Nebraska Programs

Bird Conservancy’s educational impact has reached all the way into Western Nebraska since 2007.  In partnership with Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, a Bird Conservancy Wildlife Education Coordinator is based out of Scottsbluff, NE, and reaches one in three students in the Nebraska Panhandle with year-round environmental educational programs and outreach events. Many of these events include Bird Banding Station Field Trips, After School Nature Clubs, Family Nature Nights, State Park Bioblitzes, Environmental Service Learning Programs, Early Childhood Programs, Teacher Training Workshops, and other community events and school programs. Most Nebraska programs are funded through a grant from the Nebraska Environmental Trust (NET).

Nebraska Environmental Trust

Contact Chaley Jensen at (308) 633-1013 or [email protected] to register for programs.

Visit our Stewardship Contacts age more information about our land stewardship efforts and field staff in Nebraska.  Click here to read blog posts and stories from past Nebraska education and outreach programs.

Click below to learn about our educational programs in western Nebraska.

P.E.E.P.: Panhandle Eco-Extravaganza about Prairies

The PEEP program brings prairie and riparian conservation messages to students throughout western Nebraska. The program is free to elementary students in grades 4 and 5.

PEEP incorporates hands-on, minds-on activities about the shortgrass prairie and ponderosa pine ecosystems. It is unique to Nebraska as it brings together agricultural and conservation groups to deliver 3 hours of fun, action-packed activities that also meet several state standards.

  • Critter Scene Investigation (CSI): Students examine a “crime” scene to determine what animals were there by investigating tracks and scat.
  • Web of Life: Students examine the relationship between predators and prey (hawks/prairie dogs).
  • Shorebird Show and Tell: Students discuss and explore a species of concern: Mountain Plover.
  • Swifty Critters: Students discuss and explore a species of concern: Swift Fox.
  • Wildlife Exploration: Students view live shortgrass prairie animals, plus skins and skulls of many others.
  • Shortgrass Prairie/Pine Ridge Jeopardy: Students learn about the shortgrass prairie/pine ridge eco-regions while participating in this fun activity based on the game show.

PEEP is offered on a rotational basis between northwest and southwest Nebraska.

2015 Locations: Sioux County, Chadron, Crawford, Hay Springs, Rushville, Gordon, Alliance, Morrill, Mitchell and Hemingford

2016 Locations: Harrisburg, Kimball, Potter-Dix, Sidney, Chappell, Oshkosh, Bayard, Bridgeport, Minatare, Gering and Scottsbluff

Bird Banding Stations

Bird banding stations in Nebraska are located at Wildcat Hills State Recreation Area in Gering and Chadron State Park in Chadron. Programs are geared for grade 3 and up, but all grades are welcome. Programs are free and run 2 hours. The banding stations are open in the fall.

Click here to download a field trip registration form for group visits to our Nebraska bird banding stations.

Bird banding stations give students the opportunity to see birds in the hand. This experiential learning provides students with the opportunity to observe data collection and to learn about bird adaptations, conservation issues, behaviors, habitat requirements and migration patterns.

Students are able to interact with the ponderosa pine and shortgrass prairie environments with the banding stations as a focal point. Information provided at the banding stations goes beyond birds and emphasizes the importance of our native habitats for healthy human and wildlife communities. This hands-on learning helps create an awareness and appreciation for Nebraska’s biodiversity.

Visit our Bird Banding page to learn more about banding birds.

Educator Staff Development

The Bird Conservancy offers teacher staff development in western Nebraska, including pre-service and in-service trainings in Project WILD, Flying WILD and other topics.

Project WILD is the nation’s longest standing wildlife education program. It has reached more than 1 million educators and 53 million youth. This interdisciplinary program teaches learners “how to think, not what to think,” and assists in developing problem-solving and decision-making skills. Hands-on, inquiry-based activities engage students in learning about wildlife and the environment. The K-12 curriculum and activity guide are easy to use and well-organized and cover major themes including: habitats, ecosystems and niches, adaptations, interdependence, biodiversity, cultural perspectives, human impacts, wildlife management and taking action.

Flying WILD is a supplemental curriculum and activity guide introducing students to the study of birds, habitat issues and community service projects related to birds. Activities are geared toward grades 5-8.

Growing Up WILD is an early childhood education program that builds on children’s sense of wonder about nature and invites them to explore wildlife and the world around them. Through a range of activities and experiences, Growing Up WILD provides an early foundation for developing positive impressions about nature and lifelong social and academic skills. It is for ages 3-7.

Project Learning Tree (PLT) is an award-winning, multi-disciplinary environmental education program for educators and students in pre-K to grade 12. PLT is a program of the American Forest Foundation. It is one of the most widely used environmental education programs in the United States and abroad, and continues to set the standard for environmental education excellence.

For more information:
Chaley Jensen
Nebraska Wildlife Education Coordinator
(308) 633-1013
[email protected]

Photo Credit:
Lauren Dieriaz