New Nature Explorers program launches on Jan. 10 for homeschoolers at Ernie Miller Nature Center

New educational programs for home school students in two age groups are being launched beginning in early January at the Johnson County Park & Recreation District's Ernie Miller Nature Center, 909 North Kansas 7 Highway, Olathe.

The programs are called Nature Explorers and are for ages three through five and six through 12. These programs will give participants an opportunity to explore nature and animals around the nature center. Each program will be presented by park naturalists and will explore a different theme. When weather permits, the program will explore outdoors. A parent must register for these programs with their child. Parents will receive tips on how to weave nature into their lessons. All programs begin at 3:30 p.m. on a Thursday.

The first program will take place on Jan. 10, when the theme is Animal Signs. Participants will look for signs of animal tracks, investigate scat, and observe animal activity. Next up is a program on Jan. 31 called Native Americans, in which participants will learn about native peoples who lived off the land, hear stories, and see a live animal. Other upcoming programs in this series include Wake Up, It's Spring on March 7, and Trees are Tremendous on April 4.

To find these programs in the Johnson County Park & Recreation District’s Activities catalog and online listings, browse first under preschool or youth and then under nature & outdoors. In the catalog and when using the website’s advanced search, look for the keywords “home school.”

Come to one Nature Explorers program or all five. The cost for each one-hour program is $2.75 per person for Johnson County residents or $3.75 for nonresidents, including adults.

For more information about these programs, call (913) 764-7759. The JCPRD's Activities catalog, with information and a registration form, is available for pickup at all Johnson County Library branches. To register, call (913) 831-3359. To register online and for updated program listings, see the District's website at

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