Educational Activities

Here you will find lots of information on a variety of the creatures & wildlife found in the Waterloo Recreation Area. Farther down, there are some activities to test your knowledge of animal tracks and tree leaves!

Creatures of Waterloo

If you've ever wondered what kind of fauna and flora you might see in the Waterloo Recreation Area, check out some of these Creature Features. Many of these plants and animals can be found while walking the Eddy Discovery Center trails ( Click here to go to the MDNR's Discovery Center hiking trails pdf).

Click on any of the following for features of Southeast Michigan's Waterloo Recreation Area (WRA):

Buckeye Butterfly at the Eddy Discovery Center - Southeast Michigan's visitor center in the Waterloo Recreation Area

Bald Eagles in Waterloo (489 KB pdf)

Butterflies of Waterloo (766 KB pdf)

Birds of Waterloo's Prairies (743 KB pdf)

Black Spruce Bog (293 KB pdf)

Dragons and Damsels (736 KB pdf)

Flowers from the Fen (460 KB pdf)

Ghost Plants of Waterloo (430 KB pdf)

Least Bittern (655 KB pdf)

Mink and River Otter (230 KB pdf)

Pitcher Plant (387 KB pdf)

Rare Spotted turtle found in WRA (205 KB pdf)

Sandhill Cranes Remarkable Recovery (264 KB pdf)

Shorebirds on Parade (1.09 MB pdf)

Turkey Vultures (856 KB pdf)

Two Little Squirrels (670 KB pdf)

Sundew (346 KB pdf)

Woody Woodpecker Makes a Comeback (853 KB pdf)


Pitcher Plants

Carnivorous Plants are Not Science Fiction!

In the bogs and fens of the Waterloo Recreation Area, live plants that lie in wait for unsuspecting animals. Not to worry, you are safe unless you are an insect! The most common is the pitcher plant whose leaves resemble water pitchers that actually hold water. Unsuspecting insects fall into a leaf’s the watery pit, drown and sink to the bottom. Then the leaf releases digestive enzymes that dissolve the soft parts of the insects. Eventually the lower section of the leaf be-comes filled with insect exoskeletons and the leaf dies, but not before it is replaced by a new one.

Two of the images show the plant leaf that fills with water; a death trap for unsuspecting insects. The third image shows the picher plant flower

You can see these fascinating plants along the bog trail boardwalk at the Gerald E. Eddy Discovery Center ( Click here to go to the MDNR's Discovery Center hiking trails pdf). The plants are visible most of the year.

Click here for a pdf version of the Pitcher Plant Creature Feature

Pitcher Plant on the bog trail, Gerald E. Eddy Discovery Center - Southeast Michigan's visitor center in the Waterloo Recreation Area

Another Pitcher Plant on the bog trail, Gerald E. Eddy Discovery Center - Southeast Michigan's visitor center in the Waterloo Recreation Area

Pitcher Plant flower

Games & Activities

Tracks of Waterloo

Match each track with the animal that made it. To check your answers, click the How'd I Do? button below. Hint: Tracks are not to scale













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Trees of Michigan

Match each tree leaf with its name. To check your answers, click the How'd I Do? button below.













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