Nature Net is an environmental learning network comprised of area nature centers, museums, gardens, and parks offering experiential, place-based environmental education to the schoolchildren, teachers, and families of south central Wisconsin. As a project of the Aldo Leopold Nature Center, Nature Net works to increase access to free and low-cost environmental education resources and to promote collaboration and educational excellence in nature education throughout the region and beyond.

Who We Are

Nature Net consist of 20 member sites who offer experiential, place-based environmental education to the schoolchildren, teachers, and families of south central Wisconsin. Nature Net is operated and staffed by the Aldo Leopold Nature Center and is thus overseen by the Nature Center’s board of directors (see Contact Us for current Nature Net staff information).

What We Do

Nature Net works to connect children, families, and educators to nature. We were founded on the belief that a rising tide raises all ships. By working together to encourage and foster the “children and nature movement,” Nature Net member sites create a collective impact, increase awareness of area resources and the field of environmental education, and help parents and teacher get children out into nature.

We do this through a variety of programs, including Nature Express bus funding for nature field trips, Nature Passport journal and adventure guide, online resources, and monthly blog posts for teachers and parents to learn about the world around us and discover existing resources.

The History of Nature Net

FundForChildrenNature Net was founded in 1995 by the Aldo Leopold Nature Center in an effort to promote collaboration and educational excellence in nature education throughout south central Wisconsin. Identifying nature field trip programs within a 45-minute bus ride from the Madison metropolitan center, Nature Net began with a consortium of 16 member sites, ranging from private non-profit centers to governmental agency sites. Its success in south central Wisconsin has spawned similar efforts around the state and country.

Since its inception, Nature Net has focused on making area resources available and attractive to local schools and families. Its programs are designed to make nature education innovative, relevant, affordable, and fun!

Supported by the American Girl Fund for Children and other grants and contributions, Nature Net has been considered a model for regional collaboration and has been featured by the US Department of Education as a premiere example of community partnerships in education. We thank our generous funders for their ongoing support of south central Wisconsin nature education!

“At a time when children are spending on average only 1% of their day outdoors, opportunities to connect families with nature are more important than ever before. For 20 years, the Aldo Leopold Nature Center has led the collaboration of Nature Net: The Environmental Learning Network, providing a crucial resource for tens of thousands of children and their families and teachers in South Central Wisconsin to engage with nature in their local communities and beyond.” – Renee Anderson, Fund for Children Board Chair

Want to Work for Nature Net?

If you’re interested in becoming an intern at Nature Net, you can contact us through this form. The Nature Net internship offers the opportunity to:

  • promote Nature Net and its member sites to the public through outreach events and social media,
  • research and provide web content,
  • get Nature Passports into the hands of thousands of families,
  • learn about the field of non-profit management,
  • meet and learn from all the Nature Net members.

Opportunities to attend related workshops and conferences are included, and your ideas on outreach and advancement of the Nature Net mission are encouraged. Upon filling out the form, your information will be stored and we will contact you at the time of the next internship opening.

The internship time commitment is generally 10 hours per week and some work may be done from home. Starting pay is $10/hour. Nature Net and its parent organization, the Aldo Leopold Nature Center, is an equal opportunity employer committed to building and serving a more diverse staff and community, and qualified applicants of under-represented backgrounds and identities are encouraged to apply.