Animal-related and outdoor skills presentations by park naturalists from the Ernie Miller Nature Center are available by appointment this fall for organized groups.
The animal programs are: Birds of Prey, Snakes Alive, Wildlife Who’s Who, Wildlife Webs, and Whoo Are The Owls. Other fall programs include: Map and Compass Clinic, Autumn Nature Walks, Archery Clinic, and Outdoor Skills Survival Hike
"The wildlife programs are great opportunities to see native wildlife up close and learn about fun facts and folklore," said Outdoor Education Manager Bill McGowan. "With the outdoor skill programs, we are teaching specific skills, and the nature walks are all about nature education and awareness. Our programs can be tailored to meet specific badge or other requirements."
These programs are popular and are frequently used by scout, school, and other groups. McGowan estimated about 150 animal program presentations, including 36 presentations of the birds of prey program alone, and about 25 outdoor skill and walk programs were presented in fall and winter 2019.
The five animal programs feature live animals and are offered at the Ernie Miller Nature Center or at your location in Kansas. Each program lasts approximately 45 minutes.
Birds of Prey
is for grades four and older. This program features live and close-up examples of these majestic raptors. Participants will get a close-up look at the special adaptations that make birds of prey some of nature’s best hunters.
is a live snake presentation for grades two and older in which participants will explore the facts and fallacies of these legless wonders of the natural world.
Wildlife Who’s Who
is for grades four and older. Participants will meet native examples of an amphibian, reptile, bird, and mammal and discover their similarities and differences.
is for grades one through three. Participants will untangle the web of Kansas wildlife as they meet live members of food chains from the forest, pond, and prairie.
Whooo Are The Owls
is for grades one through three. Participants will discover the needs and life cycle of an owl, and examine wings, feathers, and talons
Cost for presentation of any of these programs for your group at the Ernie Miller Nature Center for one to 15 people is $40 for Johnson County residents or $44 for nonresidents. For 16 to 35 people, the cost is $47 for Johnson County residents or $51 for nonresidents. Cost for any presentation at your location for one to 35 people is $65 for Johnson County residents or $70 for nonresidents. The cost for any consecutive session of any of these programs is $47 for Johnson County residents or $51 for nonresidents.
The skill programs and walks give participants a chance to gain prowess and experience that could come in handy in the outdoors.
In the Map and Compass Clinic
, children ages ten to 14 will learn the basics of a compass and reading a map. These skills will be combined through games.
The Archery Clinic
is for grades three and older and will cover safety techniques and basic fundamentals of archery. All equipment is provided.
The Outdoor Skills Survival Hike
is designed for ages six and older. Participants will problem solve as they hike through the wilderness of Ernie Miller Park. Emphasis will be on map reading, teamwork, decision making, and staying safe outdoors. This activity can be tailored to groups, age, and experience level.
Each of these programs lasts about an hour. The cost for up to ten people at Ernie Miller Park is $41 for Johnson County residents or $45 for nonresidents.
Autumn Nature Walks
are for ages six through adult and will allow participants to experience autumn's beauty during a guided walk through Ernie Miller Park. Walks can be tailored for special interests and/or specific scout requirements. The cost for one to ten people is $35 for Johnson County residents or $38 for nonresidents, and the cost for 11 to 15 people is $40 for Johnson County residents or $44 for nonresidents.
The Ernie Miller Nature Center
is located at 909 North Kansas-7 Highway, Olathe. For more information or to schedule any of these programs, call (913) 826-2800. Book early for your best choice of dates