Nature Passport gets new boxes – check out the story from Wis State Journal!

Wondering what to do with your children this summer? Are you looking for a family activity that costs nothing, has a variety of convenient locations, and is scheduled exactly when you want it? Do you enjoy the thrill of discovery and the fresh air?

Then, put on your adventurer’s hat, get your eyes, ears, hands and nose ready for exploring, and begin your Nature Passport journey! Nature Passport is an outdoor self-guided family program at various environmental education sites throughout south central Wisconsin. The summer version is generally available Memorial Day through Labor Day.

What Is Nature Passport?

Nature Passport is a free educational nature “scavenger hunt”  and journal for children and parents. Explore Nature Net sites at your leisure and, using your senses, record observations in your own Nature Passport. See if you can meet Ringo Raccoon’s nature challenge this year!

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Introducing the 2019 Nature Passport!

Ringo the Raccoon has always been a scavenger, hunting for nature’s treasures. This year his missions for you are inspired by #Nature’sNetwork with a focus on the interconnectedness of nature and the reliance different organisms have on each other in the wild. Take your time completing this passport. A lot of changes occur at our sites throughout the year- have fun learning about them!

Here Are Some General Tips For Explorers:

LOOK! Pick your favorite color and find five things in nature that color. Are some darker and some lighter? How many different shades can you find?”

TOUCH! Find 5 things that are: wet/dry, hard/soft, rough/smooth. In what other ways are they different? How are they the same?

SMELL! Sniff around and find 5 different smells. What do you think made them? Are some pleasant and others not? What other smells can you find?

LISTEN! Listen to the sounds around you and write about five of them. Which are natural? Which man-made? Can you figure out who is making the sounds… and why?

During your visit, stamp your Nature Passport to mark your adventures. Visit as many Nature Passport sites as you want!

For Kids…
Each child receives a special Nature Passport containing pages to draw and write about their amazing journeys at various Nature Passport sites!

For Parents…
Check out our monthly Nature Net News for fun facts and explanations to help spark your kids’ imagination and answer those big questions like: How do we see color? Sign up to get see us each month in your inbox, find us on Facebook and Twitter, or follow our instagram @naturenet_wi to stay up-to-date on area nature events and activities! Use the hashtag #NatureHappens to connect with others.

You provide family time – we provide a fun way to explore and learn together!

Pasaporte a la Naturaleza:

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Después visita uno (o todos) de los sitios Nature Net participantes cuando tu quieras durante el verano. Sella tu pasaporte en cada lugar al que vayas y usa tus habilidades de buscador para desenterrar los objetos de Ringo el Mapache. Después mándanos tu página de Ringo con los dibujos e historias de tus aventuras favoritas para ganar un premio muy chévere.

Los sitios participantes incluyen: Fundación Aldo Leopold, Centro Natural Aldo Leopold, Horizontes Bethel, Pantano Cherokee, Zoológico Henry Vilas, Fundación Internacional de la Grulla, Escuela Forestal Jackson, Centro Patrimonial de la Familia Lussier, Centro Educativo MacKenzie, Parques de Conservación de Madison, Museo del Niño de Madison, Jardines Botánicos Olbrich, Jardines Troy – un proyecto de Community GroundWorks, Arbolario de la Universidad de Wisconsin, Museo de Geología de la UW, y Bosques Upham.

El Pasaporte a la Naturaleza está disponible para las familias de Wisconsin a través de la generosidad de la American Girl’s Fund for Children. Nature Net es una red de centros naturales sin fines de lucro que promueve la educación al aire libre y el aprendizaje del medio ambiente haciéndolo sencillo, divertido y costeable. Las redes existen en seis diferentes regiones a lo largo del estado. Lideradas por el Centro Natural Aldo Leopold, la meta de Nature Net conectar a las escuelas y a las familias con los fabulosos recursos dentro de sus propias comunidades.


Where To Go:

Funding for Nature Passport is made possible by Fund for Children

Funding for Nature Passport is made possible by Fund for Children

Nature Passport is a self-guided and unstructured program, providing you the opportunity to visit Nature Net sites at your convenience. If you have a specific question, please call each site directly for hours.


How To Get Your Nature Passport:

Getting your FREE Nature Passport is Easy!

  1. Pick one up at any participating Nature Net site,
  2. Download one here and print it out double-sided, or
  3. Request online by writing to