We invite you out for a hike to explore the magic of the natural world, our trails are free and open daily from dawn until dusk.

We ask that all staff and visitors follow our mask policy to help keep everyone safe and slow the spread of COVID-19.

Please stay tuned and do not hesitate to contact us with questions at

*Please note our facility’s date of reopen to the public is based on public health recommendations and other factors.

Nature School

PROGRAM UPDATE: Fall registration now open!



With MMSD’s recent decision to offer a virtual option for elementary students, ALNC will once again offer Nature School this fall. The program will run daily from 1-4pm, Monday-Friday from Sept. 20 – Dec. 17, 2021. There will be no Nature School on MMSD and MGSD No School Days for the fall/winter semester. Vacation day programs are offered on these days off of school as an alternate option. Please find more information below or contact

Join us for excitement and adventure as we explore the sights and sounds of the changing seasons in the prairie, pond and woodlands. This program is designed to augment virtual learning and give children an opportunity to engage with their peers, in nature, in safe and educational ways.

This drop-off program is appropriate for children in grades K-5.


What you can expect at Nature School:

  • Curbside drop-off and pick-up. Drop-off time: 1 to 1:15pm. Pick-up time: 4:00 to 4:15pm. Parents are to stay in their vehicles at all times unless there are tears and their child needs help with the transition. If you need to leave your vehicle to escort your child to their group, a mask is required for all adults that enter the group, so please have one available if needed. ALNC will conduct a Verbal Health Screening upon arrival. Our staff will conduct curbside check-in and check-out during these times only. If you must drop-off or pick-up outside these windows, please contact (608) 221-0404 x0. Thank you for your patience as we navigate this change in policy.
  • Each group will be between 8 and 10 children and one staff member. Groups will not co-mingle and assigned ALNC staff will only work with their individual group to reduce as many transitions/contacts as possible.
  • Outdoor handwashing stations will be available throughout the ALNC grounds. Children will wash hands upon arrival, in between activities, before and after snacks, and before departing. Staff will carry hand sanitizer to use as appropriate if a handwashing station isn’t nearby. 
  • Please expect and prepare your child to be outside at all times as long as weather permits. We expect to use inside spaces only in the event of inclement weather (i.e. thunder or lightning) and for bathroom breaks, filling water, etc.

Children should bring:

  • Backpack.
  • Snack (if they have a special dietary need).
  • Refillable Water bottle. Drinking fountains will not be used for sanitary reasons, but places to fill water bottles will be available.
  • Mask with a baggie to keep in (extra masks are recommended). ALNC is requiring masks be worn inside the building as well as outside. Please prepare your camper for this as well as let them know that staff will also be wearing masks at drop-off and at other times inside and out.
  • Comfortable shoes that can get wet.
  • Full change of clothes, including layers for all weather and a raincoat as needed.
  • Baggie containing: markers and/or crayons and a pencil and/or pen. If you do not have a supply or access to these at home, ALNC can provide an individual baggie for your camper.
  • Please discuss physical distancing with your camper before they arrive. ALNC staff will share guidelines at the beginning of camp, but it will be helpful if children are already aware and mindful.
  • Please label each item clearly with camper’s name.

Please email our Camps Coordinator at with any questions you may have.

In the interest of public health during the COVID-19 pandemic, we will be operating differently until further notice, taking additional precautions to help decrease risk to our students and staff. How this looks may change depending on the program and the current metrics of our community. We will always err on the side of caution and cancel or modify programs if we even suspect we’ve had a positive case on site and therefore ask families to be prepared for last minute alterations or cancellations of programs. While this may be inconvenient and challenging, we strongly believe it is the correct choice in order to keep your family, our staff and our community as safe as possible. We will promptly share information with public health authorities, families and staff as soon as we learn of a possible or confirmed positive case.

Depending on the program, changes in our operation during the pandemic include some or all of the following:

  • Our facility remains closed to the public until further notice.
  • We are requiring curbside pick-up and drop-off for some programs and outdoor meeting spots for others.
  • Most or all activities will take place outdoors, and we may need to cancel in the event of inclement weather.
  • Outdoor handwashing stations will be available throughout the ALNC grounds and frequent handwashing will be required.
  • All staff and participants are required to wear masks when indoors and outdoors. Please review our mask policy.
  • Our facility and materials will be disinfected frequently.
  • Groups will be kept small, and we will restrict the number of programs, family members, chaperones or others allowed on-site.
  • In the event of a positive case or other community metrics, some programs may be canceled or postponed with short notice in accordance with public health guidelines.

Registration policies
Your registration is not completed until payment is received and your payment is non-refundable unless the class is cancelled by ALNC staff. Pre-registration and advanced payment is highly recommended as classes do fill up. For questions or to register by phone, call 608-221-0404 x 1.
Medical Form
Completed medical information is required for all Nature School participants. Medical forms are included during program registration – you may fill them out as you go or log back in to complete. If skipped, you will receive an email reminder from us requesting that you submit information prior to your child’s first program. Please contact the Camp Coordinator ( if you have any questions or problems.
Cancellation Policy
Please notify us of any cancellations at least 7 days before the program.
If you inform us:

  • At least 2 weeks in advance, we will provide a refund (minus 15% administrative fee) or transfer you to an alternate session.
  • At least 1 week in advance, we will issue you a voucher (minus 15% administrative fee) or transfer you to an alternate session.
  • Any cancellations or non-attendance after 1 week in advance will result in a full charge of the class fee.

Aldo Leopold Nature Center