Minnesota Valley NWR - Nature in Your Neighborhood Club
Join the Nature in Your Neighborhood Club!

The Nature in Your Neighborhood (NIYN) club is a free program that encourages exploration and discovery of the natural world around you. Youth will engage with educational programs held by the refuge that include scavenger hunts, dipnetting in ponds, or monarch tagging. After attending three events youth will receive a backpack to help guide personal exploration of the outdoors. Here at Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge, we believe that everyone can be a naturalist! 


Geared for youth in grades K-5 


Program Process: 
  1. Sign up to our quarterly Events newsletter

     Minnesota Valley Events Newsletter  

  2. When you receive the newsletter look for events that state, “This is a Nature in your Neighborhood Program.” 

  3. Attend a Nature in Your Neighborhood program 

  4. Receive a stamp card 

  5. Attend three events to receive your personal backpack! 



When participants achieve their third stamp, they will receive a backpack with the following: 

  • Activity guide, available in English, Spanish or Somali 

  • Pocket identification guides - urban wildlife, animal tracks, pond insects 

  • Binoculars and hand lens 

  • Insect jars and nets 

  • Learning kits to put together and use  

  • Crafting supplies - writing and coloring pencils, scissors, glue, ruler, etc.  

  • FAQ packets 


After receiving a backpack, we encourage active participation in future NIYN programs to gain additional supplies and to continue having fun outdoors!  

For any questions, please contact Mary Yang at mary_yang@fws.gov 

Story Tags

Connecting people with nature
Education outreach
Environmental education
Urban refuge
Wildlife refuges

Recreational Activities