiments, activities and exploration of the gardens and grounds.

Junior Botanists will explore the fascinating world of plants including plant life cycles, pollination, ecosystems, types of plants and ethnobotany. This class will also discuss hot topics like genetically modified plants. Register by the Friday before each camp. $130 (Members $104)



Fernwood’s Annual Garden Party

Saturday, June 21, 6 p.m. to midnight (Michigan time)

Join Fernwood for a cool summer evening under the stars at the annual Garden Party. In celebration of Fernwood’s golden anniversary, this year’s event will be a night to remember.

Highlights include an evening with master of ceremonies, Ron Magers, Chicago ABC-7 anchorman, food by Chef Tim Carrigan, live and silent auctions and an after-party featuring live music by The Bergamot.

This year’s main auction event is a trip for two to Peru and Machu Picchu, courtesy of Abercrombie & Kent. From the soaring peaks of the Andes and the lush Amazon rainforest to pre-Columbian ruins and Spanish colonial mansions, Peru beckons with the allure of the ancient and mysterious.

Call Fernwood to reserve tickets today. Early reservations $125 per person through June 13; June 14 through 18, $150.

Wine and Weed Wednesdays

Wednesday evenings, 5 p.m.

Join the horticulture staff and other volunteers in the gardens for an hour or so of light gardening, followed by time to enjoy good company and a glass of wine (or beverage of your choice) on the deck.


Tuesday mornings, 8:30 a.m.

Inspired by Fernwood’s popular Wine and Weed Wednesdays, join the horticulture staff and other volunteers for a cup of joe followed by a morning of light garden work.

Niles Handweavers Demonstrations

Saturday, June 14, 1 to 2:30 p.m.

As part of Fernwood’s 50th anniversary, the Niles Handweavers will be doing weaving and spinning demonstrations throughout the summer. Kay Boydston, Fernwood’s founder, was a weaver, dyer, and spinner. The next demonstration will be on twined rug making (weaving) on Saturday, June 14, 1 to 2:30 pm. Free with paid Fernwood admission.


The American Chestnut: Great Loss, Hope for the Future

Saturday, June 14, 1:30 to 3:30 p.m.

Tom Wrasse of The American Chestnut Foundation, Indiana Chapter, discusses the loss of the American chestnut, at one time the most prevalent tree in the eastern deciduous forest. With only a few individuals surviving today, work is underway to bring this magnificent species back to our forests once again. $10 (Fernwood and Chikaming Open Lands Members Free)


Free Family Activities

Garden Stations: Herb Garden

Stop by from 2 to 4 p.m. on June 14 to enjoy fun, family-friendly, hands-on activities. Free with paid Fernwood admission.

Meet Clifford of Drummond Island

Sunday, June 15, 1 to 3 p.m.

Clifford is an amazing Morgan horse who has won the hearts of thousands with his public appearances across the country. Starting at age two, he has been raised and trained by his owner, Michigan artist and author, Nancy J. Bailey (see her drawings and paintings in the Fernwood Gallery June 20 through July 27), using techniques established for training dogs.

Not only is Clifford house-trained, but he heels, dances, plays with toys and even retrieves. One of the world’s few equine artists, he also paints and performs tricks to keep audiences amazed.

Come see Clifford and have him sign your own copy of his biography, Clifford of Drummond Island, written by Bailey. Sponsors include Buchanan District Library, Buchanan Scarecrow Charities, and Gloria Smith-Carney.


About Fernwood Botanical Garden and Nature Preserve

Fernwood is a special place where nature blends with gardens and art to create an experience of wonder for all ages. Fernwood comprises 105 acres on the St. Joseph River near Buchanan, Michigan, at 13988 Range Line Road, Niles. Hours are Tuesday through Saturday,10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday from noon to 6 p.m.. The Fernwood Café is open Tuesday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., and Sunday, noon to 3 p.m. Fernwood is closed on Mondays. Call (269) 695-6491 or visit for more information and to confirm status of classes.



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