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Mother Nature grew continually colder and windier throughout the day, but plenty of activity was happening inside the Pioneers Park Nature Center's buildings at the Wild Adventures Festival Saturday, March 31.

The festival offered educational activities about endangered ecosystems, plants and animals native to Nebraska and live animal exhibits – even a puppet show about animals of the prairie and how they survive during winter. Kids and parents participated in a multitude of hands-on learning experiences.

Activities included:

- Box turtle tracking presented by the UNL School of Biological Sciences;

- Snakes of Nebraska presented by the UNL School of Natural Resources;

- A wildlife display by the Nebraska Wildlife Federation;

- How the decomposition of litter affects rare and endangered species, presented by Keep Lincoln and Lancaster County Beautiful;

- A gem dig led by the Lincoln Gem & Mineral Club;

- Endangered animals coloring pages presented by the Nebraska Conservation Educational Fund;

- Building native bee nests to hang at home, led by the UNL Bee Laboratory;

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- A habitat game led by the State Museum of Natural History-Morrill Hall;

- A bird craft led by the Spring Creek Prairie Audubon Center;

- Hands-on learning about insects’ anatomy and lifestyles led by UNL’s Department of Entomology;

- And others.

In addition, visitors were encouraged to explore some of Nebraska’s endangered ecosystems by hiking through the eight miles of trails at the Nature Center. The trails wind through tallgrass prairie, saline wetlands, a stream and woodlands. Exhibits on the trails feature bison, elk and white-tailed deer.

Friends of the Pioneers Park Nature Center and the Nebraska Wildlife Federation co-hosted the festival.

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