The Alachua County Library District will be partnering with the Florida Museum of Natural History on a new opportunity for library patrons to enjoy nature. The Exploration Backpacks will be available for checkout from all 12 of the Library District locations starting November 7.
The backpacks are filled with items to foster discovery in nature. They will have binoculars, a plant press, butterfly net, bug enclosure, bug lens, hand lens, a clipboard, a pocket microscope, and instructions in English and Spanish. Backpacks will also include The Nature of Florida: An Introduction to Familiar Plants, Animals & Natural Attractions field guide and an optional survey that can be submitted upon return for a free group pass for admission for up to four people to the Butterfly Rainforest Exhibit.
“The backpacks enhance the experience of families who may not have these items and can now see the parks through a new lens, literally,” said Florida Museum Youth Outreach Coordinator Alberto Lopez.
For the last two years, the Florida Museum’s “Museum in the Parks” program has provided opportunities for children and their families to explore local and state parks, meet scientists, and to observe artifacts from the museum’s collections. The Exploration Backpacks will be a new way for the community to engage with nature outside the walls of the museum or library.
The Exploration Backpacks will be added to the area of the Library District’s collection known as the Library of Things. This collection features items like STEM Kits, Sensory Toys, Birding Kits, and Book Club Kits.
The amazing hiking trails and local parks throughout Alachua County are the perfect setting for using these discovery kits.
You must have a standard library card to check out an Exploration Backpack. Library cards are free, and you can sign up for a card at any Library District location. One kit can be checked out per person for two weeks and may be renewed up to two times. Kits should be returned inside the library instead of book drops.
This program was made possible by a grant from the Institute of Museum & Library Services.
The Keys family is vacationing at Shenandoah National Park intending to do some serious hiking, but twelve-year-old Marlon would much rather be on his phone talking with his friends at home in Chicago, and is further annoyed because the girl his own age, Nadia, turns out to be an experienced hiker; but when on the first day his complaining and resistance separates him from his parents his "boring" vacation becomes an exercise in survival as he and Nadia are caught in a storm.
This beautifully illustrated, informative book explores everything you've ever wanted to know about bugs and where to find them. In this second book in the Nature All Around series, young readers will learn all about true bugs, complete and incomplete metamorphosis, bug habitats, migration and hibernation, a year in the life of a bug and more.