Photo credit: US Fish & Wildlife
Central Oregon is a winter wonderland, full of things to do to keep you and your family outdoors no matter the elements! While hanging by the fire pit is an obvious great choice, our Youth Education team put together a few more ideas to enjoy this season.
We hope you find some time to embrace the chilly weather and maybe even learn some new things about the high desert ecosystem we share with organisms large and small!
Snowshoe with a Forest Service Ranger
It’s free at Mt. Bachelor!
Go tracking in the snow
Birdwatch for science
Join the annual Audubon Christmas Bird Count if you’re into citizen science; or you can set up a bird feeder in your own yard and enjoy the visitors! Bird ID guides can also be found at the library or online.
Forage for conifer needles and cones
Be sure to know how to correctly identify conifer needles, as yew needles are toxic and can be found scattered among other coniferous trees. Other needles like pine, spruce, and fir needles are rich in vitamins and can be used to make tea, or packed in a jar with sugar and water to make syrup! This article has helpful tips and recipes linked.
Practice data collection like a climate scientist
Set up a metal ruler perpendicular to the ground and record the snowfall where you live. Clear the area around the measuring stick between snows to record the amount of each individual snow. Make a hypothesis of how it will compare to next year and repeat each year!
Go on a winter scavenger hunt
Create your own or download this free one from another Oregon-based nonprofit, Ecology in Classrooms and Outdoors!