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Pioneers Park Nature Center



Nature's Market

Saturday, April 17
9 a.m. - 1 p.m. 

Arts, Crafts and Live Plant Vendors
Food and Beverage Vendors

Children's Nature Crafts

Artistic Rain Barrel Auction, 9:30

Silent Auction -
over 40 unique items and gift baskets valued from $20-$500
PANgea performance 11:30


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Pioneers Parks Nature Center Newsletter, April 2010
Welcome to our new way of sharing news about what is happening at the Nature Center! The chorus frogs are calling, our ponds have lots of water and a host of waterfowl have been visiting: wood ducks, buffleheads, pintails, pied-billed grebes, American coots - what fun!
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Recently the preschool had great fun exploring the exciting world of reptiles.  One of our staff brought in two baby turtles and the children had the opportunity to feed them mealworms.  We learned that we feed our exhibit snakes dead mice and the children counted out enough to feed each one.  We got to meet some of the snakes that live at the Nature Center and examine a snake skeleton and anatomy with magnifying glasses. To top things off, we voted for our favorite Nebraska snake.
In Pre-K, we are working our way through the alphabet.  V is for View.  The kids Viewed the natural world through children's binoculars donated by a good friend of the Nature Center, and watched roots grow through a special root-Vue tube.  V is for vulture and we met one of the Nature Center's exhibit vultures and learned about the important job they do for our environment. V is also for velvet and the kids learned about the special velvet that feeds the deer's growing antlers, and touched an old antler from which all the velvet had not been rubbed off.
There are spaces still available in many of our preschool and pre-K sessions for next year.  Our director, Sueann, would be happy to set up a visit for you.  You might also consider our Camp Discovery for 3 - 6 year olds.  Five fun weeks await your children this summer.  Call 441-7895 for more information.
Nature Explorers Camp 
PPNC camps: a great place grow friendships
Campers on a walk
Twenty seven children had a blast during Cycles and Secrets in Nature, March 22 - 27.  Each day the kids explored a cycle and made nutritious snacks to fit the theme: they ate Bug Bites on Life Cycle Day, Wiggly Water on Water Cycle Day, Vulture Vomit on Recycling Day (and had a visit from our exhibit vulture), and   
... and practice team building skills
Practicing team building skills
Tasty Turds on Digestive Cycle Day.  Field Trip Day took the group to a local farm, the UNL Forensics Lab,  Tractor Museum and Ice Cream Plant, and Morrill Hall.  It was a BIG day!  On Friday, the children were able to share their creative projects with their families at a potluck followed by a hike.  
Six weeks of summer fun are available in June and July at Wilderness Nature Camp.  Sign up before May 1st and get a $10 discount.
School Hikes and Wild Puppets 
Early March saw the beginning of our spring school hike season. Kindergartners from Belmont got their taste of Nebraska's Changing Seasons.  Half of them had a lovely, brisk spring day, and the next day the others saw snow!  We'll be guiding school children through the wonders of nature until the last day of classes in June.
Our Wild Puppeteers have visited 42 classrooms this winter and entertained 1,900 children with shows from Mammals Have Fur to Life Cycles.
"Dew Gathering" by Sue Gardener Fenster
Artistic Rain Barrel Dew Gathering by Sue Gardener Fenster
Artistic Rain Barrel Program
Once again, City Watershed Management partnered with the Friends of Pioneers Park Nature Center to sponsor a creative rain barrel program.  Perhaps you have seen some of the 25 barrels that have been on display at local businesses and city libraries.  Their unique designs were created by artists from elementary school children to professionals.  They will be on display at the Nature Center starting April 10th and then auctioned off at Nature's Market on April 17th.  Proceeds will fund scholarships to Nature Center camps, preschool and other programs.
Sandhill Crane Trip
37 of us enjoyed a perfect, warm, sunny day, views of many cranes foraging in the fields, a beautiful sunset and spectacular, seemingly endless waves of cranes coming to the Platte close by our Rowe Sanctuary blind. The sounds still echo.
Land Management and Gardens 
Our land manager, Aaron Druery, is busy preparing for prescribed burns.  Four are planned this spring in various areas of the Nature Center.  The crew will be seeding tall and midgrass prairie species along the new road and Heritage School.  There will, of course, be musk thistles to dig and trails to maintain.
Prescribed BurnOur two wonderful volunteer garden crews are gearing up for another season. The herb garden folks meet during the week, and prairie folks on Saturday morning. Call Becky Seth, 441-8708, if you are interested in joining us.
Featured on the Prairie Building Art Wall 
Watercolors by Karen Dienstbier from her water series.  "This series has been created partly from memory and partly through photography.  The memory allows me to call to mind the place, the sense of wonder, and the satisfaction and rejuvenation of walking in nature.  The photos give me the descriptive detail from which to work."
Coming in April: works by Todd Znamenacek.
Thank You 
      Scott Clarke family: floor puzzles for the preschool   
      Ashley Miller: books for the preschool
      Campbell and Marilyn McConnell: $500
      Dave Titterington:  new Purple Martin house
      Doole Family Charitable Foundation:  $1,000
Website Updates
As you may have heard, there are many exciting things happening at Lincoln Parks & Recreation with regard to staying connected with our participants and supporters. 

Last year, we updated our website to improve communication with people important to us and to allow them to receive the latest information on programs, activities and events for youth, adults and families in Lincoln.  From the home page,, you can:
Lincoln Parks & Recreation Twitter Link   Lincoln Parks & Recreation Facebook Fan Page Link   Lincoln Parks & Recreation RSS Feed
Thank you for your continued support of what we do.


Pioneers Park Nature Center

Did you know...

There has been a bison herd at Pioneers Park since the 1930's and has been part of the Nature Center since 1985.  Originating as the 40 acre Chet Ager Bird and Wildlife Nature Study Sanctuary in 1963, Pioneers Park Nature Center now has 668 acres of prairie, wetlands and woodlands.