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. Walk-ups are not guaranteed a spot. 

In the Tall, Tall Grass
Tuesday, July 5, 10–10:30 a.m.
If you were a fuzzy caterpillar crawling through the tall, tall grass on a sunny afternoon, what would you see? We’ll discover that and more In the Tall, Tall Grass, by Denise Fleming, as we check out what hidden animals are around here.  

The Very Lazy Ladybug
Tuesday, August 9, 10–10:30 a.m.
A ladybug is so lazy that she doesn't know how to fly? As The Very Lazy Ladybug, by Isobel Finn & Jack Tickle, tries to find a new home. We’ll examine what makes ladybugs unique and what sort of home a ladybug really likes!

Tickly Prickly
Tuesday, Sept. 6, 10–10:30 a.m.
Tickly Prickly, by Bonny Becker, will appeal to your child’s natural curiosity and encourage one of their favorite activities – touching. Join us to investigate various natural objects through our sense of touch.

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. Walk-ups are not guaranteed a spot.

Water Works
Thursday, July 21, 10–11 a.m.
Water is necessary for all life – come and listen to a story about water and learn how it is used by various plants and animals.

Night Gliders
Wednesday, August 24, 10–11 a.m.
Learn how flying squirrels sail into the evening sky to take the place of our more familiar daytime squirrels.

Dandelion Adventures
Wednesday, Sept. 21, 10–11 a.m.
Learn how Mother Nature distributes her “seeds for the future” as we investigate fall seeds.

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. Walk-ups are not guaranteed a spot.

Dazzling Dragonflies
Saturday, July 2, 10–11 a.m.
Swooping and soaring these ferocious predators provide fantastic pest control. But, how much do you know about their life cycle and how they survive? Come learn all about these dazzling insects! Part of ecoEXPLORE Entomology season.

Morning Canoe
Thursday, July 28, 9:30–11:30 a.m. 
Join staff for a summer morning paddle around the lake. We'll explore the lake shoreline in search of herons, osprey, and other wildlife. As we paddle, we'll discover how Falls Lake was created and how people use it today. For ages 7 years & up.

Flying Colors
Saturday, August 20, 10–11 a.m.
Unravel the mysteries of metamorphosis as we investigate the Blue Jay Garden for butterfly activity. Take home a plant to add butterfly habitat to your own area!

Morning Canoe
Saturday, August 27, 10 a.m.–noon
Join staff for a summer morning paddle around the lake. We'll explore the lake shoreline in search of herons, osprey, and other wildlife. As we paddle, we'll discover how Falls Lake was created and how people use it today. For ages 7 years & up.

Hawk Migration
Monday, Sept. 5, 10–11 a.m.
Every fall (broad-winged) hawks begin their incredible journey south to winter grounds in the tropics. We’ll explore raptor migration and adaptions through activities and games. Join us on this Labor Day holiday!

Spiderific Hike
Saturday, Sept. 24, 10–11 a.m.
We’re going on a spider hunt! Join Blue Jay staff to learn how to mist webs and use beat sheets as we collect spiders to ID.

Don't miss out on a fun program we're having at Green Hills County Park!

From Landfill to Green Hill – This program will be at Green Hills County Park.
Tuesday, Sept. 27, 9:30–11 a.m.
Always wanted to know how a landfill becomes a park? Take a short walking tour up the “big hill” and discover the history of how Green Hills came to be. Learn about how to reduce your waste and create a fun recycled craft to take home! Join us and have some fun on our green hill!  For ages 6 years & up

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, July 23, 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.

Creek Exploration – This program will be at Green Hills County Park!
Sunday, August 7, 10 a.m.–noon
Creek exploring isn’t just for kids! Leave no stone unturned as we investigate Abbott’s Creek to look for exciting wildlife and plants that calls this creek their home. We’ll figure out what are indicators for a healthy aquatic ecosystem and learn how to check water quality using easy, scientific tools. Come prepared for mucking about for this fun creek day!  For 16 years & up. Counts towards NCEE 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.

Implementing Culturally Relevant Pedagogy to Navigate Critical Conversations
Saturday, July 30, 8:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m.
This session will give participants the opportunity to explore the key components of Culturally Relevant Pedagogy (CRP) and Critical Conversations. It will highlight the benefits of intentionally implementing CRP in an educational setting while providing participants with the opportunities to begin collaborating with peers to develop action steps to better support concepts such as social equity in educational settings. This workshop will be eligible for 4 hours of Criteria III/Continuing Ed for the NC EE Certification. This event is run by the EENC and does have a fee, please check their website for registration information.

 

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, 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.

Become a Junior Park Explorer!

Junior Park Explorer graphic

Do you like to explore parks and preserves? Do you like winning prizes? Our Junior Park Explorers program is for you! Learn more here.