The Get Outside! Program focuses on equitable and inclusive access to environmental and outdoor education. The Lussier Family Heritage Center strives to provide nature based programming to youth who may not have access to our parks, natural areas, or environmental education on a regular basis. Through this program we build long-term relationships with youth through our community center partners. We strives to create a safe space youth of all backgrounds and abilities to explore natural resources through hands-on learning. A main goal of our programming is to introduce youth to local Dane County Parks through positive experiences. Some of our activities include outdoor exploration, habitat and wildlife identification, sustainability, pollution and runoff education, environmental processes, and exposure to recreation opportunities (i.e. snowshoeing, hiking, biking, disc golf, and fishing).
Would you like to see your community center partner with this program?
The following programs are designed for community and neighborhood centers who would like to participate in our Get Outside! Program, but are unable to commit to a longer program period. Choose any or all of the following programs for ages 6+.
Lower Yahara River Trail Bike Excursion
Join us for a bike ride through William G. Lunney Lake Farm County Park. The Lower Yahara River Trail takes us through restored prairies, oak woodlands, past marshes, and over Lake Waubesa. This trail features the longest inland boardwalk bridge constructed solely for non-motorized transportation in North America! Enjoy a break along Lake Waubesa followed by a trip up to the top of our tower overlook. This gentle bike ride is fun for all ages and ability levels.
Take a stroll through the Prairie Learning Center. Hike high up to the top of the Lewis Nine-Springs E-Way moraine and stop at the overlook. Looking north and west we can admire the wetlands around the Nine Springs Creek. To the east and south we are able to view vibrant prairies full of wildflowers and pollinators. We will bring along trail guides and scavenger hunts to see how many species we can find. Available as a snowshoe trek in the winter.
Prairie Seed Collection
Looking for an active and outdoors service project? Enjoy these perfect Fall days with Dane County Parks as we collect priceless prairie seeds at Lunney-Lake Farm County Park. Seed collecting is a perfect set-up for getting outdoors and staying safely social while completing some rewarding work. We’ll talk through the community and environmental importance of prairies in a brief orientation before heading out to collect those seeds! This is sure to be a favorite service activity and outdoor experience for volunteers of all ages.
Have you ever wondered what is in a healthy lake or pond? Join us as we dive into pond and lake ecology! This program starts with a story and a short discussion about healthy aquatic ecosystems. We will take a bike ride to collect water samples from some nearby lakes and ponds. Then we will be the scientists as we test our water samples for a variety of minerals and elements.
Hog Island Slog
Join us for a wet and sloggy hike as we discover frogs, egrets, moss, and more along a lakeshore trail of Lake Waubesa out to Hog Island. This unique “peninsula” is almost an island at times surrounded by water, as the water level declines, the peninsula is formed. This hike is good for all ages, but participants should be prepared to get wet and muddy. This can also be done as a snowshoe trek in the winter.