GTPulse: Art Park Hosts Second Edition of ‘Birds & Words’

Deep in the highs, and mostly lows, of quarantine around a year ago, I sought solace in all of the ways local organizations continued to keep us entertained and engaged in the community. Even though most of my world had suddenly been reduced to a screen, I felt grateful to have any connection to the outside world and those around me. One of the ways Michigan Legacy Art Park kept people connected was through Birds & Words. The virtual event was held last May and will return again next month as Birds & Words No. 2. 

May is a peak of migration for birds in Michigan. As temperatures grow warmer, the birds who fled for the south in the winter start making their way back towards us to settle in for the next couple of seasons. First, come warblers and thrushes. Baltimore orioles will follow, then later in the month, flycatchers and cuckoos. MLAP is home to a serene 30 acres that is perfect for birding. When folks couldn’t get out to do so last spring, Birds & Words became the answer to not missing out on some of the migration magic.

The virtual birdwatching and hiking experience was hosted by Michigan Legacy Art Park and Here: Say Storytelling. Birding expert and owner of Rare Bird Brewpub, Nate Crane provided commentary on local birds that can be found throughout the region, while local artists contributed readings and music.

This year, the event is hosted by MLAP along with The Boardman Review, Here: Say Storytelling and The National Writers Series. Nate is returning to lead viewers through birdwatching through the art park. MLAP is a part of the Sleeping Bear Birding Trail, making it a perfect place to birdwatch. So far, the park has recorded over 25 species of native and migratory birds within their 30 acres.

Between Nate’s birdwatching will be local writers and artists providing entertainment. Return appearances can be expected from program producer Joseph Beyer, curator Karen Stein from Here:Say Storytelling, Beth Milligan of the Traverse City Ticker, musician Jack M. Senff, Joyce Harrington Bahle, who will share poetry by her late friend and colleague, Jim Harrison, and Chris Loud from The Boardman Review. New faces for the event are contributors Dan Wanschura from Interlochen Public Radio curating an audio segment, Chicago storyteller Jill Howe with a true, first-person narrative, and American poet Fleda Brown, sharing selected or new work. The show will be produced by Ben Whiting.

The event will be streamed live on Facebook and through Zoom on Sunday, May 2nd at 10 am. RSVP here. It’s free and open to the public. Donations are welcome and will be given to the new Migizi Eagle Aviary and Rehabilitation Center, the first tribal project of its kind East of the Mississippi River, and collaboration of Michigan’s Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians and the nonprofit Wings of Wonder.

Don’t miss out on this chance to connect with the local nature and community around you, and if you’re doing some birding of your own this season, put Michigan Legacy Art Park at the top of your list.

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Categories: GTPulse