April 4. MacKenzie Center’s Annual Maple Syrup Festival, Poynette. 8 a.m.-2 p.m. See demonstrations of how to tap a maple tree for sap and how to make syrup, and take guided tours of the sugar bush. The festival also includes interpretative talks about how Native Americans and pioneers made maple sugar and syrup compared to the current methods used in at the MacKenzie sugar bush. This year representatives from the Ho-Chunk Nation will attend to share their maple syrup traditions. Maple Syrup Festival is hosted by the Friends of MacKenzie and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.
April 15 deadline. 2016 State Park Sticker Design Contest. Wisconsin state park and forest annual vehicle admission stickers are designed by high school students chosen in a statewide contest. The design contest, sponsored by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, is open to all high school age students attending public, private or parochial schools in Wisconsin. Entries for the 2016 sticker design contest are being accepted now through Wednesday, April 15, 2015.
April 11, 18, 25 and May 2. Work*Play*Earth Day at Wisconsin State Parks. Celebrate Earth Day while helping out and enjoying Wisconsin state park, forest, trail and wildlife properties. Volunteer events are sponsored by the Friends of Wisconsin State Parks and Department of Natural Resources properties. Some typical examples are planting trees, spring cleanup, repairing or building benches/tables, invasive species removal and many more projects, hikes, and fun activities. Visit the DNR website for details.
April 25. Project WILD and Aquatic WILD Workshop. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. at 503 Miner Ave East, Ladysmith. This training provides the resources needed to engage students in active, hands-on learning about wildlife and their habitats in Wisconsin. The program focuses on developing students' critical thinking, problem-solving, and decision-making skills through cross-curricular lessons that can be used in any educational or outdoor setting. Project WILD materials also support STEM learning and instruction for students in pre-K through 12. Participants will receive additional educational resources produced by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. $35 fee. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to register.
May 9-June 20. Wisconsin Master Naturalist Training, Kohler-Andre State Park. People who are fascinated with nature and eager to share their knowledge and skills with others can enroll in an upcoming course to be certified as a Wisconsin Master Naturalist volunteer. The UW Extension is a major partner in this program with the Department of Natural Resources. The program is a statewide effort to promote awareness, understanding and stewardship of the state’s natural resources. The course fee is $250 and involves 40 hours of training in natural history, interpretation and conservation stewardship. Upon completion of training, the naturalist provides volunteer service in one of three areas: education/interpretation, stewardship or citizen science. Classes will run approximately seven hours each Saturday on May 9, 16 and 30. June classes are scheduled each Saturday on June 6 and 13 and conclude with a five – hour class on June 20. Both indoor and outdoor instruction plus at least two field trips are included in the training. Contact the WIMN state office at email@example.com. Registration for the Sheboygan course closes Friday, April 17, 2015.
May 15 deadline. May is Clean Air Month. Celebrate with DNR’s Air, Air Everywhere Poetry Contest! Celebrate Clean Air Month this May by leading your students through an activity (or more than one!) from the Air, Air Everywhere Teacher’s Activity guide, which aims to teach 3rd, 4th & 5th grade students about air quality and the importance of clean air. Teachers, please submit original poems and riddles created by your students as part of the Where’s the Air? activity. For more information about air education contact Lindsay Haas, 262-574-2113.
May 30 deadline. 2015 Invasives Species Awareness Month Video Contest. The WI Invasive Species Council wants to see how you protect the places you play from invasive species. Record and submit a short video showing how you prevent the spread of invasive species. The videos with the most votes will be used to promote invasive species prevention. For awareness month and video contest information visit invasivespecies.wi.gov.
August 18. Project WET Training Workshop. Retzer Nature Center, Waukesha. 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Project WET (Water Education for Teachers) trainig provides hands-on activities to help you teach about water and is designed and tested by educators. Best of all, Project WET is fun! The focus of this workshop is storm water and how it impacts the environment. Specific areas that will be featured include: Learning how to use the hands on learning activities including water quality testing and macro-invertebrate sampling, sharing ideas and tips with other teachers, and learning about finding and utilizing local and state program resources. Cost: $25 workshop fee that covers all program materials, morning break and beverages, and the project WET guidebook—please bring your own bag lunch. Call 262-970-6680 to register by August 10, 2015. For specific workshop questions, contact Jayne Jenks at 262-896-8305.
August 22. New exhibits coming to the Horicon Marsh Education and Visitor Center. Come and trace the history of this great gathering place and hunting ground through the ages. The interactive and educational displays include a walk-through glacier, woolly mammoth and dioramas showing how the arrival of early humans opened a new chapter in the marsh's history. To arrange for a field trip or group visit, contact: Liz Herzmann at 920-387-7893. The Education and Visitor Center welcomes schools, community groups and others interested in topics ranging from geology and history to biology and modern wildlife management. Programs combine classroom work with outdoor sample collection and observation.