There’s nothing like a stroll in the great outdoors, especially in spring, when nature is roaring back from hibernation. And there are a few opportunities to stretch legs, breathe fresh air, and commune with local flora and fauna in Queens this weekend.

On Saturday, May 12, the Queens County Bird Club will lead an estimated two-hour walk for birding beginners around the Alley Pond Environmental Center in Douglaston, starting at 9:30 a.m.

Club Vice President Nancy Tognan will take the group around the marsh, where coots, ducks, geese, grebes, and swans should be doing their thing. She hopes some other feathered friends will be there, too, and she plans to offer a quick lesson in binocular and field guide usage.

(The Queens County Bird Club will also host a lecture on birding in Antarctica and Argentina at Alley Pond on Wednesday, May 16, at 8 p.m.)

At 2 p.m. on May 12, NYC licensed tour guide Jo-Anne Raskin will lead a jaunt through Maple Grove Cemetery, starting at 2 p.m. Raskin, who is on the Kew Gardens resting place’s Friends board, will discuss the interesting and influential permanent residents. She’ll also take the crew through Monument Park and explain the meaning behind some of the Victorian funerary symbols and monument styles.

In a separate event on the same day, Maple Grove will present Jewish Music through the Ages at 4 p.m. The concert celebrates the 70th anniversary of Israel’s founding and honors the many Jewish people who are in eternal rest at the cemetery.

It’s not exactly in the middle of nature, but LIC Springs is set for noon to 5 p.m. on May 12. This fifth annual block party extraordinaire will run from Vernon Boulevard from 50th Avenue to 46th Avenue. With participation from more than 100 groups, activities will include live music, dance, theater, art, fitness classes, outdoor dining, street games, and great people-watching.

Top image: Alley Pond Environmental Center


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