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Explore
the MacKenzie Center property.
Learn
new outdoor skills and participate in environmental education.
Plan
a day program or overnight field trip to the MacKenzie Center. (Educator materials)
Contact information
For more information about the MacKenzie Center, contact:
MacKenzie Center
W7303 County Highway CS
Poynette WI 53955
608-635-8105

MacKenzie Center Outdoor skills and environmental education

The MacKenzie Center currently offers education programs for schools, groups and the public to learn about a variety of environmental, conservation, and outdoor skills topics. Program offerings are growing to meet the needs of our audiences with more outdoor skills options in the future. Organized groups can visit our planning page to register and see our full list of class offerings [PDF]. The general public can check out some of the options below.

Orienteering class

A group of students learn to navigate with a compass in an orienteering class.

Geocaching

Explore the MacKenzie Center with a GPS or smart phone in hand. Geocaching is a "high tech" treasure hunt that has quickly become a popular outdoor activity among people of all ages. Visit the Geocaching.com website [exit DNR] and enter the Poynette zip code (53955) to find several public caches in the area In addition, a basic introduction to Geocaching is offered to registered groups participating in our overnight and day lodge programs.

Pond species identification

MacKenzie's pond can be a great place to sit and listen to the call of songbirds, observe the tracks of animals or listen to frog calls in the spring and early summer. It is a wonderful resource to visit and learn about food webs, predator-prey relationships, adaptations of pond organisms and aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. Resources are available to registered groups to facilitate these learning opportunities. Pond key identification [PDF].

Tree identification

Over 100 tree species are found in the arboretum and some trees are tagged with their common and scientific names to help identify them. A guide book is available that provides information about the arboretum's history, invasive species, basic tree identification and the GPS coordinates of some tree species at the property.

Learn to make maple syrup

MacKenzie's maple syrup education program, held during the month of March through the first Saturday in April, demonstrates to participants everything they need to know about making maple syrup. Students will learn how to identify a Sugar Maple tree in the winter, and how to collect and cook sap to make into syrup. In addition, students learn the significance of this sweet treat to springtime in the Midwest and how our ancestors may have made maple sugar and syrup. Maple season at the Mackenzie Center wraps up with a large Maple Syrup Festival, open to the public; held annually the first Saturday in April.

Learn to hunt workshops

Learn to hunt events combine classroom instruction and field work before a novice goes hunting with an experienced hunter. They are a great way to introduce someone new to Wisconsin's hunting heritage.

Last revised: Thursday October 27 2016