Cabin Fever

by Brittney Mulka
Woldumar is a special place to view nature. Most mornings I take a few moments to look out our bird-viewing window, sip coffee, and watch Cardinals and Blue Jays feast on breakfast. There are many bird feeders to choose from, plenty of seed to go around, yet often times they compete for the same one. Lately there has been a subtle change in the bird community. Occasionally I will see a Chipping Sparrow hopping around or a Warbler fluttering about. The migratory birds are coming back and the days are getting longer, which means spring has arrived.
Spring is a wonderful season. Animals come out of hibernation, plants begin to bud, and the weather is unpredictable. Some may suggest the unpredictability of the weather is an annoyance. I think it is an opportunity to see nature for what it is, powerful. There is something else that happens in the spring. I begin to see more and more families enjoying our trails, picnicking in our fields, and relishing a hot cup of cocoa in our visitor center. I also hear the stories of the amazing adventures kids are planning for their spring break.
Woldumars Spring Break Camp is a perfect place for kids to get outside, make friends, laugh and play. Campers wait months for this week of freedom! We will explore the Moon Cabin, hunt for hidden treasure, wriggle around an obstacle course, put on a dramatic play, and be WILD IN THE WOODS! If your child has a serious case of cabin fever, you can count on Woldumar to provide the perfect space for them to learn and play outside.




American Heritage Festival 2016

The day felt like autumn had arrived – cool in the morning, warming as the day progressed. A little sun, a few clouds – a wonderful day for the American Heritage Festival at Woldumar! I took my camera and recorded a little bit of what I saw. The horsedrawn wagon ride is always a favourite…horse-drawn wagon ride

Musicians provided pleasant sounds as I walked through the vendors and displays – it was too early for the advertised music, but obviously some had arrived ahead of time and couldn’t resist getting together informally under the trees.


There was lots to see and learn – the Woldumar blacksmith was making a pair of pliers, a gentleman explained about trapping beaver for the pelts, a woman showed her pottery, and the Moon Log Cabin was a site to learn about early kitchen tools among lots of other cool stuff!blacksmith at work, fur trapper, potter, kitchen tools on display

I even sat in the corner of the herb garden for a few minutes to get a view of history from that perspective. The view of the cabin and proximity to the blacksmith shop gave me a chance to ponder what life would have been like in those days!

view from the herb garden h2410002










And, of course, I can’t visit Woldumar without some time on the trails – there were others I passed (some human and some animals) but the chance to walk in the woods is always relaxing and refreshing.

fellow hikers on trail - ducks on the lagoon - a horse-drawn wagon comes through the woods

Get To Know Our 2016 Camp Staff!


Summer Camp is officially underway, with an awesome group of staff to lead our campers, inspire their curiosity and help them learn about nature while having a wonderful summer at Woldumar!

travis2016Travis is our Assistant Director, and this is his first year working at Woldumar. Travis was born on the same day as NFL great Emmett Smith, and is excited to teach canoeing!

alex2016Alex is our Activities Coordinator, also working his first summer at Woldumar. Alex loves studying language and is currently learning Spanish and Portuguese. He enjoys teaching about nature and the environment and how our actions affect the world around us.

harleigh2016This is Harleigh’s first year as a camp counselor at Woldumar. Harleigh has a “Bug” — a Boston Terrier/Pug mix — named Penelope. She’s excited to take campers bug catching (we assume she’s talking about insects, not dogs!).

jonathan2016Jonathan has been on staff at Woldumar for four years, and was a camper for 6 years before that! Jonathan loves to sing and writes songs for the piano (side note: he’s also one talented artist. He made the wood-burned “Camp Discovery” sign you see in these photos). Jonathan is looking forward to sharing his knowledge of edible wild plants with campers this summer.

tessa2016Tessa was born and raised in Michigan’s Upper Penninsula and moved to Kalamazoo 3 years ago to study psychology. This is Tessa’s first year working as a counselor at Woldumar. She’s been looking forward to getting to know her campers and teaching them about the earth. She says, “Michigan is a beautiful state and the perfect place to learn about the wilderness.”

mike2016Mike is also working as a counselor at Woldumar for the first time, but as a teacher, he brought classes of elementary students here a number of times. He has seen the Dave Matthews band over 25 times, so after camp don’t be surprised to find him laying under the table and dreaming (those kids will wear you out!). Mike is elated to be teaching outdoors this summer!

tom2016Tom is a camp counselor and has worked at Woldumar for 3 years. He was a camper for many, many years before that. Tom loves to write stories and is excited to teach campers about shelter building and survival skills this summer!

lauren2016This is Lauren’s 5th year working at Woldumar, and she pretty much grew up here as a camper. Lauren can entertain campers by moving her bottom eyelids from side to side… she’s looking forward to making this the best summer of Camp Discovery yet!

The staff are all looking forward to a great summer exploring and discovering science and nature as they play outside with your kids!


Spring Has Come to Woldumar! May 6, 2016

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trail through woodsSpring is a time to get out in nature! And today was a beautiful day – warm and sunny. So I took the opportunity to visit Woldumar; to see the wonderful historic buildings and to wander along the trails. The fruit trees were in full blossom in the central campus area, lending a spring beauty to the barn, the Moon Cabin and even the Sunrise Pavilion.




Spring was more evident in some areas than others. The pines are majestic all year round, but I liked the contrast provided by the spring green of the smaller bushes along the path. On the edge of the prairie, bushes’ new leaves were more evident than new growth in grasses or wildflowers. Ponds were skirted by lush new growth. Trees were sporting new leaves throughout the woods and an occasional flowering tree was delightful.

But my favorites are always the flowers and animals, and I was delighted to get a chance to see some today.

For more information about Woldumar Nature Center visit the website or Like Woldumar on Facebook. Here is a PDF version of the trail maps.