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Free family-friendly nature recreation and education! To celebrate Madison being formally recognized as a Bird City, Madison Parks, in collaboration with other organizations, will offer free monthly bird and nature walks. Mark your calendar for the first Sunday of every month at Cherokee Marsh, the second Saturday at Turville Point, and the third Sunday at Warner Park to participate in this fun, and free, event!

Saturday September 13, 10-11:30am – Turville Point Walk with your FOOT – Meet at the Turville parking lot via John Nolen Drive at the railroad tracks, 1156 Olin-Turville Court.  Join Andria Blattner, a member of the Friends of Olin-Turville (FOOT), to observe the wild flowers on the restored prairie and some of the woodland trails that wind through the woods and along Lake Monona. We will also look for birds, wildlife and the signs of coming fall. Co-sponsored by Friends of Olin Turville, Madison Audubon and Madison Parks. Contact Andria Blattner, (608) 255-8001.

Sunday September 21, 1:30-3pm – Warner Park Birds and Kids – Meet at the Warner Park Shelter next to Warner Lagoon, 2930 Sherman Ave.  Did you know that at least 135 species of birds use the natural habitat areas in Warner Park during migration or stay for the summer to raise their young?  Join UW Doctoral Candidate Trish O’Kane and Wild Warner Education Chair Paul Noeldner to listen for the friendly ‘mew’ of Catbirds, the trumpeting call of Cranes, and other native Wisconsin nesting birds that make Warner Park their home.  Learn about Trish’s Sherman Nature Explorer program that brings 40 kids into the park every week and her fascinating project to track Catbird migration to Central America and back.  Co-sponsored by Wild Warner, Madison Audubon and Madison Parks. Contact: Paul Noeldner, (608) 698-0104.

Sunday October 05, 1:30-3pm - Cherokee Marsh, Interstate Rest Stop for Birds – Meet at the North Unit parking lot via the access road, 6098 N. Sherman Avenue.  Fall bird migration is a great time for nature lovers, families and kids to see lots of action in Cherokee Marsh.  Take a walk to some scenic overlooks with Friends of Cherokee Marsh members and avid (though not perfect) birders Paul Noeldner and Jan Axelson.  They will help you find and view some of the hundreds of Geese, Ducks, Hawks and other migrating birds that use Cherokee Marsh to rest and refuel on their way south for the winter.  Co-sponsored by Friends of Cherokee Marsh, Madison Audubon and Madison Parks. Contact: Paul Noeldner, (608) 698-0104.

Saturday October 11, 10-11:30am – Turville Point, Food and Fungi in the Woods – Meet at the Turville parking lot via John Nolen Drive at the railroad tracks, 1156 Olin-Turville Court. Jeff Steele, our nature guy, will be joined by Sean Gere, a certified arborist who is active in many of the food communities in Madison. Sean will point out many sources of food in our woods that are used by the animals that live there and some that can be used by people. The emphasis will be on identification and use of fungi, seeds and nuts. There will not be any collecting in the conservation park, but we will learn to identify many mushrooms and to recognize the trees. Co-sponsored by Friends of Olin Turville, Madison Audubon and Madison Parks. Contact Jeff Steele (920) 382-9773 or Sean Gere (608) 225-9118.

Sunday October 19, 1:30-3pm – Photographing Warner Park’s Autumn Beauty - Meet at the Warner Park Shelter next to Warner Lagoon, 2930 Sherman Ave.  Bring your cellphone or camera!  We will try to photograph some of the autumn colors and natural beauty of Warner Park. Trip leader Paul Noeldner will demonstrate the basics of ‘digiscoping’ using a cellphone camera and a spotting scope to try and capture close-up pictures of birds and wildlife. Serious bird and nature photographers are invited to come along on this walk and share your passion.  Kids are encouraged to take kid-level close-ups with their cellphones of fascinating details of nature like bark, fungi, leaves, bugs, and nuts.  Photos can be sent to info@wildwarner.org and some will be selected for posting, please include who took the picture and a suggested photo title. Co-sponsored by Wild Warner, Madison Parks and Madison Audubon. Contact: Paul Noeldner, (608) 698-0104.

Sunday November 02, 1:30-3pm - Cherokee Marsh Natural History – Meet at the North Unit parking lot via the access road, 6098 N. Sherman Avenue. Join Friends of Cherokee Marsh board members and long-time park neighbors on a walk through beautiful restored areas and projects underway.  Hear fascinating stories about the ecological, social and political history of how Madison’s largest conservation park came to grow to over 1000 acres and become the nature recreation and education gem we enjoy today.  Co-sponsored by Friends of Cherokee Marsh, Madison Audubon. Contact: Paul Noeldner, (608) 698-0104.

Saturday Nov 08, 10-11:30am – Along the Trail at Turville Point – Meet at the Turville parking lot via John Nolen Drive at the railroad tracks, 1156 Olin-Turville Court.  Families and kids are invited to join in this easy amble around the prairie and through the woods to look for – whatever surprises you! The variety of shapes and colors in the native plants, birds and animals along the trails become more fascinating the closer you look.  Help spot a feather, Wild Turkeys scratching for acorns, or yucky dried fox scat! We will take time to share our observations so everyone can enjoy them. Trip leaders Jeff Steele, Paul Noeldner and Andria Blattner will bring magnifying lenses and nature books and talk about some of the plants and animal signs that can be observed.  Co-sponsored by Friends of Olin Turville, Madison Parks and Madison Audubon. Contact: Paul Noeldner, (608) 698-0104.

Sunday November 16, 1:30-3pm – Warner Park and Yahara Basin Geology - Meet at the Warner Park Community Recreation Center, 1625 Northport Drive.  Join David Mickelson, UW Emeritus Professor of Geology and Geophysics for a fun and fascinating talk and walk about amazing facts hidden beneath your feet.  Discover the bedrock geology of the historical Yahara River basin that shapes the Wild Side of Warner Park and other Madison area lakes and wetlands we see today. Help find three billion year old boulders called ‘erratics’ – odd large rocks left in the open by melting glaciers!  See if you can spot the ancient hills called drumlins that border Warner Park. Co-sponsored by Wild Warner, Madison Audubon and Madison Parks. Contact: Paul Noeldner, (608) 698-0104.

Sun Dec 07, 1:30-3pm – Cherokee Marsh ‘Frosty Walk’ - Meet at the North Unit parking lot via the access road, 6098 N. Sherman Avenue.
Break out your winter jacket and boots and come out for a cup of hot chocolate at the fire and a brisk healthy Sunday afternoon walk at Cherokee Marsh! While it’s tempting to tuck indoors for the winter, Wisconsin’s wild areas hold lots of surprises and beauty for people willing to get out a bit. Come and help look for bright birds and fuzzy creatures whose busy lives go on regardless of the weather. Co-sponsored by Friends of Cherokee Marsh, Madison Audubon and Madison Parks. Contact: Paul Noeldner, (608) 698-0104.

Sat Dec 13, 10-11:30am – Winter Turville ‘Point-ers’ - Meet at the Turville parking lot via John Nolen Drive at the railroad tracks, 1156 Olin-Turville Court. Be a Turville Pointer! Bring the family and kids for a warm fire and hot chocolate at the docent table, then take an easy hike along trails covered with leaves – and if we are lucky fresh snow - at Turville Point!  Along the way we will learn some pointers about how to bundle up, store food, and survive in winter from the trees, plants, birds and animals around us.  Co-sponsored by Friends of Olin Turville, Madison Audubon and Madison Parks. Contact: Paul Noeldner, (608) 698-0104.

Sun Dec 21, 1:30-3pm - Winter Warner ‘Park-a Fun’! - Meet at the Warner Park Shelter next to Warner Lagoon, 2930 Sherman Ave. Winter can be a lot of fun in Warner Park, especially after a cup of hot chocolate.  Wear your parka or warm jacket, hat and boots for a warm walk through the woods and up the sledding hill.  If there is enough snow bring a sled! We will be invited to share and hear stories about some ‘gift’ or special nature experience that Warner Park has given us this past year.  Co-sponsored by Wild Warner, Madison Audubon and Madison Parks. Contact: Paul Noeldner, (608) 698-0104.

Sun Dec 28, 1:30-3pm - UW Lakeshore Nature ‘Winter Preserves’ - Meet at Eagle Heights Community Gardens, 3016 Lake Mendota Drive just up the hill from University Bay Drive.  These informal outings welcome students, families and kids.  Join fellow warm hearted nature lovers for a fresh Sunday afternoon walk to look at how some summer’s beauty and bounty is preserved in plants and trees in winter and talk about the many kinds of food that are available in a healthy natural area for birds and creatures that know how to cache food or have special adaptations to obtain it. Co-sponsored by Friends of the Lakeshore Nature Preserve and Madison Audubon. Contact: Paul Noeldner, (608) 698-0104.

Monthly Bird and Nature Walks are offered in three major Madison Parks and at the UW Lakeshore Nature Preserve year-round. Students, families, and kids are welcome! Walks are casual and informal with a bit of education thrown in. Talking, questions and interaction are encouraged. Interested co-leaders are encouraged to volunteer, it’s easy and fun. Walks are rain or shine but may be cancelled due to inclement weather. Dogs are NOT permitted unless specified. Wear weather appropriate clothing, shoes and insect deterrents. Bring a water bottle and binoculars or a camera if you have one. See the event postings for more detail. Contact: Paul Noeldner, (608) 698-0104.

Please help thank and support Madison Bird City Partners who co-sponsor these free Bird and Nature Walks! See the websites below for more detail about these groups and activities you may enjoy.


Remember to wear weather appropriate clothing, shoes and insect deterrents and bring a water bottle.  Dogs are NOT permitted at Cherokee Marsh and Turville Point Conservation Park or other locations and events unless specified. Events are rain or shine but may be cancelled due to inclement weather.

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