Friday, April 8, 2011

Meetup groups for local, low-cost fun and nature education

Meetup is a website for local people with common interests to form groups that meet up. There are numerous Meetup groups in the Des Moines area for many interests. Some have membership fees, some do not. Some groups are focused on adults, some are child-based. One Meetup group that geocaching families may be interested in is Nature Clubs: Going Out in Nature in Greater Des Moines

I have taken my kids on three different Nature Club outings. The Bird Watching at Gray’s Lake outing was very easy to attend. The playground and beach were easy “outs” should the bird watching activity end up being more than your kids can handle.

If your family is interested in bird watching, the waterfowl at Gray’s Lake offer a wider variety than the typical neighborhood perching birds. The leadership makes the outing easy for people with no bird watching background by providing field guides and extra optical devices.

We had great fortune of having a windstorm over the weekend, which caused a diverse group of birds to seek refuge at Gray's Lake. Species spotted included:
  • American Coot
  • Greater Scaup
  • Lesser Scaup
  • Gadwall
  • Shoveler
  • Blue-winged Teal
  • Green-winged Teal
  • Widgeon
  • Bufflehead (we all thought it would be fun to name our own birds)

Other nature activities for list in the area can be found at the Brenton Arboretum and Des Moines Park and Rec.

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1 comment:

EG Wow said...

I wish I lived closer. This sounds like my kind of fun. :)