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Find out what's happening in the blog. Below is a list of blog items.

Jan 31

Eastern Red Cedar

Posted to Ernie Miller Nature Center: Tracks Newsletter by Bryan Thompson

In the winter the Eastern red cedar (Juniperus virginiana) is more easily seen. This evergreen is common through out our state. Many people see this tree as a weedy plant that invades the prairie, shading out grasses and flowers below. This tree is not a cedar nor is it red, at least not on the outside.

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Jul 31

Ernie Miller Nature Center offers nature and outdoor skills programs for groups

Posted to Explore JCPRD by Becky Burnside

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. 

Snakes Alive 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. 

Wildlife Webs 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

Mar 22

Test Post 3: Cooking with Jeff

Posted to Welcome to the Test Blog by Bryan Thompson


I gave it a cold? I gave it a virus. A computer virus. You know what? It is beets. I've crashed into a beet truck. They're using our own satellites against us. And the clock is ticking. I gave it a cold? I gave it a virus. A computer virus. Hey, take a look at the earthlings. Goodbye!

Hey, take a look at the earthlings. Goodbye! We gotta burn the rain forest, dump toxic waste, pollute the air, and rip up the OZONE! 'Cause maybe if we screw up this planet enough, they won't want it anymore! Eventually, you do plan to have dinosaurs on your dinosaur tour, right?

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