Discovery Institute

Connect with community, nature, and science while developing skills and knowledge with regional experts. Discover something new! Discovery Institute workshops are designed for adults and interested learners to take a deep dive into the featured topic.

Deer in the Forest

Home Food Preservation: Wild Game

Saturday, March 7, 10 AM - 12 PM
$30, $25 for Members

Andy Hirneisen of Penn State Extension, Berks County, will explain the science behind recommended methods for preserving wild game while dispelling myths and unsafe practices. 

Register now!

Ironweed with Perched Swallowtail Butterfly

Gardening for Wildlife

Saturday, March 28, 10 AM - 12 PM
$15, $10 for Members

Learn to attract birds, bees, butterflies and even bats to your backyard from a master gardener. Learn how plant type and specific features can help determine the wildlife species found in an area. 

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Several Canned Tomato Salsas

The Science of Savory Salsa

Sunday, April 5, 2 - 4 PM

Learn recommended methods for making and processing tomatoes and salsa while dispelling myths and unsafe practices. Review water bath and atmospheric steam canning, acidifying tomato products, safe recipes, and how to make fruit salsas. 

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Person with a digital camera on a trail

Spring Snapshots

Friday, April 17, 11 AM - 1 PM
$25, $20 for Members

Photography lesson on compositional guidelines and tips for outdoor photos followed by guided walk with Noah Rauch. For beginner and hobby photographers. Camera and proper footwear required. Rain date April 24th.

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Rhythm in Nature instructor with various instruments

Rhythms in Nature 

Saturday, April 18, 10 - 11:30 AM
$15, $10 for Members

Learn to make music together using hand percussion from around the world. Includes hands-on music-making, and activities using movement, breath, and voice. No experience or special skills needed. Ages 16 and up.

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Hundreds of horseshoe crabs on the shore

Horseshoe Crabs: Keystone to Shorebird Migration and Survival

Sunday, April 19, 3 - 4 PM
$10, $5 for Members

Although they are the most intensively studied marine invertebrate, scientists are discovering new things about horseshoe crabs all the time. We will explore their educational, medicinal, and ecological importance, as well as their critical role sustaining shorebird populations in North America. 

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You Can Compost!

Sunday, April 19, 2 - 3:30 PM
$15, $10 for Members

Play 'Mother Nature' by learning her tricks for turning waste materials like kitchen scraps and fallen leaves into a valuable soil amendment - compost! Learn about the many benefits of compost for soil and plant health. 

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Rain Barrel in a backyard garden

Rain Barrel Workshop

Sunday, April 26, 2 - 4 PM

Interested in collecting rain to water your garden? Penn State Extension Master Watershed Stewards will guide you through the process of constructing your own, fully functioning rain barrel. 

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Rachel Carson at North Lookout

Rachel Carson: Inspiration, Legacy, and Challenge

Sunday, May 3, 2 - 3 PM
$5, FREE for Members

Get to know the real Rachel Carson, whose call to action led to “eco-everything.” Enjoy a virtual tour of her 1907 birthplace and share her passion for nature in the 50th anniversary year of the National Environmental Protection Act.

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Blooming Dogwood

Wonders of Wildflowers

Saturday, May 16, 1 - 2:30 PM
$10, $5 for Members

Join Kutztown University ecologist Dr. Chris Sacchi for a casual walk featuring the identification of spring flowering plants and general information about forest ecology.

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Nature Offering Medicine Bag

Nature Offering Bag Workshop

Saturday, May 23, 10 AM - 1 PM

Craft your own beautiful leather Nature Offering bag! Together we will develop the practice of art-making with intention and create a leather bag for your journeys in nature. Use leather tools and hand stitching techniques on buckskin to create your bag.

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Medicine Drum

Medicine Drum Making Workshop

Sunday, May 24, 11 AM - 5 PM
$165-195, depending on material and size

Create your own hide drum—great for drum circles or meditation—then join us for a ceremony in a special natural space! The drum is a part of cultures all over the world. This single sided drum is crafted using a wooden maple hoop and a stretched hide head and lacing of your choosing.

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Woman writing in her journal outside

Nature Writing: A Mindfulness Approach

Saturday, May 30, 1 - 3 PM
$20, $15 for Members

Unwind and immerse yourself in nature by practicing writing and mindfulness techniques to open the senses to the healing properties of the forest and its trees. Self-proclaimed non-writers and seasoned journalers are warmly welcomed!

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Ferns in the Native Plant Garden

Fern Foray

Saturday, June 13, 1 - 2:30 PM
$10, $5 for Members

Explore the fresh primal world of ferns and uncover their historic ties to Hawk Mountain. Learn all about these beautiful and ancient plants with an interactive guided tour throughout the Native Plant Garden and surrounding grounds. 

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Bee on flowers

Support Your Local Pollinator

Saturday, June 20, 10 - 11:30 AM
$10, $5 for Members

Learn about our native pollinators and how you can help them survive threats such as climate change, habitat loss, and the chemical use. Then tour the Hawk Mountain Native Habitat Garden and learn about the plants that attract these pollinators. 

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Silver-haired Bat

The Bats of Hawk Mountain

Saturday, July 18, 8 - 10 PM
$15, $10 for Members

Get the stats on the bats on the Mountain! Learn all about our bat kiosk and the important bat research currently being conducted at the Sanctuary. Then head outside to become a bat detector and discover the sounds of these fascinating creatures.

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View of boulders and ridge at North Lookout in the Summer

The Geologic Story of Hawk Mountain & the Central Appalachians

Saturday, July 25, 9:30 AM - 1:30 PM
$20, $10 for Members

Hear the rich geologic story of Hawk Mountain and the Central Appalachians. An illustrated lecture will focus on the rocks, tectonic evolution, and erosional history of the mountain and vicinity. Followed by a guided hike to North Lookout.

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Amy holding a red-tailed hawk at the Raptor Field Techniques Course

Introduction to Raptor Field Techniques Courses

Session 1: Thursday, Sept 10 - 13
Session 2: Thursday, Sept 17 - 20
$650, $600 for Members

Build confidence in your raptor field techniques and learn all about trapping methods, handling, banding, measurements, blood sampling, broadcast call surveys, telemetry, and more. No experience necessary.

* The sessions are identical. You do not need to register for both sessions. 

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Albatrosses of the World

Sunday, September 27, 2 - 3 PM
$5, FREE for Members

These magnificent ocean wanderers are important indicators of the health of our oceans. From Midway Atoll to Antarctic waters, we will virtually roam the oceans in search of their island refuges.

Registration link coming soon!

Meet the Fall Forest

Saturday, October 3, 1 - 2:30 PM
$10, $5 for Members

Join Kutztown University ecologist Dr. Chris Sacchi for a casual walk and learn to identify common trees and fall flowering plants at Hawk Mountain as fall arrives. 

Registration link coming soon!

Raptor Identification Workshop

Saturday, October 10, 9 AM - 1 PM
$20, $10 for Members

Learn to identify raptors in flight during fall migration. Begin with a presentation, then hike to North Lookout to practice new skills. Binoculars available to borrow or purchase.

Registration link coming soon!

Track Plate Workshop

Saturday, October 17, 2 - 4 PM
$20, $10 for Members

Step into the shoes of a field scientist and learn how track data is collected to study wild animals!  Utilizing charcoal track plate methods, we will investigate movement and habitat usage throughout Sanctuary grounds. 

Registration link coming soon!

Pottery 2-Class Workshop

Sunday, November 1 & Sunday, November 15
1 - 3 PM both days

Learn the basics of working with clay and hand-build 4 ceramic leaf plates. Collect fresh leaves and learn about Hawk Mountain's various trees, then shape them into plates and glaze at the second session. Educational, fun, and hands-on!

Registration link coming soon!