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The mission of the PEBC
is to be a vehicle for understanding and appreciating the natural
wonders in our own backyards.

Summer 2014 Public Programs

Solar Lanterns

The Prairie Ecology Bus Center offers a variety of naturalist programs for the general public primarily in the summer and winter months. The programs change each season and current classes are listed below. All programs are located at Sparks Park, 935 North Hwy. 86 in Lakefield, unless otherwise noted.

To attend any of these programs, we ask that you pre-register at least two business days ahead of time, unless otherwise noted, so that we can be sure to have enough supplies for everyone. We may also need to inform you of any changes or updates. You can register by calling the PEBC at 507.662.5064 or email Programs will cancel if minimum enrollment has not been met by the registration deadline. Please helpus ensure the sucvcess of tese programs by registering ahead of time.

Volunteers Wanted! Do you have a hobby or skill that you'd like to share with others? If so, contact the PEBC! We are looking for folks who'd be interested in leading a class either in winter or in the summer. Give us a call to share your ideas and we'll work with you to organize and schedule a class or even a tour. No teaching experience necessary - just a willingness to share a favorite hobby or craft.

See what we are offering at Sparks Park - and check back often for new listings or date changes!

Program Name
Program Details
Program Description
Nature Packs

"Birding Adventures"

"Geology Rocks!"


"Outdoor Skills"


Check out one of PEBC's Nature Packs today for a weekend or for family vacation fun!! The Nature Packs are designed with families, youth groups, schools and home schools in mind. Each pack contains activities suitable for both individual explorations, as well as, groups. Packs can be checked out for up to two weeks at a time. You will be resopnsible for lost packs or broken equipment. For more information, call the PEBC at 507-662-5064.

Click here to view Nature Packs in detail!



Garden Camp

Who: Youth Who Have Completed Grade 2 and Older

Back for its fifth year, garden camp is seeking interested young gardeners who aren't afraid to get a little dirty, who like to be outside, are willing to explore bugs and birds and other interesting garden visitors, and - of course - learn how to grow fabulous flowers and awesome veggies! Camp takes place on most Tuesdays throughout the growing season. For more information, call the PEBC at 507-662-5064.

Click here to view Garden Camp page

Halloween Hike

Friday, October 24

8:00 - 9:30 p.m.

Fee: $5 per person

Who: Open Families & Adults

You will have no fear of the dark night after this enlightening walk - especially after you've seen what's NOT lurking out in the woods!  We’ll try night vision tricks, sniff tests, stealth maneuvering and more!  Join the PEBC naturalists and learn how to "super-size" all your senses with fun nighttime activities on a hike though Sparks Park.  Dress for the weather and wear good walking shoes.

M.A.D. for Winter

Saturday, November 8

10:00 - 11:30 a.m.

Fee: $5 per child (Adults attend Free)

Who: Open to Youth & Their Families

The flying Vs start heading south.  Fur on mammals is getting thicker.  Squirrels are scavenging and caching nuts.  We know that winter and its blistering weather is not far behind.  But not all animals fly south or get thick fur to survive the winter.  Join a PEBC naturalist to learn about the remarkable preparations animals take for winter!

The Icky, The Yuck and the Gross - It's Grossology!

Tuesday, November 11

6:30 - 7:30 p.m.

Fee: $5 members/$8 non-members

Who: Open to Youth Third Grade & Up/Families

Sometimes the most interesting pieces of nature can also be termed "gross!" You'll discover cool things such as how that awful skunk smell is an amazing defense tool and the slime used by slugs is fascinating transportation!  Plus, by getting the scoop on poop, you will learn that scat is where it’s at!  And finally, a grossology course just wouldn’t be complete without a little blood and bugs. By the time you're done, we will hopefully have changed your "ewww’s" and "aaackk’s" to "oooh’s" and "aaahh’s." 

Solar Harvest Lanterns

(Note Date Change from Nov 22)

Saturday, November 15

9:00 - 10:30 a.m.

Fee: $10 members/$12non-members

Who: Open to High School Youth to Adults

Tired of the plain old landscape lights to illuminate your yard?  Join a PEBC naturalist to make your very own solar lantern using materials easily found.  Once you learn the technique for making them, you can go crazy making oodles more to light your yard and lend a soft ambiance to your nightscape!   Pre-registration required by November 7th.



You can download the full schedule and program descriptions here:

Download current August-November Program Schedule (word file)



Pre-registration is required for all programs a minimum of two business days prior to program unless otherwise noted. Programs will cancel if minimum enrollment has not been met by the registration deadline. Please help us ensure the success of these programs by registering ahead of time. Please call 507.662.5064 or send an email to:

Class fee is payable at the time of the program unless otherwise noted. To send pre-payments, please mail checks to PEBC, PO Box 429, Lakefield, MN 56150. Interested in becoming a member and receive program discounts? Membership information is available at the PEBC office or online.

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Prairie Ecology Bus Center