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Catch these Game and Parks education events in February

Nebraska Game and Parks Commission educators have scheduled interesting and engaging events for the curious in February. Here are some opportunities:

Nature Inquiry Workshop Series set for early childhood educators

The Nature Inquiry Workshop Series, a weekly virtual event for early childhood educators, continues Feb. 7.

The free, virtual workshop, which begins at 6 p.m., will explore wildlife sign and tracks. Educators will learn how to facilitate inquiry-based learning, which prioritizes a learner’s questions and ideas by engaging their sense of curiosity and awe.

Visit the event listing at calendar.outdoornebraska.gov to register. For questions, email jamie.bachmann@nebraska.gov.

Little Saplings program presents Great Backyard Bird Count

Adults looking to explore the outdoors with their young children are invited to Little Saplings, a monthly early childhood nature discovery program at Schramm Education Center near Gretna.

The 2023 series continues Feb. 1 with the theme Great Backyard Bird Count at 9 a.m. It is designed for children ages 2-5 and their adult caregiver. The cost is $4 per child and $5 per adult per program and includes admission to the Education Center after the program.

See the calendar event entry at calendar.outdoornebraska.gov for more information.

‘The Science of …’ virtual webinar series continues

The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission’s virtual series “The Science of …” wraps up in February. The first two Thursdays at 3 p.m. Central time, Game and Parks educators will discuss the science behind common things regarding nature and animals.

The topics are: Feb. 2 – Dragonflies and Damselflies; Feb. 9 – Science of Ungulates

The webinars are free, but separate registration is required for each. See the calendar event entries at calendar.outdoornebraska.gov to register.

Contact monica.macoubrie@nebraska.gov for more information.

Join the Winter Family Nature Club

Winter doesn’t mean outdoor adventure has to end; it just changes the experience.

Join the Winter Family Nature Club, an effort to empower families to explore nature and practice outdoor skills even in wintertime.

Events are planned from 1-2:30 p.m. Feb. 11 and March 11 at Maskenthine Lake Recreation Area near Stanton.

Registration is required through the listing at calendar.outdoornebraska.gov. For questions, email jamie.bachmann@nebraska.gov.

Wildcat Tales preschool program is Feb. 14

Wildcat Hills State Recreation Area will host the monthly Wildcat Tales preschool program Feb. 14.

The program Slow Slugs will meet at the Nature Center at 10 a.m. Mountain time. There will be a lesson plan, story and hands-on activity specifically targeted for children ages 2-6 years.

The program is free, but a vehicle park entry permit is required. For more information, contact the Nature Center at 308-436-3777. Children must be accompanied by an adult.

Homeschool Hike set for Feb. 15-16 at Schramm Park SRA

Homeschool families are invited to join an outdoor educator on a guided hike to learn about eagles at Schramm Park State Recreation Area near Gretna during the Homeschool Hikes program Feb. 15 at 9 a.m. and Feb. 16 at 2 p.m.

Homeschool Hikes is a monthly nature exploration program hosted by the Schramm Education Center geared toward homeschool families.

Participants are encouraged to RSVP in advance at forms.gle/Vjg38GEqXHgGEkLFA. Cost is $4 per child and $5 per adult per program. This includes admission to the Schramm Education Center after the program. Schramm Family Pass members participate free.

This program is recommended for ages 5 and up.

Participants should dress in season-appropriate layers and wear closed-toed shoes that can get dirty. Hats and water bottles are recommended.

Communicating Environmental Education topic of webinar

Join the free virtual webinar Sharing the Value of Nebraska’s Ecosystems through Innovative Educational Resources at 12:30 p.m. Central time Feb. 22.

Grace Gaard, aquatic ecology education specialist with the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, will discuss how environmental education seeks to connect audiences to natural ecosystems. She will use as an example the Wetlands Outreach and Education Project, a model to discuss what has been learned and how others might use various methods of storytelling and science communication.

This webinar is part of the Conservation Education Lunch and Learn Series, which dives into the science behind educational efforts and practices by learning from experts on a variety of science and educational topics. Direct questions to amber.schiltz@nebraska.gov.

Visit the event listing at calendar.outdoornebraska.gov to register and get more information.

Wildcat Hills to host Waterfowl homeschool program

Learn about the EnvironArt program and even learn how to draw waterfowl like a professional artist during the Wildcat Hills Homeschool program Waterfowl on Feb. 16.

This program meets at 10 a.m. Mountain time at the Wildcat Hills Nature Center.

The program is free, but a vehicle park entry permit is required. For more information contact the Nature Center at 308-436-3777. Children must be accompanied by an adult.

Schramm Education Center busy with programs in February

Several programs are planned for the Schramm Education Center in February. Admission for the center is $10 adults, $7 youth and seniors and 3 and under are free.

Pack Tactics – Explore interactions between animals that hunt and animals that are hunted in this free program at 1 p.m. Feb. 5. Some animals form groups that help members survive and engage in pack tactics. Meet in the Schramm Education Center classroom.

Animal Feedings – Observe an animal feeding daily at 10:30 a.m. in February and learn about the park’s animal care and the animals’ unique adaptations. This program is free with paid admission and will meet in the lobby.

Fly-Tying Workshop – Join the Cornhusker Fly Fishers for a “Tie-in” at 10 a.m. Feb. 18 and observe them demonstrating their craft before trying it out and making a fly to take home.

Forest Findings – At 1 p.m. Feb. 26, explore the geological outcrop and park trails at the park. Ask questions, discover history and learn about the science of ecological succession. Meet at the Hatch House at Schramm Park State Recreation Area.

Birds and Binoculars at Mahoney SP on Feb. 4

Come to Eugene T. Mahoney State Park for Birds and Binoculars at 10 a.m. Feb. 4.

Bird lovers of all ages are invited to gather at the park’s administration office for a variety of bird activities in preparation for the Audubon Society’s Great Backyard Bird Count. Learn beginner birding skills, identify birds at feeders or on a hike, complete a birding craft and learn about homemade bird feeders.

Call the park at 402-944-2523 for more information.

About Jerry Kane

Jerry Kane is the news manager with the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. He can be contacted at jerry.kane@nebraska.gov or 402-471-5008.

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