Environment
5:18 pm
Fri February 21, 2014

Smokey the Bear and Woodsy Owl Return to Milwaukee for Kids' Exhibit on Nature

Lake Effect's Mitch Teich interviews Betty Brinn Children's Museum's Kristen Adams and Jean Classen of the US Forest Service's Urban Connections program in Milwaukee.

Though this Wisconsin winter has meant a lot of time cooped up kids, the Betty Brinn Children's Museum has just opened an exhibit that brings the outdoors inside.

The "Smokey Bear and Woodsy Owl: Home Sweet Home" aims to get children excited about the natural environment and encourage them to head outdoors when spring finally comes.

It is the second time the exhibit has been on display here. It started as a local initiative between Betty Brinn and the U.S. Forest Service, but was successful enough that the exhibit went out to other museums around the country.  

Jean Classen, who heads up the U.S. Forest Service’s Urban Connections program in Milwaukee, says the exhibit helps fill the lack of environmental education that many urban children have.

“The goal of our urban connections program is to connect urban residents to the forest service,” Classen says. “Some of our key messages are getting outside, trying new recreation opportunities, going camping, hiking. It just felt like whatever key message we wanted the museum to share, they found a really fun, creative way to share it with this age group.”

Kristen Adams, the chief advancement director at the Betty Brinn Children's Museum, says they created an outdoor experience indoors, by hand, to inspire families to get outdoors and to help conserve natural resources.

"Smokey Bear and Woodsy Owl: Home Sweet Home," is open at the museum until May 4th.