ALNC UPDATES

Welcome! Our facility is open on weekdays from 9am to 4pm and on weekends from 10am to 2pm.

Wearing a face mask indoors is optional. Because we are a childcare facility and follow public health protocols, we have limited access to some public offerings and areas of our facility. We appreciate your patience as we work to find a healthy balance of access and safety for our community.

As always, our grounds and trails featuring self-guided tours are free and open daily from dawn until dusk.

Grades 6-8

Field Trips are offered in Fall, Winter, and Spring!

Learning occurs naturally during our environmental education programs! Most programs fit well into a 90-minute program, but some can be adjusted to allow for longer exploration, additional activities, or more in-depth investigation. Click here for Field Trip program fees and logistics.

Please contact our School Program Coordinator at schools@aldoleopoldnaturecenter.org or
(608) 216-9378 with questions and to reserve a day and time for your field trip.


 

Aquatic Field Studies

Environmental Educators will guide students in a detailed aquatic field study of the ALNC pond. Using scientific tools, students will measure pH, temperature, dissolved oxygen turbidity, and invertebrate biodiversity. Abiotic and biotic data will be compared and contrasted to past field studies at the ALNC pond. Results will help students determine if the biodiversity of this particular wetland has remained stable or if there are signs of disruption in the ecosystem.

 

Climate Patterns and Change

The rhythms of nature are shifting. Students will have the opportunity to record weather data, plant and animal observations, and compare their records with historical seasonal patterns recorded by the Leopold family. Through a hands-on activity, students will role play the carbon cycle to help recognize the cycle’s imbalance and causes that researchers have attributed to the rapid change in climate. We will work together to innovate and create solutions to mitigate climate change.

 

Glaciers: Past, Present, and Future

Wisconsin is one of the best places to witness many of the landforms created by continental glaciation. The last Ice Age, known as Wisconsin Glaciation, ended approximately 10,000 years ago and is responsible for much of Wisconsin’s landscape today. Students will hike a glacial drumlin to experience the local result of glaciation. Students will get their hands on a “model” glacier to closely observe the influence glacial meltwaters have on the land. Students and Educators will discuss how the earth’s glaciers are currently changing and the mitigating efforts to adapt to those changes.
When available, a NOAA database will be viewed on ALNC’s Science on the Sphere to witness the effect climate change has on glaciers and the ramifications of melting ice.

 

Leopold’s Legacy

Students learn about the Leopold family’s legacy and how Aldo Leopold’s land ethic has influenced conservation efforts today. Students will explore the interconnected ecosystems of the ALNC woods, wetlands, and prairie, journal their observations, and then compare those observations to phenological records. Discussions will include present day environmentalists inspiring today’s youth and tomorrow’s generation.

 

Navigation

The North Star, moss on the north side of a tree, the sun rises in the east, all manners of finding our way. ALNC has two program options to match the skill levels of students:

Introduction to Mapping This program introduces students to a variety of maps, use of the compass rose and legend. Students will use these skills on an ALNC map scavenger hunt to find “nature treasures”. Introduction of compass is included.

Orienteering This program has students learning the basic skills of orienteering. Students will learn the parts of a compass, how to use it properly, and then practice on ALNC’s course. Students will also learn techniques necessary to build their own orienteering course.

 

Outdoor Survival

Anyone could find themselves in a situation where they need to use survival skills. Not only must we respect natural forces but also learn what nature provides to help us survive. Students will learn how to dress appropriately, pack a survival kit, and work cooperatively to develop a strategy when faced with a crisis situation. Outdoors, the students work in teams to build a fire, boil water, and make a debris shelter.

 

Snowshoe Science

Snowshoeing is a great way to experience the sights and sounds of nature in Winter. After introducing the history of snowshoeing and learning about various styles, each student will have the opportunity to hike the ALNC grounds in snowshoes! We’ll head out across the snow covered landscape and practice basic snowshoeing skills and techniques. Along the hike, we’ll search for animal tracks and discuss the science and nature of snowshoeing.
Sit ski available for students with physical disabilities, giving them an opportunity to get outside and explore the snow packed trails alongside their classmates!

 

Team Building

What are the attributes of a good team and why are teams important? In this program, students will be given progressively more difficult “initiative games” to challenge their problem solving, creative thinking and communication skills. ALNC Educators will select the best initiatives to help your class build trust and cooperation, and work to achieve a common goal in a physically-safe environment.

Aldo Leopold Nature Center