Family-Friendly Recreational & Educational Watershed Activities for Social Distancing
Our mission is to promote a healthy Lake Wingra through an active watershed community. It feels a little weird to use the term active community and COVID-19 in the same sentence, but we want to let you know we can be active together. It just might look a little different than we’re used to while respecting the COVID-19 social distancing guidelines!
When other daily activities are unavailable, nature is still around us. The water cycle is still happening in the watershed. We can find a sense of normalcy by immersing ourselves in what we can do for the environment and our watershed. These educational and recreational activities are really all age-friendly, you’re never too old to stop learning! We do know first-hand these are exceptionally disruptive times for children and want to make sure you have activities to keep your kids entertained, connected with nature, and engaged in making a positive impact.
Guidelines and suggestions on what we should do for social distancing will continue to change. Please follow the most up-to-date recommendations and adjust/adapt your activities as needed.
Social-Distance Friendly Activities:
Learn about all the beautiful things Lake Wingra’s watershed provides and understanding ways you can make an impact at home! Wingra ABCs provides multiple activities you can do with your family to increase kids’ familiarity with plants, places, wildlife, and water quality issues in the watershed.
Here’s a fun activity to get your kids outside and help them feel empowered in making stormwater management decisions around your home.
This is an EPA produced lesson plan. It’s meant for evaluating school grounds, but you can adapt it to your home with some minor planning (and if you have the time!). Kids can learn about different types of green infrastructure, complete a site inventory and analysis of their house, learn about soils and conduct some tests in your yard, perform some mathematical calculations for understanding how permeable pavement works, and learn about the water cycle. The lesson plan includes some questions your kids can answer and activities. You can use parts or all of the lesson plan.
Walk through the story mapping of what flash flooding is and how it’s affected the City of Madison. You can give your child the study questions below to help walk them through the information.
This can be an individual or a family-fun project. The new DNR rain garden manual will walk you through the steps to siting and designing a rain garden at your home. It provides images and calculations to follow. If you have questions while completing this, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are happy to help where we can.
Downspout Detectives – coming soon
We are working to design a project to help families learn about how downspouts from our homes can impact the watershed and ways they can improve their neighborhoods impact. Subscribe to our newsletter to know when it’s ready (see form at bottom of webpage).
Nature Walks & Outdoor Recreation
You can find many ways to get active in the Wingra watershed. If you do get outside, please use good judgement and follow the most current recommendations to protect yourself and our community against COVID-19.
- UW-Madison Arboretum offers many walking trails throughout the grounds. Some are jogging-stroller friendly, like the Grady Tract area. Check their website to double check access and what will be open and closed throughout COVID-19 restrictions.
- Wingra and Vilas Park provide open space where you can bring a soccer ball, frisbee, or binoculars to get some fresh air.
- Complete the Wingra ABCs scavenger hunt by visiting parks, Lake Wignra, and walking around the watershed.
- Take a bike ride around the watershed. You can use our bike map for ideas.
- Take a picture of some landmark or unique object and send it to us along with the location at email@example.com, we can use it for our #WhereinWingra social media posts!
- Visit Glenwood Children’s Park.
Did we miss something? Send it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Header photos by Richard Hurd available for use through Creative Commons.