Summer Camp Guides are Out – Get Yours Today!

Summer Camp Brochure

The Aldo Leopold Nature Center’s 2015 Summer Camp Guide hit mailboxes earlier this week, chock full of new programs, nature topics, backpacking adventures, and summer fun for all ages!

Check out the low-res version on our website here, find dates and topics for all ages and registration information here.  If you would like a paper copy of the Guide mailed to you, please give us a call at (608) 221-0404.

Summer Camp registration begins for ALNC Members THIS FRIDAY, FEB. 27th, and for the general public on Friday, March 13th.  Membership starts at just $50 and provides 10% discounts on summer camps and programs, free exhibit admission year-round, members-only events, and more – join or renew today!


Little Free Library Comes to ALNC

IMG_5636Across the world, Little Free Library has a presence on street corners, in driveways, and in parks. This little non-profit has been spreading throughout the world since its Wisconsin beginnings in 2010, and now the Aldo Leopold Nature Center has its own little free library. Throughout the city, you can see some small wooden schoolhouses a bit larger than a mailbox in front of houses or on bike paths. These little houses are filled with free books that anyone can borrow to read. The Little Free Library organization has sold thousands of these houses so that owners can put their favorite books in the small wooden box and share them with the world.

ALNC is now registered on the Little Free Library World Map that shows all of the 15,000 small schoolhouses full of books in the world. Some of the awesome books ALNC has placed in the Little Free Library are Wild About Wisconsin Birds by Adele Porter and Teaching Kids to Love the Earth, which goes hand in hand with our mission statement. IMG_3506The ALNC Little Free Library will be a resource for guides and books about science, learning, and the natural environment Leopold loved.

What is so unique about every Little Free Library is that it is a piece of neighborhood art. Every owner can paint theirs differently and put whichever books they want inside of it. Each Little Free Library is distinct and personal to the owner and the surrounding community. From Ghana to Brazil to the United States, each Little Free Library is a treasure to its community and ALNC is excited to start its own Little Free Library legacy. Take a book, leave a book, and read on!

Flat Stanley at ALNC

ALNC had a visitor this week…’Flat Stanley,’ a pen-pal type activity from a grade-school class in Maryland! Check out Flat Stanley’s photos and notes from his ALNC adventure!

stanley in the prairie rsDear Atilio and Ms. Diaz’s class,

 I finally made it to Madison, Wisconsin last night and met my new friend, Brenna. It’s really cold here (it was -8F when I got here last night!), so Brenna made me some winter clothes right away. Brenna works at a nature center museum, so she brought me with her today. It’s been so much fun!

First, we went for a nature walk through a native Wisconsin prairie. It was snowy, but very beautiful. I saw lots of birds and followed some animal tracks, including rabbit, squirrel, fox, and deer. There were lots of very tall grasses that I had to climb through. Brenna told me that the roots of these grasses go twenty feet deep into the ground and help to hold the soil in place. In the spring, summer, and fall, they bloom with beautiful flowers. Before lots of settlers came to the Midwest, a lot of the region used to be covered with prairies just like this one — these are the same kinds of grasses that used to tickle the bellies of buffaloes!

ice hockey!Then, we ran into some Wisconsin kids playing ice hockey on the pond — it was so much fun! Atilio asked what kind of sports people play in Wisconsin… well it turns out they enjoy the cold winters by playing hockey right on top of the frozen ponds and lakes! (I think they play lots of other sports too. I’ll see what else I can find out about that…)

We went inside the museum to warm up, and I explored the exhibit areas. They have some astronomy exhibits right now, so I got to fly around planet Earth like an astronaut, and then I landed on the moon — it was out of this world!

stanley leaving earthstanley on the moon

Wisconsin has been great so far, and I can’t wait to see what I’ll do this weekend. I’ll write more soon — stay tuned!

Your friend,
Flat Stanley