Photo of butterfly milkweed root drawing

How deep do they go?

March 29, 2017

Did you know that butterfly milkweed’s roots grow up to 12 feet deep, about the height of an African elephant? We look at prairie plants and can hardly imagine the amazing root systems that are growing beneath our feet. Those roots help to draw water down into the watershed, which…

Photo of a bee finger puppet

Five bee myths and truths

March 15, 2017

Myth: Bees are mean. Truth: Bee are nice. Honeybees only sting as a last resort, because they die after stinging. That means, unless they feel threatened or think you are going to hurt the hive, they will leave you alone. Myth: Bees will keep stinging you. Truth: As stated above,…

Photo of paint samples by the sky

Color match trek in the Nature Playscape

March 7, 2017

Yesterday, I stopped at the local hardware store and picked up a few paint chips to take into the Nature Playscape at the Dickinson County Nature Center. I thought I would play a little game and see what colors in nature I could match to my paint chips. The outdoor…

Photo of a goldfinch

Make your own backyard birding binoculars

March 1, 2017

Birding is such a popular hobby because everyone can do it. Whether you are backyard birding, taking a hike or even boating, you can always catalogue the birds that you see. The he Dickinson County Nature Center features nests of some of the most common birds you might see right…

Turning that unhappy plate into compost instead of garbage

February 22, 2017

“I have a happy plate!” Our nieces are always pleased to announce when they clean their dinner plates, usually because it means some kind of treat — food or not — for them afterward. As a kid, having a happy plate is good. How often do adults end up with…

Photo of rock collection

Walks rock when you’re looking for rocks

February 15, 2017

This week, Teddy the turtle heads to the Dickinson County Nature Center lower level to check out the geology exhibit. From Colorado to Texas, New York to Arkansas, volunteer Jerry Wiekamp traveled the United States, visiting mines and collecting geological specimens that are now on display at the Dickinson County…

Photo of a turtle by a fox burrow hole

Crawl through a fox burrow

February 8, 2017

Interestingly, red foxes don’t often use burrows or dens to stay warm in the winter. They can stay warm during the cold months simply by curling their fluffy tails around them. However, this is the time of year they might be thinking about finding a den. Red foxes mate during…

Photo of fake snowflake on window

A twist on the classic snowflake craft

February 1, 2017

Ugh. That’s what many of us think when we look outside at this time of year. It’s long enough into winter that we’re all tired of the cold, but not far enough into winter that we have hope of spring around the corner. This is the time of year we…

Photo of leaving making a heart in the snow

Take the kids outside for a shape walk

January 18, 2017

The sun is finally shining, and the ice is melting. It’s a beautiful day to get outside. But what to do, what to do? Why not take the kids on a shape walk? Challenge your tots, or your older children, to use their observational skills and see how many shapes…

Photo of taffy in snow

Make maple taffy with snow!

January 11, 2017

Sometimes we forget how much fun snow can be when we’re inundated with it during the wintertime. During this month’s Nature Tots program we wanted to remind people the joys of snow, and to conclude the event we even made some maple syrup snow taffy. It’s a pretty easy process…

Photo of a person using ink stamp pad to create fingerprint image

Craft of the week: Paw Prints

December 14, 2016

Baby, it’s cold outside. That usually means that people stay inside, but it doesn’t mean that you only have to do indoorsy things! Today’s Nature Tots focused on paw prints, and toddlers and their families joined us for a story, an animal track scavenger hunt, touch bins and a paw…

Photo of pine cone, spoon and shortening

Make your own pine cone bird feeder

November 30, 2016

More than 40 people attended last week’s Turkey Trot hike through Kenue Park and ended the Thanksgiving celebration by making their own pinecone bird feeders. If you didn’t attend, why don’t you grab the kids, head out on a wintry hike today, find some pine cones and make bird feeders…

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