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UEC In My Backyard for kids

Storytime! Scavenger hunts! Lessons from the UEC puppet pack! Click here for all sorts of lessons and activities made for kids and kids-at-heart alike.

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Create a Gift for the Earth

Create a Gift for the Earth

Follow along with this activity guide, created by Environmental Educator Brynne Drohan, to create a beautiful Gift for the Earth. Your creation will look lovely in the branches of a tree and, when it melts, provide food for birds and squirrels too!

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Winter Coloring Activity

Winter Coloring Activity

Open your crayon boxes and print off these winter coloring pages to make your holiday season especially bright! Created by Community Program Educator, José Basaldua.

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Leyendo con Lucero: La luz de Lucía

Leyendo con Lucero: La luz de Lucía

Para celebrar el solsticio de invierno, la noche más larga del año, Lucero nos cuenta la historia de Lucía la luciérnaga y como aprende a brillar tan brillante como la luna. La luz de Lucia fue leído con el permiso de Cuento de luz, la autora Margarita del Mazo, e ilustradora Silvia Álvarez.

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Construye Tu Propio Ecosistema  un Terrario! (Build Your Own Ecosystem: a Terrarium!)

Construye Tu Propio Ecosistema un Terrario! (Build Your Own Ecosystem: a Terrarium!)

A terrarium is a little ecosystem that combines both living organisms (biotic elements) and non-living things (abiotic elements). Join environmental educator Miguel Santos and botanists Dario and Camila to learn about ecosystems while also learning how to make a terrarium step by step. (Contenido en español también)

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How To Make a Terrarium (Cómo Hacer un Terrario)

How To Make a Terrarium (Cómo Hacer un Terrario)

A terrarium is a great way to bring some green inside during the cold winter months. And it makes for a great gift too! Join environmental educator Miguel Santos’ HANDS to learn how to make a terrarium of your own!

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Animals in Winter Scavenger Hunt

Animals in Winter Scavenger Hunt

While the parks and city may seem quieter as the days get shorter, there's life all around you! Use this scavenger hunt to find some signs of animals getting ready for our cold, Wisconsin Winters - they do so by hibernating, migrating or staying active and adapting!

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Autumn Art

Autumn Art

Autumn may be waning, but there are still plenty of opportunities to find leaves and create beautiful artwork. Learn some fun techniques to turn your leaf-findings into art that you can enjoy all year long!

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Frogs: the Chorus of Nature

Frogs: the Chorus of Nature

Madeline has a unique technique for learning the sounds that different species of frogs make. Follow along and create your own frog call visualizations too!

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Watersheds & Sewersheds

Watersheds & Sewersheds

Where does all that rain go once it hits the ground? Community Programs Educator José Basaldua explains what watersheds are, how they work, and how they are connected to the sewer systems right under our feet.

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Puddle Jumping in the Rain (Saltando en los Charcos bajo la Lluvia)

Puddle Jumping in the Rain (Saltando en los Charcos bajo la Lluvia)

There is not bad weather in Wisconsin, but rather bad clothing! If you dress for the weather correctly, there is no excuse for you to go outside and enjoy the outdoors during this time of the year. Join Miguel, Dario and Camila for a fun walk in the rain. (Contenido en español también)

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Story with Tory: The Best Beak in Boonaroo Bay

Story with Tory: The Best Beak in Boonaroo Bay

In today's episode of Story with Tory, Tory is reading The Best Beak in Boonaroo Bay written and illustrated by Narelle Oliver and read with permission from Scholastic.

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El Ciclo de Vida de una Mariposa (Life Cycle of a Butterfly)

El Ciclo de Vida de una Mariposa (Life Cycle of a Butterfly)

By now, monarch butterflies have migrated south far from Wisconsin, but it does not mean their life cycle stops; thank goodness, it never stops! Join environmental educator Miguel Santos’ hands to go over the life cycle of these fascinating insects along with a fun craft!

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Wisconsin Squirrels with Skipper!

Wisconsin Squirrels with Skipper!

Join Skipper of the UEC Puppet Pack to learn about five types of squirrels you can find right here in Wisconsin! (Contenido en español también)

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Story with Tory: Leaf Man

Story with Tory: Leaf Man

The leaves are changing and falling and today, while enjoying the many leaves in Riverside Park, Tory is reading Leaf Man, written and illustrated by Lois Ehlert and shared with permission by Scholastic.

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Leaf Report

Leaf Report

Get outside and find some leaves! Use this printable worksheet to make your leaf report, observing the colors, textures, shapes, and sizes of the different leaves that you see. Have fun!

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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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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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Make Your Own Nature Frame

Make Your Own Nature Frame

Follow along with this guide to create your own Nature Frame using household objects and decorated with items found out in nature. (Contenido en español también)

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Story with Tory: Over and Under the Pond

Story with Tory: Over and Under the Pond

Today, Tory is reading Over and Under the Pond, written by Kate Messner and illustrated by Christopher Silas Neal. Used with Permission from Chronicle Books, LLC.

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Three Bridges Park Bingo

Three Bridges Park Bingo

Head to the Urban Ecology Center's Menomonee Valley branch and explore Three Bridges Park. See if you can get a bingo!

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Build a Nature Boat!

Build a Nature Boat!

Get outside and use natural materials you find around you to make a boat. How long can you get your boat to stay afloat?

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Wildflowers in Summer

Wildflowers in Summer

It's summertime and many wildflowers are in full bloom. In this video, Alex introduces the different parts of a flower and a number of common wildflower species you could find in Milwaukee right now.

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Story with Tory: The Night Gardener

Story with Tory: The Night Gardener

Join environmental educator Tory Bahe for story time! Today, Tory is reading The Night Gardener, written and illustrated by Terry and Eric Fan. Shared with permission from Simon & Schuster.

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Scavenger Hunt: Urban Habitats

Scavenger Hunt: Urban Habitats

Go outside and try to find these different habitats in your neighborhood. Once you have found them, write what could possibly live in that habitat under the photo.

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Learn about Wetlands with Oscar

Learn about Wetlands with Oscar

What are wetlands? What lives in the wetlands? And why are they so important? Learn about wetlands with our puppet friend Oscar.

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Nature Trivia Bingo

Nature Trivia Bingo

Test your nature knowledge. See how many you can get in a row, or fill up the whole card!

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Story with Tory: Over in the Meadow

Story with Tory: Over in the Meadow

Join environmental educator Tory Bahe for story time! Today, Tory is reading Over In The Meadow, written by Olive A. Wadsworth and illustrated by Ezra Jack Keats.

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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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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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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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A monarch butterfly's life cycle (coloring page)

A monarch butterfly's life cycle (coloring page)

Learn about a monarch butterfly's life cycle and also have fun while coloring this page

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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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Learn about storms with Thizo

Learn about storms with Thizo

What are clouds? How do they form? And what are lightnings and thunder? Learn about storms with our puppet friend Thizo (Contenido en español también)

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Learn how to listen for bird calls

Learn how to listen for bird calls

Now that the leaves are growing in the trees, it's getting hard to see birds. Learn how to listen for bird calls with Alex LaBonte, Environmental Educator.

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Scavenger Hunt: Leaves of Trees

Scavenger Hunt: Leaves of Trees

Try to find as many leaves as you can from this BINGO card.

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Flower Power with Thizo

Flower Power with Thizo

Learn the many different parts of a flower as Thizo introduces you to a tulip he found. (Contenido en español también)

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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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Scavenger Hunt: Neighborhood Walk

Scavenger Hunt: Neighborhood Walk

Enjoy this Neighborhood Walk BINGO card by Environmental Educator Kirsten Maier! (Contenido en español también)

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Bugsy's Guide to Metamorphosis

Bugsy's Guide to Metamorphosis

Hi friends! Bugsy here, and I wanted to talk to you about a little process called Metamorphosis. (Contenido en español también)

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Nature Connects Us All:  Coloring Page

Nature Connects Us All:
Coloring Page

We miss you and look forward to going on in-person adventures with you when we can. In the meantime, let’s find creative ways to connect! Download & print this coloring page for kids and adults alike.

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Nature Photography Bingo

Nature Photography Bingo

Can you win Bingo by taking a photo that has the following items? Enjoy this Scavenger Hunt created by Environmental Educator, Annie Ela. (Contenido en español también)

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Introducing… the UEC Puppet Pack!

Introducing… the UEC Puppet Pack!

Meet your new virtual best friends! The Puppet Pack is a crew of creatures that is here to help you explore the outdoors in creative ways and teach you what they know about nature. (Contenido en español también)

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Oh, Fiddleheads! with Boxer

Oh, Fiddleheads! with Boxer

Wetlands are a distinct ecosystem that floods during some seasons. Learn all the biodiversity that grows in them with Boxer, the Box Turtle.

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Properties Scavenger Hunt

Properties Scavenger Hunt

Properties are traits or characteristics of all the things around us. Have fun with this Properties Scavenger Hunt created by Environmental Educator, Alex LaBonte! (Contenido en español también)

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Let’s Make a Kite!

Let’s Make a Kite!

Spring and summer are the perfect seasons to fly a kite! There are usually many days that are breezy enough to go out and fly. Learn how to make your own kite with Environmental Educator, Regina Miller.

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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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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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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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Bean Sprouts with a Box Turtle

Bean Sprouts with a Box Turtle

Hello! Where have you BEAN? I’ve been hoping some friends would join me in my explorations! I see so many new sprouts popping up out of the spring ground. And I’ve wanted to see what’s below to be found! So today I’m going to plant a seed and see if it germinates.

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Sprouting Seeds with Boxer

Sprouting Seeds with Boxer

Follow the adventures of Boxer, as he is checking out some seedlings that are just popping up out of the dirt!

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Backyard Birding Blitz Bingo

Backyard Birding Blitz Bingo

Find bird by using the four common ways to identify them! Behavior, Habitat, Color Pattern and Size and Shape

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Rocks Scavenger Hunt

Rocks Scavenger Hunt

Rocks BINGO card by Environmental Educator Kirsten Maier! (Contenido en español también)

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Backyard Bugs Scavenger Hunt

Backyard Bugs Scavenger Hunt

Let's go on a backyard bugs scavenger hunt! Created by Environmental Educator Kirsten Maier. (Contenido en español también)

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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. Things have really changed! Spring has sprung in Regina's backyard.

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Patterns and Shapes Scavenger Hunt

Patterns and Shapes Scavenger Hunt

Let's see what shapes and patterns you can find in nature. Scavenger Hunt created by Environmental Educator Brynne Drohan

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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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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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Bud Bingo

Bud Bingo

Let's see what buds we can find! Designed by Environmental Educator Tory Bahe. (Contenido en español también)

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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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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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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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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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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.

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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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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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Signs of Spring Scavenger Hunt

Signs of Spring Scavenger Hunt

Signs of spring BINGO card by Environmental Educator Kirsten Maier! (Contenido en español también)

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Common Milwaukee Birds Scavenger Hunt

Common Milwaukee Birds Scavenger Hunt

Take this Common Birds scavenger hunt challenge, created by Environmental Educator Kirsten Maier. (Contenido en español también)

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Nature Guide for Kids (Guía de naturaleza para niños)

Nature Guide for Kids (Guía de naturaleza para niños)

Check out this printable nature guide for kids! (Contenido en español también)

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Nature Bingo for Milwaukee County Parks

Nature Bingo for Milwaukee County Parks

There are over 150 Milwaukee County Parks, and they remain open! Take the Scavenger Hunt, created by Environmental Educator Miguel Santos, and explore the trails! (Contenido en español también)

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Check back soon for more great content!

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