Spring Program Dates Announced
Dates have been announced for our Spring programming, including our most popular...Read Article
2017/18 is FULL! Look for registration for next year in March 2018!
This is a bimonthly drop-off program, which meets from Thursday, September 7th, 2017 to Thursday, May 17th, 2018, from 9-11am, for a total of 18 classes. The classes are designed for students ages 5 to 12. Classes will vary topics based on seasons and will be outdoors. This program is designed to supplement science curriculum and will be taught by knowledgeable naturalists and volunteers. See the complete schedule below.
Cost is $108/school year. Register online HERE.
As of May 25, 20 spots remain open in the morning session and 10 spots in the afternoon session.
September 7th, 2017 – Teambuilding Games
Start the school year off right by learning to work together as a team. Students discover how to effectively communicate and listen to each other through fun and motivational games and activities. This is a fun and challenging program.
September 21st, 2017 – Citizen Science Projects/Phenology
Aldo Leopold once said “keeping records enhances the pleasure of the search and the chance of finding order and meaning in these events.” We will learn what phenology is and also what Citizen Science is and why it’s important to keep long term records in nature. We’ll hike the trails, make phenological observations, and record them in our journals.
October 5th, 2017 – Aquatics part 1 –Abiotic Testing
In Part 1 of our aquatics adventure we will look at the abiotic components of a pond. We’ll head down to the pond and use scientific tools to measure the pH, temperature and dissolved oxygen. We’ll use our results to determine the overall health of the pond.
October 19th, 2017 – Fall Flowers and Invasives /Soil Mapping
The prairie is a community of plants and animals, each with a story to tell. Some plants smell nice, other plants we call weeds or invasives, and still others we can eat! Plants are a very important part of food chains and the ecosystem as a whole. Join us as we learn about plant power and their importance in our lives.
November 2nd, 2017 – Bats
This time of year is when the night time creatures take center stage. We’ll play a game on bat echolocation, learn how mother bats find their young in hibernacula, and one participant will “become” a bat complete with bat adaptations. We’ll also learn how bats are helpful to people and the natural ecosystems they inhabit.
November 16th, 2017 – Reptiles
We will learn all about the group of animals known as reptiles. From snakes to turtles, there are so many fascinating reptiles that can be discovered! We will learn about the adaptations reptiles have for survival and will venture out to see if we can find any reptiles in the pond or prairie.
November 30th, 2017 – White-Tailed Deer
Through tracking, investigating, and games, students will learn about our state wildlife animal, the white-tailed deer. They will focus on adaptations, signs, urban management strategies, and predator/prey relationships.
December 14th, 2017 – Survival part 1 – Survival Kits, Fires, and Water
Many animals hibernate throughout the cold winter months while some survive on limited food. Learn how to survive out in the woods as you put your survival skills to the test. Students will focus on fire starting and learning how to find and purify clean water in part one of winter survival.
January 11th, 2018 – Winter Geocaching/Snowshoeing
|Put your teambuilding skills to the test as you head out on this high-tech adventure. Explore the world of GPS and then put your skills to the test on our course. Can you find all the hidden caches? If there is enough snow, snowshoes will be worn.
January 28th, 2018 – Survival part 2 – Shelters and Hypothermia
In part 2 of our survival series, join us as we learn how to properly prepare for outdoor adventures. We will build shelters and learn about the risks of hypothermia as we work together in order to survive the winter in Wisconsin.
February 8th, 2018 – Cross Country Skiing
Spend the morning learning to cross country ski or work on perfecting your skills. We will learn the basics and spend time practicing before heading out on our ski trails. Ski trails range from 1 mile to 4 miles in length.
February 22nd, 2018 – Snow Science
Bundle up and come out to learn all about the science of snow. Go snowshoeing, create snow sculptures, make snow paintings and learn how to make a snowflake to bring home. We’ll also explore how and why it snows as we try to predict the next snowfall. If no snow is present, we’ll explore winter phenomenon such as ice and animal insulation.
March 8th, 2018 – Tracks, Scat, and Other Signs
Can you tell an herbivore from a carnivore or omnivore just by looking at the skull or their scat? Come and explore bones, skins, tracks, and scat as we learn about the mammals found here in Wisconsin and where they might live.
March 22nd, 2018 – Maple Syrup
Students will learn basic tree identification, try tools used to “tap a tree,” taste sap, learn the science of sap flow and watch it cook down to syrup during the boiling process. They will also get to sample our Maple Syrup over ice cream! A favorite treat for everyone!
April 5th, 2018 – Campfire Cooking
Students will learn some basic recipes and the cooking tools available to produce a snack or meal over a campfire. We will review campfire safety and fire starting. Students will help prepare, make and ultimately sample their cooking.
April 19th, 2018 – Earth Day Project and Trees
In honor of Arbor Day (April 24) and Earth Day (April 22), we’ll celebrate how trees help people, animals and our environment. We’ll help our Kindergarten Woods by pulling the invading garlic mustard. Then we’ll learn about restoration efforts and help the land by planting some native plants or trees. Enjoy giving back to the earth in this “exTREEme” celebration!
May 3rd, 2018 – Bees and Other Insects
What’s the buzz about? Bees! We’ll investigate the lives of bees, which include not only these insects, but also people, plants and other animals. Learn the social roles of each bee in a hive, discover how honey is made and extracted. We’ll also learn about colony collapse and current threats to our bee populations.
May 17th, 2018 – Aquatics part 2 – Biotics
Naturalists will guide students in a preliminary aquatic field study of the pond. During part 2, students will gather data on the living parameters of an aquatic system and will analyze that data with our data from part 1 in order to begin to determine the health of the pond and create discussion on impacts from wildlife and humans.
If your school or group is interested in doing something other than what is listed, contact us about a customized program. We will do our best to accommodate your request.
The nature preserve offers special programs to after school and environmental clubs. We can travel to your school or you can bring a group to the preserve for a visit.
The nature preserve has service learning opportunities for small groups of students so they can learn as they work on a volunteer project. Projects could include trail maintenance or habitat restoration.