Junior Naturalist

Looking for a fun-filled, adventurous summer outside? Join the Lussier Family Heritage Center’s Junior Naturalist program in the heart of the Capital Springs Recreation area. Youth cohorts, ages 9 – 11 or 12 – 14, will practice being a naturalist and discovering the world around you. By using exploration tools and curiosity we will learn more about our natural areas. Through biking, hiking, and canoeing, will look high and low in water, prairies, and woodlands to gain a deeper understanding of the surrounding environment.

This summer we are offering multiple sessions for two age groups. Program fees cover participation in the full session.

Junior Naturalist Benefits:

  • Explore your natural areas
  • Build plant and wildlife ID skills
  • Learn about the environment through active experience
  • Explore outside in new ways!

Junior Naturalist activities will take place in William G. Lunney Lake Farm County Park and surrounding areas. The 12-14 age group inclusdes a behind the scenes tour with Henry Vilas Zoo staff.

Please be sure your child is dressed for the weather since we will be outside for the whole program. We will move indoors for more serious weather events.

This program is made possible with support from the American Family Dreams Foundation and the Foundation for Dane County Parks. We are grateful for their support of our program!

Summer Programs

Join a small group of other young naturalists as we explore and observe the wild world. We’ll track bumble bees, conduct a bird survey, scout for berry patches, identify prairie plants, and assess stream health. All while actively adventuring through the wilds of William G. Lunney Lake Farm County Park! This summer we are offering sessions for two age groups. Program fees cover participation in the full session.

Session 1: June 21 – June 30
Registration closed

Session 2: July 11 to July 20
Registration closed

Session 3: July 19 to August 9
Registration closed
Age: 12-14
Dates: -Tuesdays and Thursdays (7 sessions) This age group includes a behind the scenes tour with Henry Vilas Zoo staff.
Time: 9:00 a.m. to Noon
Fee: $125*

Session 4:
Age: 9-11
Dates: August 1 to August 10  - Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays (6 sessions)
Time: 9:00 a.m. to Noon
Fee: $125*

*Scholarships/Reduced Price options available when you register.

A glitch in the system is showing an incorrect price. The total cost of one six day session is $125. Once you add the session to your cart the correct price will display for checkout.  


COVID Precautions: This program is planned as a series of outdoor, in-person activities and will follow the safety guidance outlined by Public Health Madison and Dane County COVID 19 recommendations for outdoor events. All participants are expected to wear face coverings when inside buildings or our transport van. We will review safety guidelines as they are updated to ensure the safety of participants, their families, and Heritage Center staff.