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Look! Just outside the window, down the street, in your local park. It’s your “Backyard Classroom!” Ding-Ding, nature is in session! Check out these resources for fun, lessons, and how-tos.

Explore Nature

Recycle Your Vegetables - Recyclez Vos Legumes

Recycle Your Vegetables - Recyclez Vos Legumes

Reduce, reuse, recycle! Did you know that you can re-grow your own veggies? Join environmental educator Miguel Santos to learn how you can recycle some of your vegetables at home. (Video content in French with captions in English)

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Explore Nature

Chad the Nature Dad: skipping rocks (Episode 7)

Chad the Nature Dad: skipping rocks (Episode 7)

Ever wondered how to skip a rock? Join Chad the Nature Dad on a beautiful spring evening down at Lake Michigan to learn how. Enjoy!

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Explore Nature

Decals to Prevent Birds from Hitting your Windows

Decals to Prevent Birds from Hitting your Windows

Live and learn! Join environmental educator Miguel Santos and his little ornithologists Dario and Camila to learn how you can prevent birds from hitting your windows. As they say, experience if the best teacher: Once and for all!

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Explore Nature

Chad the Nature Dad (Episode 6)

Chad the Nature Dad (Episode 6)

This week Chad and Kendall went out to the woods on that very rainy Sunday what they found was a flooded forest floor. It created some new streams and opportunities for some fun exploration. Enjoy!

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Little Scientists

Leaf Pounding

Leaf Pounding

Find a cool shaped leaf in your backyard or neighborhood and create some leaf pounding. The vibrant colors of leaves and flowers are easy to preserve by pounding them to release their natural dyes onto paper. Learn the process on how to do it with Environmental Educator, Erin Withney.

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Explore Nature

A nature hike in Kirsten's neighborhood

A nature hike in Kirsten's neighborhood

Go on a hike with Environmental Educator, Kirsten Maier, as she explores her neighborhood park. By hiking with her, you will learn what to find under logs, enjoy some spring flowers and more!

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Explore Nature

Chad the Nature Dad (Episode 5)

Chad the Nature Dad (Episode 5)

Join Chad the Nature Dad as he explores animal tracks in the woods. Get out there and see what tracks you can find especially after a good rain or snow.

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Explore Nature

My Backyard Square (Part 3)

My Backyard Square (Part 3)

Environmental Educator, Regina Miller, is excited to share how things have changed in her backyard square. The mayapples are looking so tall and the fiddleheads have grown a lot. Wild geraniums have got bigger too. Things have really changed. Spring has sprung in Regina's backyard. Check out your backyard or nearby nature to see how nature is changing so quickly!

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Ask A Naturalist: Amphibians in the Ephemeral Pond

Ask A Naturalist: Amphibians in the Ephemeral Pond

You asked questions about the amphibians who are currently at the Riverside Park ephemeral pond and Drew Vandegrift, Restoration Assistant, answered them!

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Explore Nature

The Rock Cycle Recipe

The Rock Cycle Recipe

Did you know that rocks, actually, are constantly changing? Join environmental educator Miguel Santos to go over the rock cycle, and to learn how to cook your own igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic rocks in the kitchen!

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Little Scientists

Chalk & Chirp

Chalk & Chirp

Grab some chalk and hop outside! Draw what birds you spot on the sidewalk for other birding neighbors to find. Enjoy this fun game created by Community Programs Educator, Erin Whitney.

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Explore Nature

Learn about mayapples

Learn about mayapples

Mayapple wildflowers are unique, fruit-bearing plants that grow primarily in woodlands where they frequently form a thick carpet of bright green foliage. Learn more about them with Restoration Assistant, Drew Vandegrift

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Explore Nature

After the Rain Comes the Sun (blog)

After the Rain Comes the Sun (blog)

What's a gall? Environmental Educator, Miguel Santos, explains about this growth on the cone of red cedar trees. (Contenido en español también)

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Explore Nature

Chad the Nature Dad (Episode 4)

Chad the Nature Dad (Episode 4)

On a warm sunny afternoon Kendall and Chad took a bike ride down to Lake Michigan to find some interesting rocks and other cool items. Check it out!

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Little Scientists

What frogs do in different seasons

What frogs do in different seasons

Do you know what frogs like to do throughout the year? Meet our friend Maria and she will tell you more about it! Enjoy this video created by Environmental Educator Kelli Johnson

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Explore Nature

My Backyard Square (Part 2)

My Backyard Square (Part 2)

Environmental Educator, Regina Miller, explores the square she traced in her yard a week ago to see how it has changed in just a few days. You will learn how important the decomposers are for the soil as well as a list of spring flowers that can grow in your yard or in nearby nature.

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Explore Nature

Exploring Nature: Crayfish

Exploring Nature: Crayfish

Crayfish are not just another find in nature. They are fascinating creatures that can indicate the quality of water in a given habitat! Check out this video by the environmental educator Miguel Santos to learn some interesting facts about these common crustaceans.

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Explore Nature

My Backyard Square  (Part 1)

My Backyard Square
(Part 1)

Spring has sprung with lots of things to experience outside! Join Environmental Educator, Regina Miller, as she shows us how to mark out a square to make nature observations in our yards.

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Little Scientists

Learn how to make chalk!

Learn how to make chalk!

Let's get ready for those warmer afternoons and make your own sidewalk chalk! (Contenido en español también)

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Explore Nature

Nature in My Neighborhood

Nature in My Neighborhood

Roger and his son Auden go on a fun and engaging scavenger hunt in their neigbhorhood!

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Explore Nature

Chad the Nature Dad  (Episode 4)

Chad the Nature Dad
(Episode 4)

While playing during a beautiful sunset one evening, Kendall found a little mammal running across a parking lot. Upon further inspection we discovered a furry baby vole!

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Explore Nature

Raccoon Latrines

Raccoon Latrines

Did you know that some animals defecate in communal sites also known as animal latrines? Join environmental educator Miguel Santos to learn what scat is, and check out a real raccoon latrine! Captions available in Spanish (Subtítulos en español también)

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Little Scientists

Make a Nature Journal / Crea un Diario de la Naturaleza

Make a Nature Journal / Crea un Diario de la Naturaleza

Create your own nature journal from things you can find in house and backyard! (Contenido en español también)

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Little Scientists

How to Celebrate Earth Day with your Children

How to Celebrate Earth Day
with your Children

Celebrate Earth Day quarantine style! Use these 5 ideas at home or in your neighborhood.

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Explore Nature

Exploring Nature: Make an Insect Trap! (Part 1)

Exploring Nature: Make an Insect Trap! (Part 1)

Join in on this exciting lesson led by UEC Environmental Educator Miguel Santos, who teaches us all sorts of info about insects in a dynamic virtual class in his backyard. Video content in Spanish with captions in English

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Explore Nature

Exploring Nature: Insects 101 (Part 2)

Exploring Nature: Insects 101 (Part 2)

Part 2: The Study. Insect trap ready? Then, join entomologists Miguel, Dario and Camila to learn interesting facts about insects, and don’t forget to report the results of your research in a nature journal! Video content in Spanish with captions in English

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Little Scientists

Start a Garden in a Toilet Paper Roll

Start a Garden in a
Toilet Paper Roll

Learn how to start a seedling in a planter that you can put right in the ground!

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Little Scientists

Quiz: Garbage, Recycling, or Compost?

Quiz: Garbage, Recycling, or Compost?

Do you know which piece garbage should go in which container? Take this family quiz and find out!

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Explore Nature

Chad the Nature Dad  (Episode 3)

Chad the Nature Dad
(Episode 3)

Join Chad and Kendall in their walk at Cedar swamp where Chad talks about swamps and wetlands. In this video, you will also learn about cedar trees and their leaves. Pay attention to Kendall's tip and take notes for your future hikes!

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Explore Nature

Exploring Nature: Buds

Exploring Nature: Buds

Learn about buds with environmental educator Tory Bahe. What is a bud? What's inside? Count the buds, name of the colors you see, use all the senses to explore buds!

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Nature Observations

Nature Observations

Wondering how to keep learning in nature when you’re stuck at home? Join Environmental Educator Kirsten Maier as she shares one of her favorite outdoor activities: regular visits to a special spot. By spending time in the same spot each week, you’ll get to know one small area of land incredibly well and get a chance to sharpen your observation skills.

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Explore Nature

Exploring Nature: American Toad

Exploring Nature: American Toad

Environmental Educator, Miguel Santos and his children, are looking for amphibians on a rainy day. They find an American toad and Miguel shares some interesting facts about these beautiful creatures. Video content in Spanish with captions in English

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Little Scientists

Marvelous Life of a Frog!

Marvelous Life of a Frog!

Learn about the marvelous life of a frog from Environmental Educator, Kelli Jonshon. Just like us, Frogs start their lives out as little babies and grow up to be adults! This is called a Life Cycle.

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Explore Nature

Chad the Nature Dad  (Episode 2)

Chad the Nature Dad
(Episode 2)

Let's see what these mallard ducks are doing in this tiny puddle of water!

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How to

Spring Garden Cleanup:  Mind the Wildlife

Spring Garden Cleanup:
Mind the Wildlife

Land Steward, Drew Vandegrift, answers FAQs about spring gardening with native plants and wildlife in mind.

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Explore Nature

What to Do for Earth Day 2020

What to Do for Earth Day 2020

While our Earth Day of Service program is cancelled (we miss you already!), we still encourage you to do something to celebrate the earth. Check out this post by Volunteer Program Manager Davita Flowers-Shanklin for more ideas!

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Explore Nature

Explore Nature with your Toddler

Explore Nature with your Toddler

Join Anna and her son Pau on an outdoor toddler adventure! Captions available in Spanish (Subtítulos en español también)

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Explore Nature

Exploring Nature: Feathers

Exploring Nature: Feathers

Environmental Educator Miguel Santos and his kids, Dario and Camila, discover feathers in the woods! Video content in Spanish with captions in English

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Explore Nature

Chad the Nature Dad  (Episode 1)

Chad the Nature Dad
(Episode 1)

Welcome to Chad the Nature Dad! Let's see what we can find under some logs.

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Little Scientists

Fun Science Activities for Kids of All Ages

Fun Science Activities for Kids of All Ages

A list of activities that can be adapted for kids of all ages from Environmental Educator Brynne Drohan. (Contenido en español también)

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Little Scientists

Nature Guide for Kids

Nature Guide for Kids

Check out this printable nature guide for kids!

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Little Scientists

Guía de naturaleza para niños (Contenido en español)

Guía de naturaleza para niños (Contenido en español)

Echa un vistazo a esta guía imprimible en PDF de la naturaleza para niños.

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How to

How to Identify Poison Ivy

How to Identify Poison Ivy

Forester Caitlin Reinartz tells us how to identify and avoid poison ivy in this video.

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How to

How to Control Erosion

How to Control Erosion

Forester, Caitlin Reinartz, teaches us about erosion and how to control it in this video.

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How to

Naturescaping Design Principles

Naturescaping Design Principles

Land Steward, Michaela Rosenthal, describes the benefits and design principles of landscaping with native plants.

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Check back soon for more great content!

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