Learn to grow native plants, count birds, frogs and toads at Fort Wayne-area conservation organizations’ events

Learn how to collect, process, store and grow native plant seeds, such as milkweed, during the Seed Propagation Workshop on Feb. 10 at the Little River Wetlands Project office on Smith Road. (By Kevin Kilbane of News-Sentinel.com)

You can learn how to gather and grow native plant seeds, count birds or frogs and toads, attract wildlife to your property, and identify wildflowers during upcoming programs offered by local conservation groups.

Here are details:


People will learn techniques to gather, process, store and grow native plant seeds at this workshop organized by the Northeast Chapter of the Indiana Native Plant and Wildflower Society (INPAWS). Time will be split about evenly between instruction and hands-on activity.

Sessions Feb. 10 are 10 a.m.-noon, which still has openings, and 1-3 p.m., which is full.

Instruction will take place at the Little River Wetlands Project office, 5000 Smith Road. Registration is required by emailing d.claussen@lrwp.org.


The public is invited to take part in Great Backyard Bird Counts at both Fox Island and Metea county parks:

• Fox Island, 7324 Yohne Road: 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Feb. 16-17 at the Vera Dulin Wildlife Observation Building in the park. Pre-register by Feb. 11 with your name and contribution for a potluck meal. Up to 15 pairs of binoculars available.

• Metea, 8401 Union Chapel Road: 1:30-3:30 p.m. Feb. 18-19; meet in the nature center. Pre-register by Feb. 11.

Entry fee for either park is $2 per person, or free with an annual county parks pass. Donations of bird suet feed are welcomed.


You can learn to gather information about local frog and toad populations by listening for and reporting their breeding calls during FrogWatch USA volunteer training offered by the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo.

Frogs and toads are “indicator species” that often feel the first impact from pollution and habitat loss, an event news release said. Their numbers have been declining, and scientists need help monitoring the animals’ populations.

You can attend one of two free FrogWatch USA training sessions: 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Feb. 17 or 24, both at the Zoo Education Center at 600 Franke Park Drive. The training is open to families, teens, adults and youth groups. Bring a sack lunch and drink.

Register for one of the training sessions by calling the zoo volunteer office at 1-260-427-6828 or e-mail volunteer@kidszoo.org.


Professor Bruce Kingsbury, associate dean of arts and sciences at IPFW and director of its Environmental Resources Center, will discuss how to attract more wildlife to your yard through providing food sources and habitat. The presentation organized by the Northeast Chapter of INPAWS will take place at 6:30 p.m. March 20 at Summit City Brewerks, 1501 E. Berry St.

You can enjoy food and brews during Kingsbury’s talk.


Learn how to identify wildflowers using clues from the plants, guidebooks and magnifiers during a hike 8:45-11 a.m. April 14 at Fogwell Forest Nature Preserve, 9630 Whippoorwill Drive. Carpooling is required, so people must meet beforehand at Starbucks, 5723 Coventry Lane, in the Village at Coventry shopping center.

The hike, which is organized by the Northeast Chapter of INPAWS, is limited to 15 people. Register on www.eventbrite.com.