New: Bloomington.in.gov/alpha. Your feedback can help make our next website better!

Quick Links

Roving Naturalist

Visit one of our naturalists at the Bloomington Community Farmers' Market on the first and third Saturdays of each month of the Market season. We cover a variety of topics and have information and activities for all ages. Stop by to ask a question, observe a critter, or gather information. Our Roving Naturalists are also available for private natural resource programs. For more information, contact Elizabeth Tompkins at (812) 349-3754 or tompkine@bloomington.in.gov

Night Paddle

Experience an evening of peace and serenity on Griffy Lake during the full moon. Navigate the lake, take deep breaths of fresh air, and watch the night sky light up the water. Each participant must register. Watercraft, paddles, and life jackets are provided. Children age 14 yrs. and younger must be accompanied by a registered adult. Bring a flashlight to help you navigate back to your vehicle once you return to dry land.

W 5/10 · 8:30-10 p.m.
$8/in-city, $9/non-city · Register by 5/9 Code 84013-A

Griffy Lake Nature Preserve

Wild Edible Hike

Return to your primitive roots and discover some safe and common wild edible plants. We will go over identification, harvesting, and preparation techniques and will try a taste of a few different items you're unlikely to find in any grocery store! Whether you are just looking to try something new or are well on your way to going off the grid, this class offers something for everyone. Dress for the weather and come prepared to hike one mile. Instructor: Josh Nickelson

Sa 5/13 · 11 a.m.-noon
$4/in-city, $5/non-city · Register by 5/8 Code 84010-A

RCA Community Park

Nature Hike

Visit Leonard Springs Nature Park and experience one of Blooomington's hidden outdoor gems. An experienced naturalist will guide you on a 1.1 mile hike through multiple forest types, near a cascading stream, and up close to a small shelter cave. Dress for the weather and prepare for a moderate hike. Binoculars are provided. Instructor: Josh Nickelson

Sa 5/20 · 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
$3/in-city, $4/non-city · Register by 5/15 Code 84011-A

Leonard Springs Nature Park

Night Paddle

Experience an evening of peace and serenity on Griffy Lake during the full moon. Navigate the lake, take deep breaths of fresh air, and watch the night sky light up the water. Each participant must register. Watercraft, paddles, and life jackets are provided. Children age 14 yrs. and younger must be accompanied by a registered adult. Bring a flashlight to help you navigate back to your vehicle once you return to dry land.

F 6/9 · 9-10:30 p.m.
$8/in-city, $9/non-city · Register by 6/8 Code 84013-B

Griffy Lake Nature Preserve

May the Quartz Be With You: A Geological Hike

A long time ago, in a place not very far away...It is a period of geological significance. Geologists, striking from a university, began flocking to Bloomington in order to examine the amazing geological formations there. Follow in their footsteps and explore how Bloomington's geological features came to be. Instructor:Autum Brunelle

Su 6/11 · 2-3 p.m.
$3/in-city, $4/non-city · Register by 6/5 Code 84002-A

Lower Cascades Park-Waterfall Shelter

Bug Fest

Learn all about amazing insects at Bloomington's fifth annual Bug Fest! Go on an insect safari, handle cool insects, make a craft, and participate in a mealworm or cricket spitting contest. There will be speakers and information booths on a variety of buggy topics. This event is a collaboration of Bloomington Parks and Recreation, Monroe County Parks and Recreation, The WonderLab Museum, Purdue Extension office, and Hilltop Gardens at Indiana University.

Sa 6/17 · 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
FREE

Hilltop Gardens at Indiana University, 2367 E. 10th St.

Fossil Frenzy

Evidence of life from millions of years ago can be found throughout Indiana's streams. Join us on an expedition to search for prehistory beneath our feet. Expect a short introduction on what to look for followed by a hike (about two miles round trip) to Griffy Creek to scour the fossil beds. Bring drinking water and wear comfortable, water-resistant footwear. Instructor: Josh Nickelson

F 6/23 · 6-7:30 p.m.
$4/in-city, $5/non-city · Register by 6/19 Code 84008-A

Sa 6/24 · 1-2:30 p.m.
$4/in-city, $5/non-city · Register by 6/19 Code 84008-B

Griffy Lake Nature Preserve

Tails and Trails

The only thing better than a hike with a friend is a hike with you best friend. Bring your leashed, non-aggressive, spayed or neutered canine companion and join the fun on this dog-friendly guided hike. Before heading out on the trail, learn trips and techniques for making both short walks through the park or serious treks a howling good time. All participating dogs must be up to date on all vaccinations, display a current rabies vaccination tag, and be on a six foot or shorter leash (no retractable leashes please). Instructor:Becky Jania

S 6/24 · 1-2:30 p.m.
$4/in-city, $5/non-city · Register by 6/18 Code 84006-A

Olcott Park

What Happened to Mr. Cardinal?

An ill bird. Multiple suspects. A classic "whodunit" crime. Join us for an afternoon of role playing in this environmental mystery as we attempt to discover what (or who) exactly happened to Mr. Cardinal. Instructor: Autum Brunelle

S 6/24 · 1-2 p.m.
$5/in-city, $6/non-city · Register by 6/16 Code 84001-A

Bryan Park-Woodlawn Shelter

Animal Tracking for Beginners

Imagine you are walking through the woods when you stumble upon a set of tracks on the ground. You see what seems to be the impression of toes and nail marks. Is it from a dog? A fox? Sasquatch?! On this easy hike you will learn to identify a variety of local animal tracks and the best places to find them. Instructor:Autumn Brunelle

Su 7/9 · 2-3 p.m.
$4/in-city, $5/non-city · Register by 7/3 Code 84005-A

Griffy Lake Nature Preserve

Night Paddle

Experience an evening of peace and serenity on Griffy Lake during the full moon. Navigate the lake, take deep breaths of fresh air, and watch the night sky light up the water. Each participant must register. Watercraft, paddles, and life jackets are provided. Children age 14 yrs. and younger must be accompanied by a registered adult. Bring a flashlight to help you navigate back to your vehicle once you return to dry land.

Su 7/9 · 9-10:30 p.m.
$8/in-city, $9/non-city · Register by 7/6 Code 84013-C

Griffy Lake Nature Preserve

Urban Boots

We'll take a short hike down the B-Line Trail to explore nature in the heart of downtown Bloomington. While on our walk we'll identify trees, spot evidence of animals, and listen for birds. Meet on the steps of City Hall for this walk before you begin your Farmers' Market shopping. Instructor: Becky Jania

Sa 7/15 · 9-10 a.m.
$2/in-city, $3/non-city · Register by 7/9 Code 84007-A

City Hall

Mushroom Foray

Mushroom season does not end with morels! Learn the import role played by wild fungi, as well as how to identify and harvest different mushroom species. Find out where to search for and how to prepare the many edible wild mushrooms our environment provides. The program begins with a brief introduction to common and easy-to-identify edible mushrooms, followed by a hike to search for edible fungi. Dress for the weather, and prepare for moderate hiking. Instructor: Josh Nickelson

Sa 7/22 · 1-2:30 p.m.
$4/in-city, $5/non-city · Register by 7/17 Code 84009-A

Griffy Lake Nature Preserve

Oh No! H2O: Water Quality Monitoring

The water looks clean, but is it? Learn what it takes to be a water quality scientist by discovering what makes water healthy and how to collect water quality data. Wear sturdy shoes that can get wet. Instructor:Autumn Brunelle

Su 7/23 · 1-2 p.m.
$3/in-city, $4/non-city · Register by 7/17 Code 84003-A

Lower Cascades Park-Waterfall Shelter

The Magic of Monarchs

Every year monarch butterflies embark on an incredible migration over thousands of miles, and several generations, to Mexico. Some of those monarchs have made a home at the Sherwood Oaks butterfly garden. As we search the garden for monarch eggs, caterpillars and butterflies, we will learn about the remarkable life cycle, ecology, and migration of the monarch. Seeds and resources to design home landscapes to attract monarchs are provided. Instructor: Autumn Brunelle

Sa 8/5 · 1-2 p.m.
$4/in-city, $5/non-city · Register by 8/2 Code 84004-A

Sherwood Oaks Park-Meet behind the tennis courts

Night Paddle

Experience an evening of peace and serenity on Griffy Lake during the full moon. Navigate the lake, take deep breaths of fresh air, and watch the night sky light up the water. Each participant must register. Watercraft, paddles, and life jackets are provided. Children age 14 yrs. and younger must be accompanied by a registered adult. Bring a flashlight to help you navigate back to your vehicle once you return to dry land.

M 8/7 · 8:30-10 p.m.
$8/in-city, $9/non-city · Register by 8/6 Code 84013-D

Griffy Lake Nature Preserve

Native Plants for Pollinators Hike

Take a tour of native plants on this short walk with our native plant expert. Learn which pollinators prefer which plants. Discover plants that can attract a dizzying array of colorful local insects (and hummingbirds!) to your yard. Pollinators are important and their numbers are falling fast. Learn what you can plant in your yard to help pollinators survive in our area. Identification guides and plant resource lists are provided. Instructor: Jon Behrman

S 8/19 · 10 a.m.-noon
$4/in-city, $5/non-city · Register by 8/16 Code 84012-A

Olcott Park

Firefly Watch

Fireflies may be disappearing from the landscape. Surveys that count and identify firefly species are conducted to learn about the geographic distribution of fireflies, their activity during the summer, and the effects that artificial lights and pesticides have on them. Learn how to register and monitor your own backyard habitat and help gather data at the park. Instructor: Becky Jania

Sa 8/26· 9-10 p.m.
FREE

RCA Community Park

Night Paddle

Experience an evening of peace and serenity on Griffy Lake during the full moon. Navigate the lake, take deep breaths of fresh air, and watch the night sky light up the water. Each participant must register. Watercraft, paddles, and life jackets are provided. Children age 14 yrs. and younger must be accompanied by a registered adult. Bring a flashlight to help you navigate back to your vehicle once you return to dry land.

W 9/6 · 8-9:30 p.m.
$8/in-city, $9/non-city · Register by 9/5 Code 84013-E

Griffy Lake Nature Preserve

Night Paddle

Experience an evening of peace and serenity on Griffy Lake during the full moon. Navigate the lake, take deep breaths of fresh air, and watch the night sky light up the water. Each participant must register. Watercraft, paddles, and life jackets are provided. Children age 14 yrs. and younger must be accompanied by a registered adult. Bring a flashlight to help you navigate back to your vehicle once you return to dry land.

Th 10/5 · 7-8:30 p.m.
$8/in-city, $9/non-city · Register by 10/4 Code 84013-F

Griffy Lake Nature Preserve


For up-to-the-minute information on weather-related cancellations, call the Bloomington Parks and Recreation Community Events Hotline at 812-349-3754.