Wildlife Education Programs

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources – Horicon Marsh Wildlife Education Program offers fun and exciting ways for your class to explore the worlds of science and environmental education while meeting state academic standards. There are now classes offered in the winter and summer months too!

Due to COVID-19, no on-site programs will be accepted through 2020.  DNR staff are offering LIVE virtual learning opportunities for schools and civic organizations.

January’s new theme will be Winter Tracking!  Wisconsin’s winter snow acts like a fresh-printed book, keeping record of wildlife activity through tracks and other signs left behind by animal movement and activity.  In our backyards, in the park, or out on the trail, we see these signs, but what are they and who left them?  Become familiar with common tracks and signs left behind by Wisconsin’s winter wildlife and learn some handy clues for recognizing what sorts of animal activity are happening near you. As before, we will send post-program worksheets and outdoor activities to follow-up the lesson.

We will also continue to offer the popular Skins, Skulls and Scat virtual program through May of 2021. We will be hosting Wetland Yoga throughout the year as a way to incorporate some calming mindfulness with fun wetland facts sprinkled in.  For 5th-12th grade our “History, Ecology and Management of Horicon Marsh” will be offered throughout the school year.

Please plan for 45 minutes but we can certainly accommodate other time-frames if needed.  We can adapt this lesson to grades K-8.  In order to set-up a live session, contact Liz with a few dates and times that work for you, finalize and then create a zoom, google meet, etc. link.  Invite our staff and we’ll be ready to join your class for a LIVE fun-filled lesson! Feel free to do this for a single class or multiple grade levels!

Don’t forget that we are also conducting professional development to schools, grade level groups or individual teachers on the “Benefits of Outdoor Learning: Turning Your Classroom Inside Out”.  This can be done at any time of the year and may be useful for those schools trying to determine how to incorporate outdoor learning into your reopening plans.

All programs are free.  Donations to the Friends of Horicon Marsh are accepted.  We appreciate all you are doing this year and please know we are here to help you along your journey!

Contact Liz Herzmann, 920-387-7893, elizabeth.herzmann@wisconsin.gov

Download Education Program Brochure

INTERPRETIVE TRUNKS

There are three types of interpretive trunks that can be reserved – Wisconsin Mammals, Whooping Cranes, and Whitetail Deer. Teachers, scout leaders, and other educators are welcome to borrow the trunks. To reserve a trunk contact Liz Herzmann, wildlife educator, or call Liz at 920-387-7893.

The Horicon Marsh State Wildlife Area has one of each of the above trunks that can be reserved for 2 weeks including pick up and drop off at the Horicon Marsh International Education Center (trunks can not be shipped). Pick up and drop off times are Monday through Friday, 8 am – 4:30 pm, or by appointment.

Whooping Crane Trunk

The Closer Look at Whooping Cranes trunk provides information about whooping crane ecology and biology, details the story of the whooping crane’s decline and reintroduction, and offers over fourteen hands-on activities to share with students. The education trunk contains teaching tools such as crane skull, egg, and bone replicas, and the isolation rearing costumes worn by biologists who raise whooping crane chicks in captivity. The trunk was developed for students in grades 4-8, but the activities can be adapted for students school-age through adult.

Wisconsin Mammals Trunk

The Wisconsin Mammals Education Trunk is designed to teach youth about the state’s wealth of mammals, their natural history and management. This self- contained education trunk consists of an interdisciplinary curriculum paired with hands-on materials and audiovisuals. The lesson plans are intended for school children from kindergarten through tenth grade and all are correlated to Wisconsin Department of Instruction state academic standards. The trunk includes pelts, skulls, track molds, pictures, videos, books and games emphasizing some of Wisconsin’s most popular and several misunderstood mammal species. Also included is a 16 program curriculum covering such topics as: Mammals and Their Signs, Trail Tracker, and The Story of Wildlife Management.

World of Whitetail Trunk

The World of the Whitetail trunk (a set of two) is filled with activities that are targeted for students in the 6th-8th grade. Twenty-four different hands-on activities explore subjects such as biology, ecology, wildlife management, social studies, history, math, reading, and creative writing.