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Enjoying The Outdoors in Summer and Fall with Jeanne Dernehl – 8-6-16

June 26, 2016

Summer and early fall are a great time for families to be outside to learn about and experience the beauty of nature.  For some, nature is found nearby and easy to explore.  But many people have not had extensive experience with nature, and therefore enjoy the opportunity to connect with public trails and camps that can make learning about nature easy.  This week we speak with the Director of a community nature center who will share ideas on how we can enjoy and explore nature this summer and early fall.


Jeanne Dernehl is the Executive Director of River Bend Nature Center in Racine, WI.   She received her Bachelors of Art degree from Layton School of Art.  She has over 21 years in marine recreational facilities management and over 17 years in non-traditional education positions, including positions with Discovery World Museum, Racine Historical Museum, and Small World Montessori School. She has spent the last four years at River Bend.

Jeanne has a commitment to providing experiential and discovery-based learning opportunities, as well as a life-long love of nature.  The programs at River Bend are designed to be hands-on, non-competitive learning experiences that allow a child to discover and learn through personal explorations.  The nature center provides the ideal environment for exploration and discovery that allows a child (or adult) to develop a personal relationship with nature.  The person who has found their place in the natural world, and whose head, hands and heart have engaged with nature, will become a person who will feel responsibility to care for that world.  The nature center provides the opportunity for that personal relationship with nature to seed and flourish.

River Bend Nature Center provides environmental education and outdoor recreation for children, families and adults.  With a goal to provide a platform of opportunities through which people can engage with nature.  These opportunities include school field trip programs, nature enrichment programs, production, , special events, and environmentally sensitive recreation programs such as hiking, canoeing, kayaking, archery, cross country skiing and snowshoeing.

The Nature Center has 78 acres of prairie, forest, wetlands, ponds and river which serve as an outdoor classroom as well as a place of peace and beauty.

For more information about River Bend, please go to

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