pebc logo

home
whats new
about us
programs
opportunities
membership
photos

phenology

quest
learning links
conatact us

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



Summer 2015 Public Programs

Garden Barn Quilts

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 marilyn@ecologybus.org. 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!"

"Nocturnal"

"Outdoor Skills"


FREE!!

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

 

Tuesdays - May thru October

8:00 - 10:00 a.m.

Fee: $75/members; $95/non-members

Who: Youth Who Have Completed Grade 2 and Older

Garden Club will begin its 6th growing season this May! The PEBC invites young, budding gardeners who aren't afraid to get a little dirty, who like to be outside exploring bugs and birds and other intesting garden visitors, doing crafts, and of course, learn how to grow fabulous flowers, herbs and awesome veggies - and eat them, too! Camp takes place, Tuesdays 8-10 a.m., throughout the growing season starting inMay. For more information, call the PEBC at 507-662-5064.

Click here to view Garden Camp page

Pioneer Adventures Camp

Monday-Thursday, June 1-4

1:00 - 5:00 p.m.

Fee: $75/participant

Who: Open to youth having completed grades 3-6

Take a step back in time for a pioneer adventure!  Leave your electronics behind.  TV?  No way!  Life in the “old days” had its own kind of fun!  Learn how to play pioneer games like Bean Bag Double Can and Marbles; Stick Pull and Graces.  Make toys like buzz saws and a tin punch!  Explore how to cook with a Dutch oven and try your hand making a batch of soap, dipping candles, creating clay beads, making rope and more!  Dress for the outdoors and be prepared for some messy fun as we discover the life of a pioneer.

Creepy Crawly Critters Camp

Monday-Thursday, June 1-4

8:00 - 11:00 a.m.

Fee: $65/participant

Who: Open to youth having completed grades K-2

Slither, hop, crawl, dig, wiggle, fly and spin.  Would you like a close-up encounter with the super cool critters that are moving around our neighborhood?  Dig through muck and search fields high and low for the coolest of the creeping crawlies like salamanders, snakes, frogs, spiders, insects and more. Play games and explore art activities that help us understand and appreciate the less cuddly of creatures all around us. Be prepared to get a little dirty and be ready for loads of fun!

Fireside Foods - Breakfast Style

Saturday, June 13

8:00 - 10:00 a.m.

Fee: $8 members/$10 non-members

Who: Open to Families

Campfire food goes way beyond hotdogs and roasted marshmallows!  Join us to learn fun and creative ways to cook using a Dutch Oven, roasting sticks, foil, and pie irons to create a mini-feast so be prepared for taste-testing!  Wear closed-toed shoes and dress for the weather.

DIY Pallet Repurposing

Saturday, June 13

1:00 - 2:30 p.m.

Fee: $10 members/$12 non-members

Who: Open to High School Youth and Adults

 

Wondering what you can do with those salvaged wooden pallets? Come join in on the fun of a do-it-yourself that reuses them!  In this Make 'n Take class, you will create your own pallet flower box that you can use to decorate your house, potting shed, patio or other place of honor!  Also, explore creative ideas to reuse some of the many everyday items that are found all around us. All materials provided - wear clothes that can get dirty.  *Limited to 10 participants so sign up early!  

Fairy Gardens

Tuesday, June 23

6:30 - 8:00 p.m.

Fee: $18 members/$20 non-members

Who: Open to Families

Fairies are shy and will disguise themselves as flowers when they are feeling a little mischievous.  They will play tricks; like to move things around in the garden or hide things for a good laugh.  Fairies love to dance and play so if you build a garden for them you might catch a glimpse of them!  By using your imagination you can create a fairy garden with a PEBC naturalist that will add magic to your living space!

Bugology - Day Camp

Wednesday, June 24

9:00 - 11:00 a.m.

Fee: $7/participant (Caregivers attend free)

Who: Open to 2-3 year olds

Explore the wild world of insects with your little bug as you look through magnifying glasses and swing nets to explore our fields. Flip over logs, pick through tree bark and investigate the soil to find some of nature's tiniest and most important creatures. Outdoor learning for the tiniest tots! Guardians must accompany children.

What's So Fly About Fungi?

Thursday, June 25

6:00 - 7:30 p.m.

Fee: $5
/participant

Who: Open to Adults and Youth grade 6 and up

Have you stumbled upon a batch of mushrooms alongside the trail or in your backyard and wondered what they are? Fungus that call Minnesota home is all around us. Some are good eats. Others can glow in the dark! Join a PEBC naturalist to explore the tricks of hunting and identification of mushrooms.  

Mudpuppies

Tuesday, July 7

9:00 - 11:00 a.m.

Fee: $7/participants (Caregivers attend free)

Who: Open to 2-3 year olds

Join us as we get our hands dirty for some good old fashion mud fun! Find out why dirt is so important as we dig holes, find worms, and make animal tracks. Outdoor learning for the tiniest tots! Guardians must accompany children.

Garden Barn Quilts

Saturday, July 11

8:00 - 10:00 a.m.

Fee: $15 members/$20 non-members

Who: Open to Adults & High School Youth

Painted, wooden "barn quilts" are popping up across the countryside.  You'd love to have one but have no barn, you say?  No problem!  Join a PEBC naturalist and create a mini version hung on a fence post that you can plant right in your yard. Many designs to choose from and all supplies included.  Be sure to wear paint clothes!

Crazy and Curious Corvids

Monday, July 13

6:00 - 7:00 p.m.

Fee: $5 per person/$15 Families of 3+

Who: Open to Families & Adutls

Do you know the difference is between a crow and a raven?  Both are black color birds, but there are fun ways to tell them apart!  They belong to the smartest group of birds in our world—the corvids. Many people think of the corvids as a pest, but we will investigate why they are such a fascinating group of birds! 

Rockin' Reptiles and Awesome Amphibians

Wednesday, July 15

9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Fee: $10/participant (Caregivers attend free)

Who: Open to 4-6 year olds

Investigate our cold-blooded friends that scamper, croak, and slither. Through nature exploration, games and crafts, we will have a blast!  Bring a snack.  Perfect for the little ones who are able to be at Sparks Park without mom or dad. If not, guardians are more than welcome to accompany their child!

Nature Photography

Wednesday, July 15

6:00 - 8:00 p.m.

Fee: $5/participant

Who: Open to Grades 3 + and Adults

If you have an interest in wildlife or nature photography, there is a good chance you have seen an image at some point that has taken your breath away. Maybe it was a photograph of a sweeping landscape washed in the golden light of the receding afternoon sun or close-up of some small natural miracle that you had never noticed. You might even have asked yourself, “How did they do that?”  Grab your camera, whether it's a point and shoot or your Smartphone and join a PEBC naturalist for some nature photography!

Geocaching

Tuesday, July 21

6:00 - 7:30 p.m.

Fee: $7/participant

Who: Open to Families

It's treasure hunt time!  However, your only clues to finding the loot are a bunch of numbers.  What's a treasure-hunter to do?  Learn how to plug those numbers into a Global Positioning System (GPS) and follow it to the cache!  You will learn to perform basic GPS functions and then put that knowledge to the test and see if YOU can find the hidden treasure!

Blue Moon Hike

Friday, July 31

9:00 a.m. - 10:30 p.m.

FREE

Who: Open to Families

Have you ever heard the phrase "once in a blue moon?"  Come find out why tonight is THE night for a blue moon!  Have you ever wondered what wakes up as skies get dark? Join a PEBC naturalist to take a peek at what nature has to offer under the view of the pale moonlight.  Dress for the weather as we head out to experience the sounds and signs of Sparks Park's "night life!"

8th Annual Prairie Steak Fry

Monday, August 3

5:00 - 9:00 p.m.

Tickets Sold In Advance - call 662-5064. Full flyer coming soon!

Who: Everyone Welcome!

Join the PEBC as we celebrate 21 years of programming in 2015!  This fund-raiser/friend-raiser will highlight the PEBC’s history and growth through the years while enjoying a full steak dinner and lively auction activities throughout the evening.  Come celebrate with us!

Stealth & Survival at Sparks Park Daycamp

Thursday, August 6

8:30 a.m.- 3:30 p.m.

Fee: $20

Who: Open to Youth having completed grades 4-6

Walk like a fox, hear like a deer, and put on your eagle eyes! Move invisibly through the forest and practice your stealth mode. It takes an inventive mind to survive! Understand how nature works by honing your way-finding skills, shelter building, and plant identification. Pack a lunch and dress for the weather. We will be exploring all day!

Let's Get Dirty!

Saturday, August 8

8:30 - 10:00 a.m.

Fee: $5 per person/$15 Families of 3+

Who: Open to Families

No person should graduate from childhood without the experience of playing in the mud!  Getting dirty is sometimes one of the "costs" of making learning a fantastic experience!  This class not only encourages up close inspection of wet soil, we'll learn all about why dirt is so important as we dig holes, find worms, and search for animal tracks.  We might get a little dirty, too!

Fantastic Flyers

Tuesday, August 11

9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Fee: $7/participant (Caregivers attend free)

Who: Open to 4-5 year olds

From feathers and skin to flapping and gliding--birds, bugs and even some mammals are rulers of the sky. We will explore the magic and mystery of flight. Bring a snack!  Perfect for the little ones who are able to be at Sparks Park without mom or dad. If not, guardians are more than welcome to accompany their child.

Wildlife Detectives

Thursday, August 13

6:00 - 8:00 p.m.

Fee: $5 per person/$15 Families of 3+

Who: Open to Families

Let's face it - animals don’t just walk up to us, introduce themselves, and tell us all about their lives!   Embark on a journey of discovery and learn the art of investigating.  Sharpen your observation skills as you learn tracking techniques. Decode secrets of the animal kingdom and learn to imitate adaptations for survival. Wear good walking shoes - we'll be exploring Sparks Park!

 
 

 

You can download the full schedule and program descriptions here:

Download current June-August 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: marilyn@ecologybus.org

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.