Highlands Biological Station buildings remain closed to visitors with the exception of limited visitor hours for the Nature Center.  HBS Botanical Garden trails remain open, and in accordance with University policy masks and physical distancing are required on the HBS campus.  Highlands Biological Station currently plans to offer academic and public programming in summer 2021, observing University mandated Covid-19 safety protocols.  For the safety of the HBS summer community, before being permitted to work or study at HBS prospective summer students, teaching faculty, and researchers must provide documentation of (1) having received a Covid-19 vaccine or (2) a negative Covid-19 test taken within 3 days of planned arrival.  Please see the HBS website for full summer 2021 Covid-19 safety policies and procedures, and bear in mind that University policy and HBS program plans are subject to change in light of developments with the pandemic this spring. 

Welcome to our Virtual Learning Center for the Highlands Nature Center & Botanical Garden!

 

Can’t visit us in person?  No problem!  See below for activities you can do at home to become a backyard naturalist, videos from our garden, and more.

Nearby Nature Programs

Below, we have compiled our Nearby Nature series featuring daily activities and crafts that you can do with your family. Each program follows a nature-related theme and is suitable for kids and adults of all ages. Follow the Highlands Nature Center and the Highlands Biological Station’s Facebook Pages for more activity and craft ideas!

Birds

Did you know bird diversity is very high in the southern Appalachian Mountains? Here you can make your own birds nest, learn about the significance of eggshell hues and patterns, watch live camera feeds of various birds, and learn bird ID tips. Then go outside and put your new skills to the test!

Frogs

Hop outside and become familiar with frogs in your area and their calls, explore how their skin and features are adapted to their surroundings, and learn the key differences between frogs and toads!

Wildflowers

Spring blooms are popping up everywhere! Use these resources to learn about which wildflowers are in your area, how to press wildflowers, how they attract pollinators, and more!

Phenology

What is phenology? Click here to find out and to explore crafts, activities, videos, and citizen science projects related to this topic.

Pollinators

What are pollinators? Learn about the pollinators in your region while crafting seed bombs and “bee condos” to help aid in their survival. Then, become a Pollinator Hero and go on a virtual quest to find solutions for the problems the pollinators in your area are facing.

Biodiversity

It doesn’t have to be Earth Day to celebrate all that the earth has provided us! Click above to see how we celebrated Earth for a whole by highlighting the incredible biodiversity found here on the Highlands Plateau. From salamanders to mushrooms and lichens, there’s so much to explore and appreciate.

 Astronomy

Get a glimpse of the night sky in your neighbourhood! Learn to identify different constellations, make constellation cookies, learn about light pollution, and much more!

Weather

Did you know Highlands is a temperate rainforest?? It’s normal for Highlands to receive 80-120 inches of rain in a single year! Click here to make clouds, a rain gauge, your very own outdoor thermometer, and more.