Nature Backpacks in Corps Parks

Published May 23, 2013

Rock Island, IL-The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Mississippi River Project has created a Nature Backpack Program in an effort to provide an opportunity to encourage children to learn more about the natural world.

The nature backpacks contain many different indoor and outdoor activities to engage children.  Some fun outdoor activities include a nature scavenger hunt, bug and bird watching, and how to make a whistle from just a blade of grass.  Did you know you can tell the temperature by listening to a cricket?  The backpack includes many different tools to entice young nature lovers to explore their surroundings including binoculars, a nature book, bug boxes, and a magnifying glass.  The nature backpack also includes fun indoor activities such as coloring and drawing pages, word finds, crossword puzzles, and amazing facts.  Did you know an earthworm has five hearts?  Or pileated woodpeckers hammer their heads into a tree up to 20 times a second?


Backpacks will be available at the fee booths in the following Class “A” parks: Grant River, Blanding Landing, Thomson Causeway, Fisherman’s Corner, Clark’s Ferry, and Shady Creek.  The backpacks will also be available for nature adventures at The Mississippi River Project Office, The Visitor Center on Arsenal Island, and at the Quincy Ranger Station.  Anyone interested will be able to check out on loan a backpack for the day.  For more information on how to check out a backpack, contact one of the following Mississippi River Project’s offices: 


Dubuque Ranger Office: 563-582-0881

Thomson Ranger Office: 815-259-3628

Mississippi River Project Office: 309-794-4526

Mississippi River Visitor Center: 309-794-5338

Muscatine Ranger Office: 563-263-7913

Quincy Ranger Office: 217-228-0890
Kevin Zidarich

Release no. 13-030