“Backpacking 101” at the Nature Center

hikingExperienced hiker Ken Cazabon will give a basic introduction to backpacking on Saturday, February 27 from 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm at the Burgess-Shadbush Nature Center.

This free, walk-in only program will cover the best practices for hiking and backpacking, including: clothing, footwear, food types and preparation, various styles of packs in terms of weight capacity and proper loading, and much more.

Ken Cazabon is an experienced hiker who has done extensive backpacking in areas such as Hocking Hills, Manistee National Forest, Porcupine Mountains/Lake of the Clouds, as well as multiple trips to Isle Royale National Park.

A Question and Answer session will follow the presentation.

Burgess-Shadbush Nature Center
4101 River Bends Drive
Shelby Twp, MI 48317

Meet Exotic Animals, Big and Small, at Burgess-Shadbush Nature Center

snaaaakesOn Sunday, March 6 from 11:00 am – 4:00 pm the Burgess-Shadbush Nature Center will be hosting an Exotic Animal Day, featuring small lizards, snakes, and tarantulas at 11:30 am. A “petting zoo” will also be available during this time, including rabbits, chickens, and other fluffy and feathered friends for those who are wary of the crawly and slithery.


At 1:00 pm, Naturalist, Dan Farmer will present a live animal program focusing on spiders, both exotic and native to Michigan. At 2:00 pm, you will have a chance to meet larger creatures, including snapping turtles, an American Alligator, snakes, and lizards. You will also be introduced to some exotic pets and get information on which ones are suitable for your lifestyle, and which ones are not. Also covered is basic information about exotic animal care. Many of these pets will be available to touch or hold.

Naturalist and Educator Randy Baker will be the guest presenter for this program. He will be bringing some of his own animals, ones that are not normally seen at the nature center.

As always, cameras are welcome.

Preregistration is available for the first 60 patrons (via WebTrac), guaranteeing you a seat. Walk-ins are limited and available on a first come, first-served basis.

Fees: $3 per person ages 4 and up

Winter Fest and Cookout at the Nature Center

Looking for a way to enjoy the great outdoors this winter season?

Head down to the River Bends Park at the Burgess-Shadbush Nature Center for a variety of winter festivities designed for families with children ages 4 and up this Saturday, January 30 (11:00am-4:00pm). A plethora of activities will be offered for your enjoyment: a winter wildwinterfestlife walk, wildlife programs, crafts, and games. Programs will showcase mammals in winter, as well as skulls, skins, scat, and live animals.

For the lunchtime cookout (11:00am-12:30pm), please bring hot dogs, drinks, chips, and other snacks to enjoy. The cookout will be followed by a marshmallow roast over a roaring bonfire.

Some games and activities will be snow dependent, and it certainly will be cold, so dress accordingly!

Cross country skis are welcome, but be cautioned that the trails are not groomed.

No registration is required, this is a walk-in only event. However, if you are part of a large group, or plan to bring a large group (such as scouts or other youth organizations), we do ask that you call in advance.

4101 River Bends Drive
Shelby Township, Michigan, 48317
At Ryan Rd. & Hamlin Rd. Entrance

For more information, please contact the Nature Center at (586)-323-2478.


Party for Princesses at the Shelby Community Center

prinThe annual Princess Fantasy Fun Night takes place next Friday, January 29 from 6:00pm – 8:00pm. Designed for young girls aged 3 to 10, child attendees are encouraged to wear their favorite gown and tiara and enjoy an evening fit for a princess. This year’s event will be Cinderella-themed, but all princesses are welcome!

Activities will include a kid-friendly dinner, dancing, face painting, and a themed craft. A real princess from Tea Party Castle will also be joining the festivities.

All children must be accompanied by an adult. Fees are $13 per child, $6 per adult, and non-residents add an additional $10 per family.

Registration is required for this event. Please click here to use WebTrac registration.princess01

Spots are limited, so register as soon as possible!

Shelby Township launches sledding, ice skating web site

sled bigDid you know that Shelby Township offers free ice skating and has two sledding hills? The Shelby Township Parks & Recreation Department now has a live webpage where you can go to see if the hills and rink are open.

Weather permitting, Shelby Township’s sledding hills, located at Chief Gene Shepherd Park and Woodall Neighborhood Park, are accessible during daylight hours. Safety regulations are posted at both sites, as well as access to restrooms and picnic shelters. Sledding and tobogganing is also available at Stony Creek Metropark.
For more information visit www.metroparks.com/Stony-Creek-Metropark.

When temperatures cooperate, Shelby Township’s ice rink, located at Mae Stecker Park, is opened to the public. Safety regulations are posted at the site, as well as access to restrooms and picnic shelters.

Skate rentals are not available. Ice skating is not permitted at Heritage Garden or Ford Field Central Park. Signs posted on the rink will be visible from 24 Mile Road and will inform residents when the rink is open. You can also visit the Parks and Recreation facebook page for information on programs.

For more information you can contact Parks and Recreation at (586) 731-0300 or visit http://www.shelbytwp.org/departments/prm/index.jsp

Shelby Township Board, Solid Waste and Recycling Committee award first give-back grant

pi5eKkkiBAs if recycling did not pay dividends enough, the Shelby Township Board of Trustees and the Solid Waste and Recycling Committee found another way to make the world a better place with funds raised at the township’s monthly electronics recycling event.

Through the township’s contract with Vintage Tech Recyclers, which runs the monthly collection of items, such as computers, DVD players and other electronics on the final Saturday of every month, the Solid Waste and Recycling Committee established the Community Give-Back Program in 2013.

This program allows charitable and community organizations to earn funds by volunteering at the events or through a “community benefactor” grant. The first grant was awarded Dec. 16 as the Board of Trustees presented $10,000 to the Shelby Township Parks and Recreation Committee to be used for a new splash park at Chief Gene Shepherd Park.

“Shelby Township has the only recurring monthly electronics recycling event in the entire state of Michigan, so this award is a way of making a great situation even better,” said Trustee and SWARC member Paula Filar. “We’ve been able to keep tons of toxic materials out of landfills and raise funds to help charities and beautify one of our parks. It’s truly remarkable”

“I think it’s a great idea, and a way to raise funds for groups that will make Shelby Township a better place,” Township Supervisor Richard Stathakis said. “We are always looking for new revenue streams, and this is a great one.”

The program allows for two groups to benefit from each monthly collection with a “co-sponsoring organization” earning funds tied directly to that month’s collection earning 25 percent of the revenue received from that event, or $250 — whichever is greater.

“Co-sponsoring organizations are able to participate in receiving some of the funds,” Filar said. “In order to be a co-sponsoring organization, organizations must be a 501(c)(3) service organization or public educational organization within Shelby Township.

“It is required that 51 percent overall of the organization’s charitable efforts need to be spent on Shelby Township residents. And the organization must be run by non-paid volunteers, or a very low percentage of their revenue must be used to pay administrative costs,” Filar added.

The second beneficiary is an annual “community benefactor” such as the Parks and Recreation Committee, whose 2014 grant came from a pool of revenue generated by the other 75 percent of the funds collected at monthly events. These benefactors must use funds within Shelby Township for environmental beautification or environmental quality projects with community benefactors.

“Community benefactors could be committees or clubs recognized by the Charter Township of Shelby, and entities that contribute solely to the welfare of Shelby Township,” Filar said. “And I would encourage any of the organizations that would like to take part as participating co-sponsor organizations to contact the DPW.”

Based on collection totals from 2013 and 2014, co-sponsor charities have earned roughly $326 per month for a grand total of $6,845.50 while collecting 627,285 pounds of electronics for safe disposal, and $19,013.82 has been collected for the community benefactor fund.

The free electronics recycling events take place at the Municipal Grounds, 52700 Van Dyke the last Saturday of each month from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., except in December.  This program is open to all communities.  Computers and accessories, televisions, phones, microwaves and more are accepted.  For more information about the electronics recycling events or SWARC, call the DPW at (586) 726-7272 or visit http://www.shelbytwp.org/recycle .