Goshen News, Goshen, IN

January 9, 2014

Woodlawn Nature Center to host upcoming events

Goshen News

---- — ELKHART — Woodlawn Nature Center will host several upcoming events that are open to the public, including the return of PaleoJoe, the return of author Sandy Marie and “Sound, Science and Celebration.”

‘PaleoJoe’ returning to Woodlawn Feb. 21-22

Joseph “PaleoJoe” Kchodl, a paleontologist, author and pre-historian, will return to Elkhart Feb. 21 and 22.

In November, he made personal appearances in the area in connection with the installation of The Fossils of the Michigan Basin exhibit at Woodlawn Nature Center.

He will be available at the center from noon to 5 p.m. each of those days to guide visitors through the exhibit, answer questions and sign books.

“Fossils of the Michigan Basin” is being featured at Woodlawn Nature Center and will be until March 16. The Michigan Basin is a geological feature that encompasses parts of northern Indiana and includes Elkhart County. This area is rich in Devonian fossils that scientists say are more than 350 million years old, center officials said. This area is also known for Ice Age fossils, some of which can also be seen at Woodlawn Nature center.

PaleoJoe has written books for adults and children. His “Dinosaur Detective Club” series are a collection of fictional stories targeted for children from elementary through early junior high.

Former Elkhart resident publishes nature guide

Signed copies of Sandy Marie’s new book, “Meeting Mother Nature,” will be made available at Woodlawn Nature Center where she served as curator of the woods and resident herbalist for many years. Copies will also be available in the center’s library for members to borrow. The book can also be purchased online from amazon.com.

Her book draws from her 30-plus years in the field and offers practical guidelines for fully experiencing nature.

“Meeting Mother Nature” is a manual for harvesting and using wild plants. It is also a personal account of life and the wonders of nature that can be experienced deep in the woods or in one’s own back yard.

Even though she now lives in the mountains of northern New Mexico, she continues to contribute to WNC’s web page and newsletter and to offer her expertise to the WNC staff. She is well known in Elkhart for her workshops, guidance and tending of fields and the under story of wooded areas.

“Sound, Science and Celebration” on Feb. 15

On Feb. 15, Woodlawn Nature Center will be alive with music. That day, it will host “Sam’s Music Fest — Sound, Science and Celebration” from noon to 4 p.m.

The event will feature the feelings, physiology and the physics of sound.

There will be visual displays and hands-on activities including “make-it-take-it” musical instrument building. There will be a “musical petting zoo” that will give kids an opportunity to experience different ways to make music. Musically inclined people of all ages are invited to join in and jam.

This event is the brainchild of a child. Six-year-old Samuel Gage deFerbrache Cauffman spends a great deal of time at Woodlawn Nature Center with his family, who are volunteers there, and observes event planning first hand. He announced one day that he was going to put on a “music fest” at the center and began planning it in earnest. Other volunteers picked up on the idea and have helped Sam put the event together.

Woodlawn’s woods and museum are located within the Elkhart city limits along Woodlawn Avenue, two blocks east of Cassopolis Street. The center is open Thursday through Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. or by special appointment.

General admission is free to all members and $5 for non-members. The museum will be free to everyone on the third Sunday of each month and the trails through the woods are open every day from dawn to dusk.