Children's Forest Programs... Educator-Guided School and Youth Group Opportunities
Our Children’s Forest School Programs are conducted by trained educators and naturalists representing partner agencies at the Northern Great Lakes Visitor Center. Programs focus on learning about the stewardship of the Lake Superior region through grade-appropriate educational activities.

Programs are available by advance reservation only, on a first-come first-serve basis. For reservations or information, please contact Susan Nelson at 715-685-2644 or send an email. Classes are welcome to have lunch at the Center with advance notice. 

All programs are correlated to Wisconsin Academic Standards, and designed to provide relevance for multi-cultural audiences. Programs are produced in part, under grants provided by the Wisconsin Environmental Education Board and the Wisconsin Coastal Management. Copies of the complete Lake Superior Stewardship K-12 Curriculum are available at the University of Wisconsin website.

Grades K-1

Students become aware of life on the forest floor and forest plant and animal diversity, while learning how people work together to make and keep forests healthy for wildlife and for us. This program features the Center’s Puppet Theater to introduce students to a wonderland of woodland critters and the interconnectedness of the woodland ecosystem. 

Habitat Hunting Grades 2-4

Length: 3 hrs. Group Size: Max. 45 students Cost: Free

These programs can be customized for the group’s grade level and special interests. Students will discover the diversity of native plants of the northern forest, meadow, and wetland habitats, while becoming aware of the negative impacts of invasive, non-native plants. A discovery walk through forest, wetland, and meadow habitats with a hands-on stewardship activity will motivate further learning and appreciation of plant, animal and habitat diversity. 

Anishinaabeg... Native People of Lake Superior Forests Grades 2-7

Learning about honored traditions of hunting, fishing, gathering, and making all things needed from the earth provides the background students need to begin to understand treaty rights on ceded lands. Through videos, artifacts, crafts, foods, and Ojibwe language, students will gain cultural awareness and understand the importance of learning and living respectfully with the earth and with each other. 

Rooted In Resources... European Immigration and Lake Superior Region Grades 2-7

Voyageurs, fishermen, loggers, miners– all were lured here by seemingly endless resources. Railroads and ships transported this region’s lumber and iron ore to a growing country while bringing in new people and cultures from the east and from across the ocean. Some were hoping to farm the cutover -- all looking for a new life. Students study this rich cultural history while pondering impacts on Native people and the lessons learned about sustainability of the region’s resources. 

Habitat Rehab

Much of the Northern Great Lakes Visitor Center's property, like other northern rural areas, was cleared of its valuable timber a century ago, drained, and left in a worn-out, low-value, weedy condition. What can we do to heal the land? Students will learn first hand how trees, wetlands, and native plants can be returned to the land. They will learn how rehabing these lands can increase wildlife diversity, value to people, and benefits to streams, estuaries, and Lake Superior itself! Students will participate in a hands-on habitat rehab project and should come dressed for outdoor learning (old long-sleeved shirts, long pants, and sneakers are recommended)!

Lake Superior Estuary Ed-Ventures Grades 7 and up

Length: 2.5 hrs. Group Size: 6-12 participants. Cost: $10.00 each. Minimum age: 12 years. Offered: June-September.

Advance Registration Required. Groups will receive a pretrip packet upon making their reservation.
Join us on-the-water in safe, double-seater kayaks, on the sheltered Fish Creek and Whittlesey Creek Estuaries. Experience the beauty and ecology of Lake Superior's freshwater estuaries. Learn how the area's geology, culture, and history have shaped these unique coastal wetlands. Programs may be customized to meet special interests. These on-the-water experiences may be combined with an indoor Center experience for a longer program or to accommodate larger groups. Minimum age: 12 years. Offered: June—September. No experience needed, all equipment provided. Groups will receive a pre-trip packet upon making their reservation.  For reservations or information please contact Cathy Techtmann at 715-561-2695 or e-mail

"Leadership Secrets of the Voyageurs" Estuary Ed-Venture

Voyageur brigades that transported furs and trade goods had to function as a team in order to survive Lake Superior's challenges. This unique program uses our safe double-seater kayaks, together with leadership development games and challenges, to build your group's teamwork skills while enjoying paddling fun. This on-land and on-the-water program is conducted in the sheltered Fish Creek Estuary. For reservations or information please contact Cathy Techtmann at 715-561-2695 or e-mail

Guided Learning Experiences for Schools & Groups

David R. Obey Northern Great Lakes

Copyright  Friends of the Center. All rights reserved.

9am-5pm Daily | 715.685.9983 | Free Admission | 29270 County Highway G, Ashland, WI 54806 |

Switch to Mobile Version