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Dane County Land & Water Resources Department

Youth and Education Programs

A growing initiative of the department is to get more young people engaged with the natural world around them. We have formed several partnerships with local groups to give more youth an opportunity to connect with nature. We also offer public programs and events that anyone can join. Learn more about some of our youth programs and initiatives using the links below.

Canoe trip with YELE students

Environmental Education Programs

  • Our Lussier Family Heritage Center Facility offers a number of public educational programs and events for both youth and adults. Visit their website to learn more.

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  • Ripple Effects also has resources to help you discover actions you can take to protect Dane County waters!

Snowshoeing with Get Outside program participants

Friends Group Events

  • Many of our parks have volunteer friends groups that host family friendly or youth-focused events throughout the year. These events will be posted on our events calendar.  

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Staff helping with an adaptive climbing event

Arbor Fair and Dream Nights

  • Our forestry staff partner with the Henry Vilas zoo once per year and adaptive climbing events so youth of all abilities can learn about and climb trees. They also participate in a Dream Night program for terminally and critically ill children and their families that gives them a fun outdoor experience and a day away from the hospital.

Simpson Street Students looking at invasive New Zealand Mudsnails

Internship Programs

  • Our department partners with a number of local groups to give you the chance to learn more about environmental career opportunities. We host students through the Boys & Girls Club, Simpson Street Free Press and also have a Forestry Career Pathways program.