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Did you Know?






Alligators are absolutely amazing animals. They have been around for millions of years, and they are about as close as humans will ever get to seeing a living dinosaur. The reason they have survived so long is that they are nearly perfect animals for their environment. For example:

- Alligators can survive two to three years without eating.

- Alligators are one of the few reptiles today that care for their young.

- Alligators have vibration sensors on their skin that can detect even the slightest vibration and get out of harm's way long before it arrives.

On the other hand, alligators can be quite dangerous. An alligator's brain weighs only 8 or 9 grams and would take up only one-half of a tablespoon. This lack of brain power means there is no such thing as a "nice alligator". If it is hungry, an alligator will eat anything that moves. So keep your puppy on a leash!

Alligators are found only in the United States and China. In the US alligators live along the south Atlantic and gulf coasts in fresh or brackish (part salt) water. These large lizards are cold-blooded and cannot live where the air temperature gets below freezing.

If you want to see alligators visit Anhinga Trail in the Everglades or Big Cypress National Preserve (next to Everglades). There the alligators hang out just outside the visitor center! To learn more about alligators go to:





Lichens are made up of a fungus with a green partner  that can produce food for the lichen from sunlight and water.  This is called a symbiotic relationship because the fungus provides the green plant with a home and the green plant provides food for the fungus. 

The green plant is usually an alga of some kind and is able to make food through photosynthesis.

This is why lichens are able to grow on rocks and very thick tree bark. 

For more information see:



Who painted the Turtle?


This female Midland painted turtle was spotted in Nashotah Park in Waukesha County on June 30, 2007 laying eggs near Grass Lake.

Did you know that if temperatures remain below 82°F, male turtles will hatch? If it warms up, females will hatch. See for yourself! The eggs are due to hatch in mid-September. Be on the lookout for them!

For more information, see:

Detailed Information about the Painted Turtle

Wikipedia Entry on the Painted Turtle

Portrait of a Painted Turtle



Find Fun stuff about Nature and your Planet

earthOCEAN is an online channel about the marine environment. Its aim is to explore the oceans in depth and bring the information they find to the online viewer in the form of short video documentaries. Right now you can see "Disappearing Dolphins" and "Whales of the Mediterranean" among others.

Sierra Club Youth
Get information about the Sierra Club’s Youth Program, Building Bridges to the Outdoors, along with lots of other information about how to get involved with conservation!


Connections close by


Milwaukee Recreation
Milwaukee Recreation, a part of Milwaukee Public Schools, works to link public education and the community.  Their outdoor programs include a variety of outdoor field trips to places listed in the Sierra Club Great Waters Group’s, "Kid’s Guide to the Outdoors".   This site also has links to a variety of programs offered by Milwaukee recreation including ropes and challenge courses and much, much more!



Eek! Environmental Education from Wisconsin's DNR
This fun, kid oriented site has lots of information about animals, birds, fish, insects, habitats and more in Wisconsin.  You can even explore jobs that people choose to work with nature.

If you want help understanding the natural world you see every day, this site is for you! 



Energy Just Keeps Running


Learn how to build and operate a wind turbine right in your own backyard!  The KidWind Project is a team of teachers, students, engineers and practitioners exploring the science behind wind energy in classrooms around the US.  Our goal is to introduce as many people as possible to the elegance of wind power through hands-on science activities which are challenging, engaging and teach basic science principles.


Energy Quest
Learn about energy!  Learn where our energy comes from, how it is used, and what you can do to conserve it.  Games, science projects, and interactive websites can all be found here!

More Info on Energy: Energy Information Administration


What Can Kids Do?


Kids Ecology
A great site for kids to learn all about ecology.  Complete with links to fun sites, information on biomes, marine mammals, conservation projects, and more.


Healthy Communities Project
Start improving your environment in your own yard.  This site lets you learn how to create a pesticide free yard!  Great for kids and parents! 

Green Action - Youth Site
Green Action is a website for kid activists made by kid activists.  It can give you ideas about how to be an active citizen who makes a difference when it comes to the environment!


 How Can You Find Places in the World?


Google Earth
Google Earth combines satellite imagery, maps and the power of Google Search to put the world's geographic information at your fingertips.  Zoom in to a specific address, tilt or rotate your view to see 3D surfaces, and more!!!


National Atlas
Make your own maps!  The National Atlas website’s map maker allows you to add and subtract features from your map to show anything from population, to energy use, to historical data.  A fun interactive website for everyone! 

Globe, or Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment, is a worldwide hands-on, primary and secondary school-based education and science program. This website can show you how to do science experiments that really matter!!! Get involved with research projects, make maps, and collaborate with students and scientists worldwide!


Surfing and Learning More about our Earth

Natural Resources Defense Council
A listing of Environmental websites put together by the Natural Resources defense council.    Has links to sites on animals, water resources, the environment, activism, and more.

Earth & Sky
Find great articles on environmental issues and science at Earth & Sky.


Environmental Literacy Council
A site dedicated to environmental literacy with links to find out information about your local environment, homework help, and fun facts about the world around you!


 The Wonders of Science


The Earth Portal

  • A comprehensive, free and dynamic resource for timely, objective, science-based information about the environment

  • Built by a global community of environmental experts

  • Includes Encyclopedia of Earth with articles, e-books, reports, interactive maps, biographies, and more

  • Earth News provides breaking news updates from many sources with links from key words to the Encyclopedia