Nature Feature: Sugar Maple (Acer saccharum)
The sugar maple is a hardwood tree native to the north-eastern areas of North America. They are known for the transformation of their leaves from green to bright orange in the fall and for being the primary source for maple syrup. They are a deciduous tree which means they grow their leaves in the spring and then lose them in the fall as they prepare to go dormant for the winter. Sugar maple leaves have five ‘lobes’ and are fairly large reaching up to eight inches long and wide. Sugar maples are tolerant of shade, meaning that they grow well in closed canopies where other trees block direct sunlight. While they will grow in shade, are easy to transplant, and grow quickly, they are very susceptible to air-pollution.
Learn about other plants and animals on the MY LAND page.
Photo Contest: Kids' Nature Poster
Nature is a great science teacher! Head outdoors with your kids and apply the first priciple of the scientific method - observe! What do you observe in nature that you find interesting or inspiring?
Kids can use a camera to take a photo of what they observe in our natural world, then submit their photo in one of three categories: 1) kids in nature, 2) nature scenery, and 3) nature close-ups.
Winning photos will be included in a photo collage poster for the Children of Indiana Nature Park. Read the official contest rules and submit your entry from the Outdoor Fun page.
One of Indianapolis’ oldest parks, Holliday Park is located just six miles north of downtown and encompasses 94-acres of beautiful green space. Visitors can explore the nature center, play on a hard-to-leave playground, hike more than 3.5 miles of picturesque trails, or take a stroll around the one-of-a-kind Holliday Park Ruins.
The professional staff offers environmental education programs year-round to help visitors enjoy all that the park offers. The newly-remodeled Habitat Hall in the nature center is a great spot to visit in the winter or when the weather is crummy. The park grounds are fantastic no matter the season.
Creek stomping is a favorite activity at Holliday Park! A number of wetland areas, seeps, and springs that all feed the White River can be found here. Because of this variety of wetland habitats, visitors are able to find all sorts of cool aquatic creatures.