February can be that month where winter seems to draaaaag. But while we all will soon rejoice in the signs and sounds of spring (crocuses aren’t far off, indeed), it’s always a great time to appreciate nature’s here-and-now. So for the second half of February, here are some great ideas for exploring and educating in the outdoors!
1. Snow fort building & winter camping. Last chance to go on that bold overnight adventure and pile up snow for a quincey! Great activity for middle-schoolers and high-schoolers – an unforgettable experience for most. If you’re not up for a night under the stars until the spring, building any kind of snow fort is still a load of fun. Wait for a melty snow day, or if it’s nice and cold, pile up snow overnight to cut into blocks or excavate with shovels the next day. Wisconsin winter camping guide from the DNR.
2. Stargazing. Cold nights are an excellent time to see the stars! Don’t miss Orion before he says ta-ta for the summer season.
4. Birding. Many of our feathered friends don’t leave WI for the winter…some even travel here from the arctic as a “balmy” winter getaway! Don’t worry if you missed the Great Backyard Bird Count this weekend – you can still participate in citizen science by entering your sightings into eBird…or try tracking when you first hear different calls to track the approaching spring!
5. Winter sports: snowshoeing, skiing, sledding, skating, hiking – the cold isn’t so bad once you get moving around! What about making your own snowshoes? You can buy a kit, or if you have access to saplings able to be harvested, really dig into the history!
6. Events at local nature centers. Check out Camp Minikani Family Nature Night, Mosquito Hill Nature Center Third Thursdays Lecture series, Treehaven…or search for local events in your area. If you have a venue, try creating an event to get people outdoors, even in your neighborhood. Who says EE needs to happen at a school or nature center??