Nature Passport featured on Channel 15!

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

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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?

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.

Introducing the 2019 Nature Passport!

Ringo Raccoon has always been a scavenger, hunting for nature’s treasures. This year, his nature missions for you are inspired by the fact that nature’s networks are all around us. Plants, animals, and insects rely on each other and on other things around us like air, water, and soil. Just like Nature Net is stronger because of its network of sites, the environment is healthier and more resilient because of the connections between living and non-living things on Earth. These networks are everywhere – we hope you’ll have fun exploring and learning about them with your Nature Passport!

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 Instagram to stay up-to-date on area nature events and activities! Use the hashtag #NaturePassport to connect with others.

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

Pasaporte a la Naturaleza:

Ringo Raccoon siempre ha sido un carroñero, buscando los tesoros de la naturaleza. Este año, sus misiones de la naturaleza para ti están inspiradas en el hecho de que las redes de la naturaleza están a nuestro alrededor. Las plantas, los animales y los insectos dependen unos de otros y de otras cosas que nos rodean, como el aire, el agua y la tierra. Al igual que Nature Net es más fuerte debido a su red de sitios, el medio ambiente es más saludable y más resistente debido a las conexiones entre los seres vivos y no vivos en la Tierra. Estas redes están en todas partes. ¡Esperamos que se divierta explorando y aprendiendo sobre ellas con su Pasaporte de la naturaleza!

Consejos del aire libro de Ringo

Siempre vístete para el clima:

  • En el verano, use ropa para protegerte del sol y los insectos.
  • En el invierno, use capas con abrigos cálidos e impermeables para sus manos y pies.

Mantente seguro en tu aventura y respeta las áreas silvestres:

  • Deja las plantas y los animales donde los encuentres.
  • Manténte en los senderos marcados
  • Empaca y lleva cualquier basura
  • Y lo más importante … ¡disfruta!

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

  • Aldo Leopold Foundation
    (608) 335-0279
    E13701 Levee Road, Baraboo
    Hours: Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm; Sat, 10am-4pm
  • Aldo Leopold Nature Center 
    (608) 221-0404
    330 Femrite Dr., Monona
    Hours: Nature Center open Mon-Fri 9am-4pm, Sat & Sun 10am-2pm; Grounds open dawn to dusk
  • Bethel Horizons Nature Center
    (608) 935-5885
    4651 Highway ZZ, Dodgeville
    Hours: Grounds open dawn to dusk
  • Cave of the Mounds
    (608) 437-3038
    2975 Cave of the Mounds Rd., Blue Mounds, WI
    Hours: First tour departs at 9am, last tour departs at 6pm during summer hours (Memorial Day Weekend – Labor Day)
  • Cherokee Marsh 
    (608) 836-4522
    6098 North Sherman Ave., Madison
    Hours: Grounds open dawn to dusk
  • Henry Vilas Zoo 
    (608) 266-5922
    702 South Randall St., Madison
    Hours: Zoo open 9:30am-5pm; Building open 10am-4pm
    Please pick up your Nature Passport outside the Discovery Center
  • International Crane Foundation
    (608) 356-9462
    E11376 Shady Lane Road, Baraboo
    Closed for remodeling in 2019! We look forward to reopening in 2020 with updated crane habitats and a new Visitor Center.
  • Jackson School Forest
    (608) 663-5201
    W. Fritz Road, Verona
    Hours: Grounds open dawn to dusk
  • Lussier Family Heritage Center
    (608) 224-3604
    3101 Lake Farm Rd., Madison
    Hours: Building open 8am-4:30pm; Grounds open dawn – 10pm
  • MacKenzie Environmental Education Center
    (608) 635-8110
    W7303 Cty Highway CS, Poynette
    Hours: Building open 10am-4pm; Grounds open dawn to dusk
  • Madison Conservation Parks
    Various locations, Madison
    Hours: Grounds open dawn to dusk
  • Madison Children’s Museum
    100 N. Hamilton St., Madison
    Hours: 9:30am-5pm daily
  • MMSD Planetarium
    (608) 663-6102
    201 S. Gammon St., Madison
    Hours: Public showtimes and dates vary, please check the website
  • Olbrich Botanical Gardens 
    (608) 246-4550
    3330 Atwood Ave., Madison
    Hours: Outdoor gardens open 9am-8pm; Conservatory open 10am-4pm
  • Turville Point Conservation Park
    (608) 266-4711
    1155 Olin-Turville Court, Madison
    Hours: Grounds open dawn to dusk
  • Troy Gardens (a project of Community GroundWorks)
    (608) 240-0409
    500 Block Troy Drive, Madison
    Hours: Grounds open dawn to dusk
  • UW Arboretum 
    (608) 263-7888
    1207 Seminole Hwy, Madison
    Hours: Visitor Center open Mon-Fri 9:30am-4pm, Sat & Sun 12:30pm-4pm; Grounds open 7am-10pm
  • UW Geology Museum 
    (608) 262-2399
    1215 West Dayton St., Madison
    Hours: Mon-Fri, 8:30am-4:30pm; Sat, 9am-1pm
  • Upham Woods
    (608) 254-6461
    N194 Cty Hwy N, Wisconsin Dells
    Open by reservation; visit website for more information.
  • Welty Environmental Center
    (608) 361-1377
    1201 Big Hill Court, Beloit
    Hours: Center open 8:30am-4:30pm; Park open 5am-10pm

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 and print from home by clicking on the Nature Passport images above
  3. Request online by writing to