LIMA — Get a head start on your new year resolutions or just get outdoors to enjoy the unseasonably warm temperatures with Johnny Appleseed Metropolitan Park District’s New Year Hike Saturday.
Dan Hodges, naturalist with the Johnny Appleseed Metropolitan Park District, said even though it may take a little more effort to get outdoors in the winter, there are still plenty of things to see in the parks.
“The Johnny Appleseed Park District exists to get people connected with the natural world, fostering that connection, and in the wintertime, the natural world doesn’t go away,” Hodges explained.
Though most things are dormant this time of year, Hodges said there are still plenty of aspects of nature that can be enjoyed.
“Everything is kind of subdued, but you still have all the leaves and new growth of next year programmed into the buds,” he explained. “It lets you appreciate trees in a different way — you’re not distracted by the leaves so much, so you can appreciate different trees by its bark, bud and growth pattern.”
Winter is also a great time to see animals on the forest floor as well as winter-resident birds and squirrels not disguised by leaves.
In addition to the New Year Hike and Tree Hike, set for Jan. 25, Johnny Appleseed is also hosting two nighttime hikes.
“Not a lot of people can experience or have experienced nature at night,” Hodges said. “In addition, our parks are usually closed at night, so this gives you the opportunity to experience the natural world in a different way.”
In terms of weather conditions, Hodges said the park district “tries to never cancel anything,” so hikers should use their own discretion and dress for weather conditions if they want to toughen anything out.
Reach Tara Jones at 567-242-0511.