Woldumar: A Place for Everyone
At Woldumar Nature Center, there are many different types of scenery and many different trail lengths. The trails include the Prairie Trail at 1.4 miles, Woodland at 1.5, Lagoon at 1.6, the longest trail, and the shortest trail, the Meadows at 0.7 miles. There are also secondary trails connecting certain trails to other parts. There are many different maps located around the trail so you can tell exactly where you are. On their five miles of trails, you can visit many different sections of the nature center including the Beech Maple Forest, Mixed Forest, the Prairie, the White Pine Forest, Walnut Glen, and the Old Field.
I recently walked all the trails at the nature center in preparation to write this article for my Citizenship in the Community Merit Badge. While there, I heard geese honking and splashing on the lagoon while the wind gently blew through the rustling leaves. I could feel the leaves crunching beneath my feet, and the snap of sticks as squirrels scampered up the trees. I could smell the crisp autumn breeze as leaves fluttered to the ground. All of these beautiful things made me want more people to visit the nature center.
I think people of all ages would enjoy visiting the nature center because it provides learning opportunities for everyone. Younger children, that are around preschool age, can learn about shapes and colors by studying the plants and leaves. Older students, around second and third grade, can learn about erosion, decomposition, and ecosystems. Children of all ages would enjoy an art project such as leaf or bark rubbings, which is especially easy to do in the fall when so many leaves are on the ground. You can even learn how to read a compass, a map, or a GPS. You can also use apps such as Seek, websites, or books to identify plants and animals by taking pictures of them. There’s something everyone can learn at the nature center.
If you are looking more to have fun with less of an educational component, there are lots of fun things you can do at the nature center too. Around the sign in the parking lot, the grass is pretty much completely covered with leaves, so you can build big piles and jump in them as surely every kid has done at some time in their life. There are also tons of different logs to climb and there is even a tire swing along the path in the White Pine Forest. There are also a few trees that you can climb in where dirt has filled them up; these are not actually filled by people. These were actually caused by breaking down the leaves that fell into them over many years. In fact, if someone put seeds up there they might actually be able to have a small garden.
Along with taking hikes, you can also have much more fun at Woldumar. Here are a few different things. If you aren’t really a nature explorer or you are looking for something fun to do on a hike you can go geocaching, capture awesome pictures for a compendium, or even go bird watching. If you choose to go geocaching, you would want to use a popular geocaching website to find the most caches. Photography is easily done on a phone camera, but you could also bring some extra instruments or try to photograph wildlife or plants you find for a compendium. For birdwatching, all you need to do is bring your binoculars, but you could also check out books from a library or see if a friend or neighbor has some you can borrow.
Every time you go to the nature center, you can find something new and exciting. On my first visit to Woldumar, my family and I didn’t see too many interesting animals, but we still saw a few cool things like flowers here and there. But the second time we visited, there were deer that crossed our path right in front of us, even though it was the same path we had walked on previously. You can also see squirrels, ducks, geese, and the occasional butterfly. There are plenty of leaves that fall in autumn, so consider visiting then as any kid and their parents can easily get distracted by the beautiful fall colors and the leaves crunching underfoot. There are plenty of different plants, animals, colors, smells, sounds, and sights. Everywhere you look, you will discover something new.
If you haven’t taken time to walk the trails lately, you really should. We hope you visit soon!