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Home School Adventures

This is a bimonthly drop-off program, which meets from Thursday, September 8th, 2016 to Thursday, May 18th, 2017, from 9-11am or 12:30 – 2:30pm, 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 $6 per class (discount given if registering for the full school year).  Currently registration is by mail only.

2016/17 Session is FULL!


September 8th, 2016 – GPS and Geocaching

Put your team building 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?  Both the younger and older students will work together during this class.

September 22nd, 2016 – 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.

October 6th, 2016 – Fall Forest Frenzy

Fall is a time for change.  Explore the forest as we look for the different ways species adapt to the season and plan for the winter ahead.  Investigate why leaves change color or what the animals are doing to prepare.

October 20th, 2016 – Earth Materials

Ever wonder where minerals come from or how rocks are made? 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.

November 3rd, 2016 – Creatures of the Night

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.

November 17th, 2016 – Decomposers and Soils

We’d be neck-deep in last year’s plant litter if it weren’t for the crawly critters we usually overlook! We’ll turn over logs and dig into the soil to get an up-close view of how nature recycles and reuses its own plant material.  We will explore and compare the soils of a variety of habitats to see if it impacts the creatures found there.

December 1st, 2016 – Sensory Awareness

As winter approaches the weather, habitats, and animals begin to change.  We will use our senses as we explore the changing seasons.  Learn about phenology and begin to track and record changes throughout the seasons.

December 15th, 2016 – Skins, Bones, and Unknowns

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.

January 12th, 2016 –Survival

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.

January 26th, 2016 – Whooo cooks for you?

Explore the world of owls and why this time of year is the best time to hear them.  Owls are spending their time finding food sources and places where they can nest.  We will go on a search for signs of owls but also spend some time dissecting owl pellets.

February 9th, 2016 – 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 23rd, 2016 – Winter Tracking with Snowshoes

Strap on some snowshoes and create tracks like the animals.  We will learn the basics of tracking and then create our own trails as we search for animals that might be out in the winter.  Explore tracks stories and perhaps come up with some of our own!

March 9th, 2017 – 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 23rd, 2017 – 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 6th, 2017 – Wetland Romp

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!

April 20th, 2017 – Nature Journals/Nature Art

Now is a great time to reflect on all of the activities we did during the year! You will get to make your very own nature journal to take home with you and record in throughout the summer time.  Students will also create land art out of natural materials.

May 4th, 2017 – May the Fungus be among us

From puffballs to morels, fungus is all around us! We’ll learn some common types of fungus, what their role is in the ecosystem, dissect a mushroom, how to make spore print and much, much more!

May 18th, 2017 – Aquatic Field Studies

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.

Homeschool Adventures


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.