Lake Superior Environmental Education Programs

NGLVC-UWEX Forestry Program for LCO Trival StudentsEnvironmental education, or “EE”, isn’t just kids stuff!

EE teaches us to investigate our environment and make informed decisions about taking care of it now and for future generations.

It’s compelling education, delivered in fun, experiential settings.

We offer a variety of educator-led EE programs and resources for kids of all ages that investigate critical issues affecting the Lake Superior region and beyond. Our most popular programs are:

  • Habitat Hunting… exploring the importance of habitats to plant and animal diversity
  • Rooted In Resources:  The Role of Our Region’s Natural Resources in Anishanaabe Culture and European Immigration
  • Kid’s Paddle Forest to Lake… on on-the-water program that builds awareness of the connection between the forests and Lake Superior, focusing on the Fish Creek Estuary.
  • Paddle the Pearls Estuary Ed-Ventures…. on the water guided ed-ventures on the Fish Creek and Whittlesey Creek Estuaries for students and adults.

GOOD NEWS: In 2015 and 2016, the Wisconsin legislature passed a bipartisan resolution recognizing the importance of children’s access to Wisconsin’s outdoor resources and activities. Watch a short Wisconsin’s Children’s Outdoor Heritage video that shows the Resolution through images stories of kids in the environment or read the full Wisconsin Statute at  Wisconsin Children’s Outdoor Heritage Resolution,

Northecolor-logorn Great Lakes Visitor Center (NGLVC) Youth Environmental Education Programs

Discover the ecology of the Lake Superior region while learning about the importance of stewardship of the resources we share.  We offer a variety of environmental educational programs for school classes, homeschoolers, and youth groups through programs at the Northern Great Lakes Visitor Center in Ashland WI. Take a look at the programs in our 2017-18 NGLVC YOUTH ENVIRONMENTAL ED PROGRAMS

NGLVC Environmental Education Programs are taught by environmental education specialists from UW-Extension, the US Forest Service, Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, and volunteer educators. Programs focus on learning about the stewardship of the Lake Superior region.  Many of these programs are offered outdoors through grade-appropriate educational activities for grades K-12. Some feature costumed characters that make the past and present come alive. All are fun learning experiences that engage learners!

 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 e-mail school bus

 Bus “scholarships” are available to help defray transportation costs for schools coming to the Center for EE programs. Click on the school bus for more information.



NEW for 2018!  Kids Paddle Forest to Lake Program

This 2.5 hour program connects youth with public lands, habitats, and watersheds through hands-on learning that includes:

  • water quality sampling,
  • discovering macro invertebrates,
  • and exploring the culture and ecology of the Fish Creek watershed via kayak.

Programs are available for youth groups between 6-52 members. Program costs are provided by a US Forest Service Youth Engagement grant. Transportation “scholarships” are available for youth organizations to offset travel costs. No experience needed. All equipment provided. This program is a partnership between the US Forest Service, Superior Rivers Watershed Association, and UW Extension. For more info and program reservations, check out the Kids Paddle Forest to Lake flyer or click here to paddle over to the Paddle the Pearls webpage for more details. Duration: 2.5  hours.  Minimum age 12 years. Group size 6-52. Cost: FREE. Transportation scholarships available for youth organizations.

Paddle the Pearls Estuary Ed-Ventures                               Estuary.Ed.Ventures

These on-the-water programs, taught by Cathy Techtmann-UW Extension Environmental Outreach Specialist, explore the culture, ecology, and importance of Lake Superior’s freshwater estuaries and coastal wetlands. Click here to paddle over to the Paddle the Pearls webpage for more details. Duration: 2.5  hours. Minimum age 12 years. For more information, program cost, and reservations, contact Cathy at 715.561.2695 or

EE TOOLKIT– Resources for YouWater sampling

We offer a wide variety of time tested EE curriculum and resources in our EE Toolkit. Feel free to download and use them!


 The Northern Great Lakes Visitor Center - Ashland, WI

The Northern Great Lakes Visitor Center is located 2 miles west of Ashland WI

just off US Hwy. 2, on County G

In addition to EE programs, the Center offers exhibits, multi-media learning experiences, interpretive nature trails, and special events.

The Center is a partnership between the US Forest Service, National Park Service, US Fish and Wildlife Service, University of Wisconsin-Extension, State Historical Society of Wisconsin, and the Friends of the Center




More in this Section

  • EE Toolbox