Dodge Log

Stories from Dodge Nature Center and Preschool

Welcome to the Dodge Log

From signs of spring to best books to animal ambassadors, discover the stories behind Dodge Nature Center and Preschool! In blog posts filled with photos, you’ll hear from naturalists, teachers and students about their meaningful, memorable experiences at Dodge.


Nature is magnetic

December 4, 2020
The last session of Outdoor Learning Days was one for the geologic record books. In the latest post on the Dodge Log, settle into your seats at the School of Rocks. Join juvenile geologists as they sweep for magnetic minerals, cement their understanding of sedimentation and unbottle volcanic activity.

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An arborist with roots at Dodge

July 21, 2020
If you spend your childhood summers at Dodge, what could you grow up to be? Maryland arborist Meg Smolinski says her interest in horticulture stemmed from happy days hiking at the nature center. In the latest post on the Dodge Log, Meg reconnects with one of the naturalists that cultivated her love of trees, gardens and growing a greener world.

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Furry, feathery, leathery and loved

July 13, 2020
Whooo would you say is the most excellent educational animal at Dodge? An owl? A fowl? A pig with big jowls? Some of our staff select their favorite resident animals in the latest Dodge Log post.

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Magic and nature of teaching

June 22, 2020
“I love hearing the audible ‘wow!’” Every Dodge naturalist aims for those kinds of marvelous moments in their classes and camps. In this post, they talk about what they like to teach best and their standout memories in the outdoor classroom.

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Wild, edible and sometimes Stone Age

June 8, 2020
What’s fiery, fun and foraged from the forest? Campfire cooking at Dodge! Outdoor cooking is a great way to bring a little Dodge into your yard, and naturalists Mick and Pete have the wild-style recipes to get you going.

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Best book picks from Dodge Nature Preschool

April 16, 2020
Dodge preschoolers may be staying home, but that doesn’t mean learning—or reading—stop! Our teachers have savvy selections for books to keep your preschooler laughing, lively and feeling loved. Picks range from fiction to nonfiction, fantasy to nature-based, animals to animation, and silly to serious. Snuggle up for some stories!

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Sights and sounds of spring

March 9, 2020
Dodge naturalist Teresa Root developed the Signs of Spring contest to honor a feeling shared by many Minnesotans in early March: “You’re so tired of winter, and really looking forward to spring.”

Springtime activities—watching wildlife, identifying flowers, listening closely to bird calls—are available to all. Out in nature, you can de-stress and deepen your observational abilities. Take advice from a naturalist: “Just sit in a chair in your backyard, slow down, take time, really notice.”

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Polar esteem

February 21, 2020
Dodge doesn’t pause when temps drop. Horses prep to pull sleighs, Naturalist Fellows dig snow shelters (no, they don’t have to live in them), and bonfires bring some warmth to the most Siberian season.

In taking kids outside all winter, naturalists and preschool teachers ascribe to the motto, “There is no such thing as bad weather—only the wrong clothes.”

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Naturalists up next

February 4, 2020
Dodge’s yearlong Naturalist Fellowship trains college graduates as environmental educators, readying them to teach everything from Animal Tracks to Wilderness Survival.

What’s teacher training like at Dodge? It’s outside, it’s hands-on—and it’s crammed with questions.

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