COVID-19 has affected our ability to offer onsite programs. If you wish to bring a group to the nature center to participate in one of our programs, please contact us to discuss whether we can arrange to accomodate your group safely.
Below are some suggested programming themes and activities. We will customize your program to your group's specific needs and objectives. Please contact us to discuss the possibilities!
Have you ever wondered where animals go in winter, or what lives in the snow? Bundled up, kids venture into the AELC "wild" to discover the wonders of the winter environment. Follow mouse trails, discover tracks left behind by a mysterious animal, or simply enjoy a hike through the winter wilderness.
During this activity students will learn about the effects of cold on the human body, the body's basic needs for survival, and the art of fire building. They will be divided into teams and given a "survival pack". As a team they will work together to build a shelter and survive in the northern Minnesota wilderness!
There are many miles of snowshoe and groomed cross-country ski trails in the Sand Hills. Students will learn how to use the equipment then embark on an adventure to discover all that winter in Minnesota has to offer.
Equipment is available at the nature center.
Ahoy, mates....let the treasure hunting begin! Join the international game called Geocaching. Learn to use GPS technology to find treasures, or geocaches, which have been hidden in the Sand Hills. Jot your experiences in a log book, then check out the loot. But remember, if you take something from the geocache, you have to replace it with something for the next person to find...or walk the plank!
Students will experience their senses in a whole new way, just as Helen Keller did when she lost her ability to see and hear. They will interact with the natural world through touch, smell, and sounds when they walk blindfolded along the Helen Keller rope trail.
Use this amazing natural resource to explore and study the Sand Hill River watershed. Students will help each other use their science discovery sills to determine whether the Sand Hill River is a healthy river ecosystem. Your students will be able to "get their feet wet" while taking samples of macroinvertebrates right from the stream. Students will use chemistry and animal identification to solve the mystery of the Sand Hill River.
Students will go on an exciting adventure to discover the plants and animals adapted to live in the Fertile Sand Hills by performing their very own field survey. After trekking through a variety of habitats, students will even get the opportunity to create their very own perfectly adapted animal.
Animals come in many different colors, shapes, and sizes. During this interactive program learners will meet some of Minnesota's unique animals and all the fun coats, skins, and coverings they come in. Always wondered what an eagle's feather feels like? Well join us and find out during this fun program!
What kind of life can live underneath the watery depths of a Minnesota stream? To investigate this question and more we will bring aquatic life right to your classroom. Students will be scientists for the day and help us here at AELC perform a stream survey of the Sand Hill River. Your students will get to dive deep into the aquatic world while learning about chemistry, aquatic invertebrates, and fish!
During this exciting program we are going to get out magnifying glasses and discover the BIG world of bugs. These animals are far from gross and scary! You will be amazed as we learn all about this diverse group of animals. From spiders to butterflies each of these unique animals has a purpose in nature, some even provide medicine and food to people around the world.
The Sand Hill Recreation Area offers the opportunity to observe many types of plants. We'll learn how to identify some common plants. Why do they live where they do? We'll also learn about the value of plants. Some play important roles in nature, some are edible, and some even have medicinal uses!
Animals and plants use special adaptations to survive and thrive in the world around them. Not only are these adaptations amazing, but they have helped scientists invent many things that we use in our everyday life. Have you ever wondered how velcro was invented, or where airplanes design came from? During this program you will discover the amazing world of animal adaptations and how we, as scientists, can learn from those adaptations!
What does a piping plover, massasuga, and indian rice grass have in common? They are all endangered species found right here in Minnesota. Students will meet some of AELC's endangered and threatened ambassador species right in their own classroom while learning how to care for these species from their own backyard!
A career working in natural resources can be both rewarding and demanding. During this class learn about different careers in the field of natural resources. What kind of degree do I need, what about internships, how much money will I make? These are all questions we will address while learning about all the opportunities available in this fascinating career field.