Where in Dane County is the Simpson Street Free Press?
Exploring Climate Science at the Aldo Leopold Nature Center
by Tamiya Smith, age 12 and Andreanna Wright, age 13
It was a misty afternoon when we decided to venture out to the Aldo Leopold Nature Center. As we pulled up the long and winding road towards the Center, we were greeted by a couple of sandhill cranes. We could tell this was going to be a trip to remember!
Camille Zanoni, Vice President of Advancement at the Nature Center was kind enough to show us around. Beyond teaching us about wetlands, prairies, and woodlands, Zanoni walked us through a new exhibit space that informs visitors about drastic climate change and flooding that are negatively affecting the Earth.
The Climate Science Education Center was full of interactive exhibits, making all the information much easier to understand. One of our favorites was the Science on a Sphere exhibit. As our fellow Free Press reporter, Masha Vodyanyk, described it, “the exhibit provides visitors a unique way of viewing our planet.” We also found learning about the rising sea levels of the Pacific and Atlantic oceans fascinating. One display in particular used small lights on a large map to illustrate the potentially devastating effects on cities near the oceans if water levels keep rising.
The Nature Center’s goals are to educate young people about the world around them and how to protect it. They also want to get them outside more, since studies show that kids only spend about one percent of their day outdoors. To fight this problem, the Nature Center has started nature-based camps for kids, offering outdoor activities, healthy food and various learning experiences about the environment.
The Aldo Leopold Nature Center provides the community many opportunities to learn more about Madison’s surroundings and to have fun doing it, all for a low price. A one-day pass at the center costs $4; children under age three can explore the center for free. Located at 330 Femrite Drive, in Monona WI, the Aldo Leopold Nature Center offers an excellent learning experience that we highly recommend to all!