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UEC In My Backyard for Everyone

Thank you Heartland Value Fund for presenting October's UEC in My Backyard content

Toddlers, kids, teens, and adults will all find something to love here. Through video series, self-guided hikes, and more, the whole family will find inspiration to learn about and get out into nature here.

Video

Naturalmente: La Parra Salvage (Riverbank Grape)

Naturalmente: La Parra Salvage (Riverbank Grape)

Why does riverbank grape climb up trees? Join environmental educator Miguel Santos to learn about this common woody vine. Content in Spanish with captions in English. (Contenido en español también)

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Blog

Ten Tips for a Ten Mile Hike

Ten Tips for a Ten Mile Hike

Before you go for your next hike, check out these ten tips for a successful adventure from Community Programs Manager Mike Larson.

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Video

Five Facts about the Coho Salmon

Five Facts about the Coho Salmon

Danny is hanging out by the Menomonee River today during peak salmon migration season. Let's learn five facts about one species you can see migrating right here in Milwaukee: the Coho Salmon.

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Video

Chad the Nature Dad: Spiders

Chad the Nature Dad: Spiders

Spiders are an important part of our world. They help control pest populations and have many amazing adaptations to help them. Join Kendall and Chad the Nature Dad as they explore spiders!

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Video

Naturalmente: La Hierba del Ajo (Garlic Mustard!)

Naturalmente: La Hierba del Ajo (Garlic Mustard!)

Join environmental educator Miguel Santos and “botanists” Dario and Camila to learn about the good and bad news about garlic mustard. Content in Spanish with captions in English. (Contenido en español también)

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Video

Five Facts about the Eastern Chipmunk

Five Facts about the Eastern Chipmunk

Fall is here and that means preparations for winter have begun! Join Danny to learn five facts about some of the busiest mammalian hoarders around: chipmunks!

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Video

Chad the Nature Dad: Erosion

Chad the Nature Dad: Erosion

While hiking along the bluffs of Lake Michigan and then in a kayak, Chad noticed that some bluffs were receding quickly. Join Chad in an adventure on the lake as he explores the erosion of our bluffs along Lake Michigan.

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Video

Five Facts about the Carolina Grasshopper

Five Facts about the Carolina Grasshopper

With their eggs laid, Carolina Grasshoppers have now completed their life-cycle and the adults will soon die. Join Danny in the Riverside Park prairie to learn five facts about these adaptable, widespread insects.

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Video

How To Make a Bird Seed Bell

How To Make a Bird Seed Bell

Follow along with this step-by-step guide for creating a unique bird feeder that you can hang in your yard.

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Video

Backyard Birding Blitz Lecture: Plume Raider (Feathers!)

Backyard Birding Blitz Lecture: Plume Raider (Feathers!)

Feathers can be breathtakingly beautiful and they can enable a bird with flight – but there’s SO much more to these structures than you can possibly imagine. We’ll explore what feathers are, how they grow, and their endless list of functions

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Video

How To Can Tomatoes

How To Can Tomatoes

Learn with Alex LaBonte how to can tomatoes so that you can preserve that sweet summer taste throughout the winter!

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Video

Chad the Nature Dad: Prairie Plants

Chad the Nature Dad: Prairie Plants

With few trees in the prairies, the plants there have adaptations that allow them to bask in the hot summer sun. Join Kendall and Chad the Nature Dad as we explore some of these plants as well as have a little bit of fun!

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Blog

Milwaukee Fall Phenology Challenge and Summer Results

Milwaukee Fall Phenology Challenge and Summer Results

Ethan Bott shares the results of our summer phenology challenge and gives instructions for continuing to document the changing plant and animal life this fall.

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Video

Five Facts about the Canada Goose

Five Facts about the Canada Goose

It's fall migration and that means flocks of Canada geese will be flying overhead as they make their way south. Join Danny in some ideal Canada goose habitat to learn five facts about these familiar birds.

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Blog

Nocturnal Migrators

Nocturnal Migrators

Fall migration is upon us, but did you know that most birds migrate at night? Learn about how and why many birds are nocturnal migrants in this blog post.

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Video

How To Do Plant Pressing

How To Do Plant Pressing

Grab some plant parts and follow along with these three different methods to make a beautiful, plant-pressed craft.

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Video

How To Find Macroinvertebrates

How To Find Macroinvertebrates

Macroinvertebrates live in ponds and lakes and rivers all around us. In this "How To" video, join Alex LaBonte as she explains the best way to search for, study, and identify macroinvertebrates!

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Video

How To Make a Firefly String Lights Craft

How To Make a Firefly String Lights Craft

Follow along this video for a step-by-step guide on how to make a firefly string lights craft, so you can appreciate the beauty of fireflies at all times of the year.

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Video

Five Facts about the Darling Underwing Moth

Five Facts about the Darling Underwing Moth

The Darling Underwing is a member of the underwing family of moths, which exhibit a number of unique adaptations. Join Danny in their own backyard and learn five facts about this elusive moth species.

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Blog

Like Moths to a Flame

Like Moths to a Flame

Did you know that there are more than 160,000 different species of moths worldwide? UEC Intern Elizabeth Gamillo introduces you to the wonders and scientific importance of moths.

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Video

How To Throw a Moth Party!

How To Throw a Moth Party!

Join Erin Whitney as she explains all the best tips and tricks to throw a great moth party, so you can document all the cool species of moths you find in your own backyard.

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Video

How To Find and Cook with the Common Plantain

How To Find and Cook with the Common Plantain

Discover the plant Common Plantain in Lake Park with Environmental Educator Kelli Johnson! Then, learn how to prepare this nutritious and delicious plant for tea and as part of a recipe.

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Video

Chad the Nature Dad: Snapping Turtles

Chad the Nature Dad: Snapping Turtles

Snapping turtles are some of the oldest creatures still on our planet. Their origins date back about 90 million years! Join Chad the Nature Dad and Chad the Nature Dad’s Dad as they explore a snapping turtle that was crossing the road here in Milwaukee.

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Blog

Stag Beetle Discovery

Stag Beetle Discovery

A group of summer campers discovered a pair of particularly interesting beetles. Meet Ted and Jessica, the stag beetles!

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Multimedia

Spectacular Wildflowers of Summer Guided Hike

Spectacular Wildflowers of Summer Guided Hike

Summer fun has arrived! Let's explore what's living in the wild spaces of Milwaukee and meet the spectacular wildflowers of summer with this self-guided hike through the Milwaukee Rotary Centennial Arboretum!

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Video

Chad the Nature Dad: Frogs

Chad the Nature Dad: Frogs

In this episode of Chad the Nature Dad, we go back to spring when the call of frogs can often be heard as they emerge from hibernation. Join Chad and Kendall as they explore some wetlands on the Ice Age trail and then in the woods here in Milwaukee. Enjoy!

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Video

How to Make a Dragonfly Planter Craft

How to Make a Dragonfly Planter Craft

Join us for a guided dragonfly planter craft! Happy crafting!

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Video

Chad the Nature Dad: Ants

Chad the Nature Dad: Ants

Ants are interesting creatures with the ability to lift objects many times their weight. But even more interesting is how ants all over the world work together in colonies to build homes, find food and nourish their young. Join Chad the nature Dad when he discovers a large ant colony in a log at Washington Park.

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Video

How to Raise Monarchs at Home

How to Raise Monarchs at Home

The monarch population has been decreasing over the years. You can help improve its population by raising them at home. Watch this video created by environmental educator, Alex LaBonte. The experience of raising monarch butterflies can be a great learning tool for kids as they can learn about metamorphosis and see with their own eyes the whole cycle of the monarch's life.

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Video

Rothschildia cincta, one of the biggest moths in America

Rothschildia cincta, one of the biggest moths in America

Why moths have a fatal attraction to lights? Join environmental educator Miguel Santos to check out a rothschildia cincta, one of the biggest moths in America, to find out why, and also go over some other basics of these nocturnal insects.

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Video

How to Make Mulberry Jam

How to Make Mulberry Jam

Keep an eye out for mulberry trees in your yard or in some parks nearby so you can make this delicious mulberry jam recipe cooked by environmental educator, Kelli Johnson! Kelli shows us all the process, from harvesting to cooking!

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Video

Butterfly or moth?

Butterfly or moth?

Have you wondered how to tell apart butterflies from months? Join environmental educator Miguel Santos to go over some clues to easily differentiate butterflies from moths.

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Video

Leafcutter Ant - La Hormiga Cortadora de Hojas

Leafcutter Ant - La Hormiga Cortadora de Hojas

Ants have a reputation for being hardworking, but these leafcutter ants (genus atta) also are superbly intelligent! Join environmental educator Miguel Santos to learn about this farmer insect that harvests fresh leaves to grow the fungus they eat! Video content in Spanish with captions in English

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Video

Exploring Nature: Longhorn Beetle - Escarabajo Funerario del Maguey

Exploring Nature: Longhorn Beetle - Escarabajo Funerario del Maguey

Coleoptera, commonly known as beetles, are the most diverse group of animals on Earth! Join environmental educator Miguel Santos to check out a longhorn beetle endemic to Mexico. The escarabajo funerario del maguey (Acanthoderes funeraria) is a beetle that feeds on the leaves of agave plants.

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Blog

Scenery Paintings (blog)

Scenery Paintings (blog)

Enjoy this blog from Environmental Educator, Jose Basaldua, about how nature is the ultimate canvas for inspiration. We hope it can also inspire you to create art based on what you see in nature. Blog content in English and Spanish

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Video

Chad the Nature Dad: Water Striders

Chad the Nature Dad: Water Striders

Join Chad the Nature Dad and Kendall as they find, catch, and explore water striders. These super cool creatures can be found in most bodies of water and have some cool adaptations that help them survive! Look for them on your next adventure by the water. Enjoy!

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Video

How to Make a Worm Bin

How to Make a Worm Bin

Environmental Educator, Alex LaBonte, teaches us how to make a worm bin. Composting food waste has many benefits over sending it to a landfill. It can also be great for enriching the soil of the gardens.

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Blog

Milwaukee Summer Phenology Challenge and Spring Results

Milwaukee Summer Phenology Challenge and Spring Results

join the “Summer Phenology in Milwaukee 2020” project on iNaturalist! Learn how to get started with this blog written by Ethan Bott, GIS and Field Data Coordinator

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Video

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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Video

Chad the Nature Dad: Skipping Rocks

Chad the Nature Dad: Skipping Rocks

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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Video

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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Video

Chad the Nature Dad: Flooded Woods

Chad the Nature Dad: Flooded Woods

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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Blog

Cool Finds with Regina

Cool Finds with Regina

Environmental Educator, Regina Miller, finds a lot of cool animals and plants in her backyard and nearby areas. Here are her recent cool finds.

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Multimedia

Beautiful Birds of Milwaukee

Beautiful Birds of Milwaukee

Leave your reference material (especially audio recordings) at home and let Environmental Educator Matt Flower lead you through a bird experience!

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Blog

Red-Headed Woodpecker

Red-Headed Woodpecker

Red-Headed Woodpeckers are a welcome sight in southern Wisconsin and are much less common then your backyard Downy and Hairy Woodpeckers. The last time a Red-Headed Woodpecker was seen in Washington Park was in 2016 and we just saw one at the park (mid-May 2020)! Look for this beautiful bird drilling for insects and also catching insects in the air like other insect eating birds.

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Blog

American Bittern

American Bittern

American Bitterns are masters of camouflage typically hiding in the tall grasses along water bodies.They are often heard and not seen and their call is a deep gulping noise. Photo taken at Washington Park by Environmental Educator, Alex LaBonte.

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Blog

American Goldfinch

American Goldfinch

American Goldfinches are one of the strictest vegetarians amongst birds as their diet consists almost entirely of plant based food. Photo taken at Washington Park by Environmental Educator, Alex LaBonte.

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Video

Chad the Nature Dad: Animal Tracks

Chad the Nature Dad: Animal Tracks

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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Video

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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Blog

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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Video

Chad the Nature Dad: Rocks of Lake Michigan

Chad the Nature Dad: Rocks of Lake Michigan

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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Blog

The Relationship between Queen Bees and Spring Ephemerals

The Relationship between Queen Bees and Spring Ephemerals

Learn about the importance of bumble bees and the video that captured the first recorded sighting of a queen bumble bee of any kind in Milwaukee County this year and one of the very first in the state for this year. Blog written by Ethan Bott, GIS and Field Data Coordinator, and Jeff Veglahn, Land Steward at our Menomonee Valley Branch.

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Video

Best Practices for Trash Pickup

Best Practices for Trash Pickup

Check out this video about picking up trash when you go for walks through your neighborhood.

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Video

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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Video

Chad the Nature Dad: Baby Vole

Chad the Nature Dad: Baby Vole

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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Video

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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Blog

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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Multimedia

Wonderful Flowers of Milwaukee

Wonderful Flowers of Milwaukee

Let's explore the wild spaces of Milwaukee and meet the wonderful wildflowers of spring! Self-guided walk through Riverside Park by Environmental Educator Matt Flower.

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Video

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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Video

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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Video

Chad the Nature Dad: Cedar Swamp

Chad the Nature Dad: Cedar Swamp

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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Video

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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Video

Chad the Nature Dad: Mallards

Chad the Nature Dad: Mallards

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

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Blog

Cecropia Moth Cocoon

Cecropia Moth Cocoon

Environmental Educator Brynne Drohan found this along the Menomonee River!

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Blog

Look for Bright Green Mosses

Look for Bright Green Mosses

Environmental Educator, Regina Miller, found this brilliant green moss in a local park!

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Blog

Early Flowers of Spring

Early Flowers of Spring

See Pasqueflowers, Virginia bluebells and Sharp-lobed Hepatica discovered by Land Stewards Drew Vandegrift, Michaela Rosenthal and Kim Forbeck.

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Blog

Take a Virtual Nature Walk with Chad!

Take a Virtual Nature Walk with Chad!

Come along on a "virtual nature walk" with our Environmental Educator, Chad Thomack, and hear stories about his recent discoveries in nature!

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Video

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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Multimedia

Terrific Trees Walk

Terrific Trees Walk

Get to know the trees of Riverside Park in this insightful self-guided walk made by Environmental Educator Matt Flower.

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Self-guided Hikes

Staff Picks: Local Natural Areas to Enjoy

Staff Picks: Local Natural Areas to Enjoy

Excellent recommendations from our staff on local, accessible natural areas where you can enjoy nature right now!

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Video

Chad the Nature Dad: Rolling Logs

Chad the Nature Dad: Rolling Logs

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

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Blog

How you can Connect to Nature and Contribute to Research!

How you can Connect to Nature and Contribute to Research!

You have a chance to contribute to spring phenology data! Learn more information with this great article written by Ethan Bott, GIS and Field Data Coordinator

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Blog

Phenology in the Time of a Pandemic

Phenology in the Time of a Pandemic

Environmental Educator Tory Bahe tells about the Science of Appearance.

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Blog

Mourning Cloaks and Butlers, the Silent Heralds of Spring

Mourning Cloaks and Butlers, the Silent Heralds of Spring

by Research and Community Science Coordinator Maggie Steinhauer

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Check back soon for more great content!

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