My New Book “Michigan Wildlife: A Coloring Field Guide” is on Kickstarter!

 

 

Check it out: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/nei/michigan-wildlife-a-coloring-field-guide

 

For several years, I have been working on the text of a coloring book about Michigan wildlife. The project is nearly finished, and I am asking for contributions towards publishing and illustration costs in exchange for original rewards. The books will be printed in early December, and will make for thoughtful and educational gifts. 

 

Not just a coloring book, it is a comprehensive field guide with detailed information on some of Michigan’s most interesting animals. Unique coloring pages for the 31 featured species include facts that are formatted like a guide book. 

 
If you support this project, you will receive a signed copy before the book is officially released. You will help years of work to become a reality. You will provide an opportunity for children and adults to strengthen their naturalist knowledge. Your generosity will also reach far into the future, because all book proceeds will help my environmental education organization to establish a permanent classroom in Northern Michigan.
 

I founded Nature Explorers International (NEI) with the mission to: inspire excitement and curiosity for the environment through art, science, and outdoor experiences. I have worked with children and animals in 19 countries over the last 15 years. The Nature Explorers activities in this publication are designed to encourage readers to get outside and learn about native species. 

There are four sections: amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals. Each part starts with a background in natural history and includes a species checklist, an art project, science experiment, game, and outdoor activity. For every animal, there is an illustration to color in, a Michigan range map, and information on size, habitat, diet, and life-cycle. Tracks, scat, silhouettes, and bird calls are included to allow for more in depth investigations. The “Nature Knowledge Dictionary” in the back has 150 definitions of ecological terms that will help everyone to get the most out of their experience. This project will serve as an easy-to-use resource for teachers, outdoor enthusiasts, parents, and children of all ages. 

 
For as long as I can remember, I have dreamed of writing books. I look forward to being able to reach a wider audience through this medium, and have plans for educational adventure stories about unique animals. I hope to take graphic design courses this winter, and use my own photography to illustrate books about animals such as lemurs and proboscis monkeys, pygmy elephants, and tarsiers. 
 

This Kickstarter project will serve as a stepping stone into my future. The book will be self-published, and is illustrated by an amazingly talented artist: Patrick B. Bradley. Your contribution will help to pay for the usage of artwork and printing costs. A percentage of all future books sold will be donated to the Benzie Conservation District, who is generously helping with graphic design. 

 
The remainder of proceeds will be used to create a new space for Nature Explorers in Benzonia, Michigan. By next summer, doors will open at our  new indoor and outdoor classroom. The property is perfect, with a large room that opens up to a forested area. It was a carriage house in the early 1900’s, and renovated into a shop by my father in the 1990’s for his handmade leather shoe business. I have spent countless hours of my life on the land, and am very grateful that this opportunity for a Nature Explorers home has become available. 
 

There is a need in Northern Michigan for educational enrichment options for both locals and visitors. I have been running nature based summer camps since 2001, and a variety of programming in the Benzie County area since 2008. I am always moving between classroom spaces in different locations. Loading up supplies, setting up and tearing down, and moving things around. To have a space that is designed to be the perfect learning environment for my students will open up limitless possibilities for future programs. 

 
The new classroom has a long wish list, and the future sales of this publication will allow me the chance to accomplish many goals. I will need to make remodels to the building and the grounds for licensing and insurance. Outdoor environment plans include a vegetable garden, fruit trees, a greenhouse, and a chicken coop. 
 

My Kickstarter goal will cover the minimum amount of funds needed to finally get this book out in the world. If I surpass my donations goal, it will all go towards transforming the new space. Thank you to my supporters, old and new. I know that you won’t be disappointed with this project, and I am so excited for you to get your copy of Michigan Wildlife: A Coloring Field Guide.   

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