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The distinct leaves of the paw paw tree make it easy to identify. This important tree species is native to the eastern United States.

We are so lucky here to have a forest of old, majestic trees in Fort Wild, our outdoor play area.

I can’t name every single tree we have in the area but some common ones you might see include pine, walnut, hickory, oak, sweet gum and maples, among many others. You can tell these trees apart by looking at their leaves, bark, fruit and even buds.

But I want to talk about one very specific tree on the Paw Paw Nature Trail. It is what we named the trail after, the paw paw tree.

This tree is not very well known but it is a beautiful native species of the eastern United States. Though it do… Keep reading.

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Envirocaching is a nature-themed scavenger hunt. Guests can borrow a GPS unit and search for specific natural objects to learn more about, with the help of Museum staff.

You may have noticed some new programs popping up at the Museum with our monthly Citizen Science Fridays, Bird Walk and Wisdom of the Woods speaker series.

We have been enjoying these new programs, and one that is close to my heart is Envirocaching at 1:00 p.m. on the second Saturday of every month.

But what is Envirocaching anyway?

This program came together after a lot of research about ways to get kids out of the classroom, including educaching, which makes it easy to tailor a lesson plan around geocaching. I’ve always liked geocaching, which is a scavenger hunt that uses satellite… Keep reading.

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Three Eastern spadefoot, unique amphibians that are neither frog nor a toad, recently came to live at Charlotte Nature Museum.

Charlotte Nature Museum recently acquired a new addition to its live animal collection, three Eastern spadefoot (Scaphiopus holbrookii).

These amphibians can be found (or not found, if stealthily hiding) in Creature Cavern.

Often referred to as a toad, the spadefoot actually inhabits its own family, distinct from frogs and toads, called Pelobatidae. This makes them a very unique creature indeed.

They are a small to medium-sized Anuar, which is the order for frogs and toads. Their biggest claim to fame is their single, sickle-shaped tubercle, or spade, which hides on the underside of e… Keep reading.

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Citizen scientists count pollinators around Charlotte Nature Museum as part of The Great Sunflower Project on Friday, July 3.

A dozen citizen scientists recently joined us for our first Citizen Science Friday, The Great Sunflower Project.

The Great Sunflower Project is the largest citizen science project for pollinators. Scientists around the world rely heavily on the help of their community to help them better understand where, how and why the world’s pollinators are on the decline.

Our citizen scientists counted pollinators such as hummingbirds, bees, butterflies and other species around Charlotte Nature Museum as well as Freedom Park.

We collected the data and sent it to San Francisco State University, wh… Keep reading.

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Wear blue in honor of World Oceans Day and you'll receive a free marine animal toy this Saturday at Charlotte Nature Museum.

Join us Saturday, June 20, for a day chock full of ocean exploration!

Charlotte Nature Museum will Celebrate World Oceans as our June Creature Feature. We’ll be learning about the ocean and how we can become better stewards of these special waters.

Kids (and kids at heart) will receive a cool sea creature toy when they wear blue in honor of the ocean.

Get your eyes and hands on some cool ocean artifacts, see what it’s like to live like a cold water mammal with an interactive blubber glove, make a Facebook pledge to the ocean with our selfie station, play Under the Sea Bingo and even m… Keep reading.

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A pair of barred owls that has made its nest on the Paw Paw Nature Trail. The male owl, pictured, has come so close as to sit on the border of the Back Deck of the Museum.

A couple of feathered friends have recently returned to the Museum.

A nesting pair of barred owls (Strix varia) has been hanging out close to the Back Deck and on the boardwalk. They are less afraid of people than owls typically are and have caused quite a stir.

The male owl has come so close as to sit on the border of our Back Deck and was the only one we were seeing for quite some time.

One night while I was closing Fort Wild, I noticed another barred owl. I knew she was different because the plastic line of a transmitter was pointing out from her back. This device does not harm the… Keep reading.

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