KAYSVILLE – Even in winter, nature can still be bustling with activity.
The USU Botanical Center wants to prove this to residents with its upcoming Winter Walk, set for Jan. 28 at 6:30 p.m. at the garden’s Varga Arboretum. The event, part of the center’s monthly Explore the Garden series, will lead residents on a walk to find animal tracks in the UBC gardens.
“Hopefully we’ll find some squirrel or other small animal tracks,” said Mindy McAllister, the education program coordinator at the botanical center. “I know we have muskrats in the ponds.”
Those who take part in the walk are also likely to see bird tracks throughout the garden.
“They’re looking for food just like everyone else,” said McAllister.
The event will start in a classroom at the Utah House, where attendees will get information on how different animals survive the winter.
“They have so many adaptations,” she said.
The walk is expected to start around dusk, and organizers suggest that people dress warmly to participate.
“We want to give people the chance to enjoy being outdoors,” she said. “Even in winter, it’s a good way to appreciate everything we have right here in the county.”
Even though some of it has turned to ice, the snow on the ground should make it easier for attendees to spot animal tracks. Last year, an unusually warm winter made plans for a similar walk impossible.
“There wasn’t any snow, so we had to cancel it,” said McAllister. “Luckily, that isn’t the case this year.”
Admission costs $3 per person, or $10 for a family of up to six members. Pre-registration is required, and can be done online at usubotanicalcenter.org. Though registration for the Winter Walk is still open, the growing popularity of the monthly events sometimes means that slots fill up fast.
“Folks seem to really enjoy them,” said McAllister. “We have couples, singles and whole families come depending on the event.”
Next month’s event, set for Feb. 23, will focus on the more domestic aspects of the Utah House. Shirl Shepherd, owner of Pa’s Chocolates, will demonstrate chocolate dipping techniques. Attendees will then get to dip their own chocolate to take home.
“We want to get folks to the botanical center and give them a taste of what we offer to the community,” she said. “We try to present something a little bit different each time.”