Special 3 to 5-hour, age-specific programs are offered during the school year for grades K through 12. Each program is tailored to meet the schedule and needs of the group. Hands-on activities focus on ecological concepts. A visit is incomplete without outdoor exploration of Touch of Nature's beautiful natural setting. Nature Center Pond and Little Grassy Lake are available for aquatic exploration and study. There are also terrestrial treks and canoe courses through the great outdoors. There is at least one instructor present for every 10 to 15 students.
Sandstone bluffs, cypress swamps, and oak-hickory forests provide the setting for this five-day ecological experience. Adjacent to the Shawnee National Forest, Touch of Nature Environmental Center is located in the transition zone of several North American biomes and is thus an ideal location for the study of many natural communities. These diverse systems support an extremely diverse assortment of bird and wildflower species.
The neo-tropical songbird migration is highlighted as expert birders lead treks to view woodland warblers as well as a myriad of other avian species. There are owl prowls for nocturnal birders.
With leaves just forming on tree branches, the sunny forest floor is carpeted with a plethora of wildflower species. Join area naturalists on favorite walks to identify and enjoy the flowers reflecting this unique area.
Natural resource experts will lead discussions on habitat preservation, restoration, and species diversity in this beautiful "Land between the Rivers."
The Nature of Our Planet is a half-day nature camp at the Touch of Nature Environmental Center for youth entering grades 6th-8th. Campers will have the opportunity to work with SIU graduate students involved with the NSF HEART GK-12 Program and to learn all about different ecological and environmental issues through hands-on activities.
Each day campers will participate in activities that relate to the ecological theme of that day. From collecting tree cores, to examining ancient fossils, to making compost, campers will have the opportunity to experiment and discover new things that cover a broad range of topics.