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Registration is now open for the 2020-2021 season!

This is a bimonthly drop-off program, which meets from Tuesday September 8th, 2020 to Thursday, December 17th, for a total of 8 classes. Class times are 9 – 11am or 1 – 3pm. The classes are designed for students ages 5 to 12. Classes will vary topics based on season and will be outdoors. This program is designed to supplement science curriculum and will be taught by knowledgeable naturalists and volunteers. Ages 9-12 meet on Tuesdays and ages 5-8 meet on Thursdays.

Cost is $55/student for 8 classes 

We do accept payment from virtual schools. If you have a student enrolled in a Virtual Academy, you will receive an invoice which you are responsible for submitting to the school. When registering please select the pay by check or virtual academy option.

Topics & Dates for Semester 1:

Prairie Life and Quadrat Studies
Summer might be “bug” season but where do the insects go once winter arrives.  Students will explore the prairie and investigate the life cycle of some of nature’s most amazing short-lived creatures.  Younger students will focus on insects and common prairie plants.  Older students will complete quadrat studies and compare different areas while focusing on identification.

Olders: September 8, 2020 – Quadrat Studies

Youngers: September 10, 2020 – Prairie Life

Wild Edibles and Plant Power
Plants are everywhere! Some plants smell nice, other plants we call weeds, 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.  Older students will focus on edible plants found at the Preserve.  Younger students will focus on what makes a plant a plant.

Olders: September 29, 2020 – Wild Edibles

Youngers: October 1, 2020 – Plant Power

Teambuilding Games
Learn 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. Older students will hop on the low ropes course for some new experiences.

Olders: October 7, 2020 – Teambuilding (Wednesday)

Youngers: October 8, 2020 – Teambuilding

Nature’s Tricksters
Take part in learning about adaptations such as mimicry and camouflage that animals use to fool us and each other.  They will play games and put their skills to the test in their own game of camouflage.

Olders: October 20, 2020 – Nature’s Tricksters

Youngers: October 22, 2020 – Nature’s Tricksters

Archery and Water, Water
Older students will learn the basics of archery.  They will learn the parts, how to be safe, and how to use a bow and arrow.  They will get a chance to practice their skills as well during their session.  Younger students will spend the class learning about water resources, exploring the water cycle, experimenting with fresh and salt water and seeing water conservation in action.

Olders: November 3, 2020 – Archery

Youngers: November 5, 2020 – Water, Water

Night Hike – TIME CHANGE TO 5:30 TO 7:30 PM
This time of year is when the night time creatures take center stage. With Halloween just occurring, it is a perfect time to learn all about the animals that rule the night sky.

Olders: November 17, 2020 – Night Hike

Youngers: November 19, 2020 – Night Hike

Earth Materials and Fossils
Ever wonder where minerals come from or how rocks are made or where Fossils came from? We will observe, discover and learn about the 3 types of rocks and how they each are formed.  We will then explore the preserve’s homestead quarry in search of examples of these rocks, minerals, and fossils.

Olders: December 1, 2020 – Earth Materials

Youngers: December 3, 2020 – Earth Materials

Nature Crafts and Building with Nature
Imagine all of the different art projects that can be done using natural materials! We will use what nature has provided us to make beautiful creations. Coloring with mud and turning pine cones into animals are just a few of the projects that can be done using objects found in nature.

Olders: December 15, 2020 – Natural Crafts

Youngers: December 17, 2020 – Natural Crafts


Check back for more information on 2nd semester

January 7, 2021 – Snow Science
Bundle up and come out to learn all about the science of snow.  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.

January 21, 2021 – Winter Survival and Animal Homes
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.  A positive attitude will help get you through as well as a few other tips and tricks.

February 4, 2021 – Cross Country Skiing and Snowshoeing
Older students will spend their time learning to cross country ski.  We will learn the basics and spend time practicing before heading out on our ski trails. Younger students will tackle the trails on snowshoes in search of animal tracks.  They will play games and learn how animals move.

February 18, 2021 – Tracks and Scat
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 4, 2021 – Wisconsin Birds
It’s that time of year when birds start to come back from their long migrations.  Investigate adaptations of birds.  Learn about bird migration as well as bird identification through field guides and binoculars.  Older students will complete their own citizen science monitoring.

March 18, 2021 – 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 1, 2021 – Grossology
Students will roll up their sleeves as they become grossologists, studying all things ooey goey throughout the preserve. We will turn over logs, dig in the mud, and explore some of the ickier areas of the preserve.

April 15, 2021 – Sensory
Spring is a time to use all our senses! See beautiful spring wildflowers, smell much from the pond and sniff the skunk cabbage, hear migrating birds and frog choruses, feel the different textures of nature and explore all things spring with our senses!

April 29, 2021 – Wetlands and Spring Flora
Explore what most of our preserve is made up of – swamps and wetlands!   Students will create their own wetlands and learn their importance.  They will explore the wetlands for any signs of spring.  Wear muck boots if you have them!

May 13, 2021 – Pond Biotics
Students will become scientists as they work together to gather data in order to determine the health of the pond.  They will look at not only the physical characteristics of the pond but also look at what creatures begin to call the pond home during the spring.

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