BERKEY — From May 10-16, the Nature Conservancy and Green Ribbon Initiative partners will host Oak Openings Blue Week, an annual nature festival featuring 20 free, family-friendly events across Northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan that celebrate the arrival of spring and the region’s natural heritage.
Blue Week provides an opportunity to learn about the globally unique Oak Openings region, that is characterized by the highest concentration of rare and endangered species in Ohio.
The name Blue Week hails the region’s many blue plants and animals, including Karner blue butterflies, wild blue lupine, bluebirds, blue spotted salamanders, blue herons and blue racer snakes.
A variety of virtual and in-person activities will be offered throughout this year’s week-long festival, from exploring parks and preserves of the region at one of several organized hikes with a naturalist to discovering local natural gems through self-guided tours and activities such as a scavenger hunt and a photo contest. For a complete list of activities and locations, see http://www.oakopenings.org/blue-week/.
“Most people think that you need to travel far to see spectacular plants and animals. But we have an abundance of them close to home,” said Ashlee Decker, the Nature Conservancy’s Green Ribbon Initiative Partner Specialist. “Oak Openings Blue Week is about raising awareness about this rare habitat so that we all can feel proud to live in and help protect and steward the Oak Openings.”