Blue Jay Point Public Programs

An instructor and family dip netting at the Blue Jay Study Pond
The Study Pond features in many of our public programs.

Blue Jay Point County Park offers programs covering history, nature and recreational topics. Public programs are open for registration to the general public.

Nature Peekers

Preschool aged kids making a dinosaur skeleton out of cardboard tubes on the brick patio in front of the Education Center
Cardboards tubes make great dinosaur bones!

A monthly program series for very young children ages 18 months–3 years (and their grown-ups!) where we listen to a story, practice developmentally appropriate skills, interact with other youngsters and enjoy nature outside whenever possible.  Preregistration is required for these free 30 minute programs.

Who’s Awake for Springtime
Tuesday, April 5, 10–10:30 a.m.
Ready for spring yet? Well, animals are and some of them are now waking up after their long winter rest. Let’s discover Who’s Awake for Springtime, by Phillis Gershator & Mim Green, and see what life we can find around the park!

Over in the Meadow
Tuesday, May 10, 10–10:30 a.m.
We’ll go explore and search for meadow creatures as we read Over in the Meadow, by Jane Cabrera. Join us as we walk and observe any animals that may cross our path. 

Turtle Splash
Tuesday, June 7, 10–10:30 a.m.
Splish, splash! Who is that swimming in the pond? Come count turtles, learn about what makes them special and even look at a live turtle with Turtle Splash! by Cathryn Falwell.  

Please note these are in-person programs, meeting on the front porch of the Education Center.

Preregistration is required, and no walk-ups will be accepted. To keep participants and staff as safe as possible, we ask that you:

  • Stay home if you’re not feeling well.
  • Adhere to social distancing guidelines by sitting at designated seats and/or tables.
  • When possible, avoid sharing supplies with people from different households.
  • Alert staff immediately if you start to feel ill during programming.
     

Participants are encouraged to continue to follow the three Ws – wash your hands often, wear a face covering and wait six feet apart – while participating in park programs.

Nature Stories

Kids looking for small living things under a rotten log
You can find an amazing secret world under a rotting log.

Nature Stories is a 1-hour program for children ages 3–6 years with a participating parent/adult and includes a combination of inside time and outside nature exploration. Preregistration is required for these free, 1-hour programs.

The Best Nest
Wednesday, April 27, 10–11 a.m.
Mr. and Mrs. Bird are on the hunt for a new place – will they find the best nesting place possible? Listen to a story to find out what it takes to build a nest, and make a nest of your own! 

Green Thumbs
Thursday, May 19, 10–11 a.m.
Let’s learn about seeds and other “garden” things.  Plant seeds to begin your own garden at home.  

Millipede Mania
Wednesday, June 29, 10–11 a.m.
Millipedes, centipedes and pillbugs, too.  Come discover the down-and-under world of multiple marching feet. Count them and feel them tickle.  Make a roll-up craft of your own.

Please note these are in-person programs, meeting on the front porch of the Education Center.

Preregistration is required, and no walk-ups will be accepted. To keep participants and staff as safe as possible, we ask that you:

  • Stay home if you’re not feeling well.
  • Adhere to social distancing guidelines by sitting at designated seats and/or tables.
  • When possible, avoid sharing supplies with people from different households.
  • Alert staff immediately if you start to feel ill during programming.
     

Participants are encouraged to continue to follow the three Ws – wash your hands often, wear a face covering and wait six feet apart – while participating in park programs.

Family Wildlife Series

Animal pictures made out of colorful fall leaves
Animal inspired leaf collages

Family Wildlife Series (FWS) programs are usually open to all ages, although information and activities are most appropriate for ages 5 years and up. Occasionally there will be a FWS program with a higher age limit – it will be so indicated in the description. All members of the family in attendance must be registered to attend the program – if you are unable to register a family member, either the size limit of the class has been reached or that child does not meet the age limit to attend. Don't forget, kids are not required to attend – individual adults are welcomed! Preregistration is required for all Family Wildlife Series Programs unless otherwise stated.

Bluebird Bonanza
Saturday, April 30, 10–11 a.m.
We’ll go on a short hike to check out bluebird boxes and see who’s home to learn about the special connection between these cheerful-looking birds and the bluebird trails that brought bluebird population numbers back from the brink. All ages welcome, but not stroller friendly.

Slippery, Slidey, Slimy Salamanders
Saturday, May 28, 10–11 a.m.
Find out how these special amphibians compare with their reptile cousins and learn about the amazing adaptations that have let them remain relatively unchanged for 150 million years! Part of ecoEXPLORE Herpetology Season.

June Bugs, Japanese Beetles and Just Plain Bugs!
Saturday, June 4, 10–11 a.m.
Munching machines or tiny predators from paradise? Learn about backyard insects, both native and exotic, and how they can work against you and for you.

Father Knows Best
Saturday, June 18, 10–11 a.m.
Learn about animal fathers and their various roles in nature as you make great, recycled Father’s Day cards!

Please note these are in-person programs, meeting on the front porch of the Education Center.

Preregistration is required, and no walk-ups will be accepted. To keep participants and staff as safe as possible, we ask that you:

  • Stay home if you’re not feeling well.
  • Adhere to social distancing guidelines by sitting at designated seats and/or tables.
  • When possible, avoid sharing supplies with people from different households.
  • Alert staff immediately if you start to feel ill during programming.
     

Participants are encouraged to continue to follow the three Ws – wash your hands often, wear a face covering and wait six feet apart – while participating in park programs.

Serious Skills for Adults

Adult workshop participant looking for spiders and small insects in a beat sheet
ID'ing spiders caught in a beat sheet.

Serious Skills for Adults: NestWatch 
Saturday, May 14, 9–11 a.m.
NestWatch is a bird box monitoring program where community scientists collect data on birds and their babies. See how we maintain our bird box trail, learn how to create bird habitat at home, and take a peek in some of our nest boxes. For 16 years & up. Counts toward Criteria II or III.

Whether you are an outdoor buff wanting to hone your skills, or a dabbler who would just like to try something new, come hang with the Blue Jay staff and work on some Serious Skills! Criteria II or III or CEU credit may be available for participants in the NC EE Certification Program, depending on the session. Preregistration is required for all SSA sessions. SSA session topics run the gamut from Field ID workshops to Eco-Crafts and Upcycling!

Educator Workshops

Adult workshop participants participating in a small group discussion inside a classroom in the Blue Jay Center for Environmental Education
Educator Workshops combine group discussion with field skills.

Blue Jay Point offers a variety of adult programs, including a number of workshops for NC Environmental Education Certification or CEU credits.

Please check back for future Educator workshops! In the meantime, please visit our Blue Jay from Home page for digital jigsaw puzzles and short educational videos that are definitely adult-worthy!

 

Nature Play Days

Children using thematic "loose parts" in a natural play area during a Nature Play Day
Nature Play Day participants hard at play!

Check out the upcoming 2022 Nature Play Days! 

  • Tuesday, May 24: Fairies & Gnomes               
  • Tuesday, June 28: Gardening
  • Tuesday, July 26: Water Play
  • Tuesday, Aug 16: Dinosaur
  • Tuesday, Sept 13: Building                                 

Adults with young children are invited to come to Blue Jay for summertime monthly thematic Nature Play Days taking place in Blue Jay’s Natural Play Area. The focus will be on free play, which means having self-guided activities with no start and end time and flow from kids' creativity. Education staff will be on hand to answer questions and provide guidance. Materials and activities are planned for 3–7-year-olds, but younger children are welcome to attend.  Meet in the Natural Play Area – follow the wooden signs from either the playground or tee ball parking lots. All children must be accompanied by an adult.

A Nature Play Day at Blue Jay is a free, walk-up activity from 10 a.m.–noon and requires no preregistration. If the weather seems uncertain, check our Facebook page or call 919-870-4330 before coming to make sure the Nature Play Day is still happening.