Below are descriptions of all the wildlife programs we currently offer here at ACNW, including those also offered off-site. Most of our wildlife programs feature live educational animals (non-releasable) that make up our Wild Staff. Using live animals in our classes allows us to better engage an audience and inspire a concern for wildlife and our environment. If you don’t see a class that suits your needs, please call or email our Wildlife Coordinator to discuss your needs – often we can adapt a class just for you.
To book one of our wildlife programs for your school, group or event:
Those programs below marked with ‘♦‘ are also available as Outreach/Off-site (Traveling) Programs that come to your site/location.
Students will get their first experience with birds of prey by reading children’s books about birds of prey, then meeting 2-3 live raptors. Students will have the opportunity to touch and feel wings and feet from real birds of prey.
In this active program students explore adaptations of birds of prey that leave us in awe. Students will be up and moving and learning throughout the entire program. Between activities students will meet 3 live raptors that will reinforce learned concepts.
All birds of prey have certain characteristics in common, but each group (falcons, owls, hawks and eagles) have adaptations that make them unique. Students will explore these unique adaptations through games and by meeting 3 live raptors.
Owls that spend the winter in Minnesota face a unique set of challenges. Meet two live owls as we explore what challenges owls face and what adaptations they have to overcome to be successful hunters year round in Minnesota.
Humans have been living with and hunting with birds of prey for 4000 years. Explore how this relationship has changed and stayed the same with lots of student interaction and meeting two live raptors.
What does it mean to go extinct? Why do animals become endangered? Students will examine several raptors that have faced extinction. Through role playing, demonstrations, games, and meeting 2-3 live raptors students will learn what we do that causes problems for raptors and what can be done to help.
Every animal has a role to fill in the environment. Meet 4 live animals as we travel through the different levels of the deciduous forest and find out who lives here and what tools they have to do their job.
Students will meet a live porcupine while learning about their natural history. Students will create a quilled design on a birch bark medallion to take home after observing a demonstration of quill embroidery technique. Two hour program, due to materials and hands on nature of the program it is limited to 35 participants, recommended for ages 9 to adult. Program fee $350
Use different tools to “feed” on various food sources. Compare tools to different beak shapes and how different bird species become specialists in a particular type of food. Informal program, come and go program for participants. Must be booked in addition to a full price wildlife program, can be added to a booth event as well. $75/hr or $125/with a booth event.
From water, to land, to trees, reptiles and amphibians have special abilities that help them survive. Meet live reptiles and amphibians that live in Minnesota as they teach us how they survive.
Students will learn about the secret lives of the insects that live under the water. Which insect predators liquefy and remove the insides of their prey leaving just the exoskeleton? Which insects eat mosquitoes their whole life? Why should we all be familiar with which insects live in our local waters? Students will explore the answers to these questions while seeing live macro invertebrates projected on a big screen through an LCD projector.
Through examination of artifacts, students will learn about animal adaptations. Students will then collect data on two habitats and compare the diversity found in them.
Students explore what makes an insect an insect, practice classification techniques, collect, examine and sort live insects.
Students will learn basic bird characteristics, ecology, and simple field identification techniques, and use these skills on a birding hike. Bird migration and banding studies will also be introduced. Song birds captured in mist nets for banding will be observed, identified and released.
Amphibians and reptiles are signs of spring. Learn the different amphibian calls and identify the herps of MN. Participate in a field study and help to locate herp habitat.
Birdy, it’s cold out there…Aren’t birds supposed to fly south for the winter? Learn about the crazy birds who tough out the winter “Up North.”
Students explore the origins of MN lakes, get their hands wet collecting water quality data. We will study live fish and learn about their adaptations as well as learn the basics of fishing and go fishing on Grindstone Lake.
(Participants age 16 and over must have a valid MN fishing license.)
Students investigate the natural history of the beaver, the beaver’s impact on its habitat, and signs of past beaver life at ACNW.
Where do birds go in the winter? Students will learn about the concept of migration including why birds migrate, how they migrate, and challenges they face along the way.
Minnesotans definitely admire their home state mammals. It is apparent in our high school and college mascots and even our professional sports teams. Who are these Minnesota mammals and how do they survive here? What makes a mammal a mammal anyway? The answers to these questions will be revealed in this class!
Through a variety of games and activities, students learn about basic wolf biology, pack structure, and hunting techniques. They will begin to separate facts from myths about these elusive members of Minnesota’s North Woods.