Photo of pasques flowers

Take a look at a tallgrass prairie

July 31, 2018

Although restored prairies are wonderful, preserving virgin prairie is incredibly important. Former naturalist, current recycling center manager, Charles Vigdal says that reconstructed prairie has 40-50 species, but a virgin prairie could have as many as 300 species in it.

Photo of a caterpillar name craft

Personalized paper caterpillar craft

July 23, 2018

From microscopic egg to tiny larva to chubby caterpillar to gold-flecked chrysalis to adult monarch butterfly — the majestic monarch’s life cycle is something to behold, especially up close. In honor of part of that amazing metamorphosis, try out this fun caterpillar craft that shows just how much you love…

Graphic of activity book cover

Free pollinator activity book download

July 16, 2018

Download the free Pollinator Paradise activity book, full of free games, facts and coloring pages. You can find even more fun with our free Okoboji Osprey activity book as well!

The discarded shell of a dragonfly nymph

Incomplete metamorphosis — what is that??

July 16, 2018

The majestic monarch goes through four stages in its life cycle — egg, caterpillar (larva), chrysalis (pupa) and adult butterfly. Insects that go through four stages have what is called complete metamorphosis. (Read about the monarch’s life cycle here) However, not all insects go through all four stages in their…

Photo of a colored D page for dragonfly

Simple nature alphabet activity

July 7, 2018

A child saw that the alphabet on the wall at Westport Schoolhouse only went from A-J. “Did the alphabet only have that many letters back then?” she asked. The volunteer laughed and answered that the rest of the letters were just not put up, but we didn’t want to confuse children…

Photo of snake sticking out its tongue

How and why snakes shed their skin

July 5, 2018

If you find a snakeskin in the wild, it’s usually inside out! When it sheds, it slithers out of its old skin, like pulling a sock off your foot, so it ends up inside out! Watch the video for more information on how and why snakes shed their skin. Check…

Photo of paper chain snakes

Paper chain snake instructions

July 3, 2018

Crafts are so much more fun when the end result is actually something to play with rather than just hang on the refrigerator. This paper chain snake that can slither and wiggle is an easy and interactive craft for the snake lovers out there. And if you don’t have snake…

Photo of a woman with a nature bracelet on

Wearable nature bracelet

June 26, 2018

So many kids love to bring home trinkets, whether they are visiting a museum, a mall or a park. But moms often discourage bringing home more stuff that will just lie around. However, we have a fun solution for picking up tiny items on your next walk, and this way…

Graphic about crepuscular animals

Not nocturnal, crepuscular!

June 26, 2018

I remember when I first heard the word. Our environmental education coordinator was talking about nocturnal animals, and then stated that skunks aren’t always nocturnal but can also be crepuscular. “What?” Yes. Crepuscular. Cre-puss-cue-ler. It means simply that an animal is active at dawn and dusk. It’s not quite diurnal…

Photo of suncatcher in the window

Floral sun catcher brings summer indoors

June 11, 2018

Summer is about sun, green grasses and leaves, brightly-colored flower blooms. This sun catcher craft takes all of summer and puts it in one simple piece. To make your own sun catcher, you’ll need: Two self-adhesive laminating sheets Flowers and leaves Scissors Twine First, make sure to use self-adhesive laminating…

Graphic that says cardamom, cashews, cherries, chocolate, coconuts, coffee, coriander, cranberries

Foods we wouldn’t have without pollinators

June 11, 2018

What if you couldn’t have any almonds or cashews in that nut mix you love to snack on? What if you couldn’t eat sesame chicken because sesame didn’t exist anymore? What if bananas, blueberries and tomatoes weren’t on the shelves anymore? One in three bites of food that we take…

Photo of the completed puppet

Make a toad hand puppet

June 4, 2018

Since we talked today about five facts that will make you love toads (read the blog post here), we decided to make a toad-themed craft. If you look up toad crafts, there are not a lot out there! Like we mentioned in the blog post, toads tend to get overlooked…