8 Cool Things You Can Find at The Outdoor Campus and Sertoma Park

By Sam Williams

You know on TV shows, when a person needs to make up a fake name on the spot, and they look around and concoct a name from their immediate surroundings, like Speaker Staplerpen or Sharpie Computerphone? This is the blog post version of that. I took a walk around the building, the park and the trails on a daring quest to find neat stuff to tell you about. Here’s a list of that stuff.

  • The Big Fish

There’s a huge plastic fish in our museum area; its open mouth is snagged on a giant plastic hook, and it’s hollowed out so people can walk through it and see a realistic depiction of a fish’s organs. It’s actually a pretty morbid exhibit when you think about it. Kids love it!

museumbigfish

  • The Big Tree

The Big Tree is a tree just off the prairie trail. It’s super big; that’s why we call it the Big Tree. It’s actually been determined that it’s made up of several individual trees that were too close together and ended up growing into one another.

  • Animal Dens

If you take a walk along the park’s trails, you’re bound to see lots of small, hollowed out areas in the bottoms or along the trunks of some trees. These are dens for a variety of animals, like squirrels, owls and raccoons. While you should never reach your hand into one, they’re fun to look out for and you will potentially see some animals hanging around.

garbagetree

  • Tree of Guts

The Tree of Guts is located along the bank of the Oxbow, deeper into the woods past the Big Tree. The Tree of Guts earned its charming moniker due to the gaping opening in its side that lets one see into its innards. One theory is that it was originally a V-shaped tree, but that one half of the “v” split and fell, leaving the open wound we see now.

treeofguts (1)

  • Lena the Bunny

Lena is a year-old black and white Dutch rabbit who we use to help teach classes on mammals and animal adaptations. You should come see her because she’s very cute.

lenacute

  • The Cloud Garden

The Cloud Garden is a little circle of grass enclosed by plants near the playscape. It’s a designated space for lying down, watching the clouds and letting your troubles breeze away. Now, you may be asking yourself, “Aren’t I in a park? Couldn’t I lie down in the grass virtually anywhere else in the park and do the exact same thing?” Yes, but we made a sign and everything so just humor us here, ok?

cloudgarden

  • Woodpecker Hotel

Woodpecker Hotel is the third and final tree on our list. It’s near the wooden bridge that leads to the prairie trail. It’s leafless at the top, and you can see an array of woodpecker holes that serve as home to the birds and the occasional intruding squirrel. If you happen to have a camera or lens with powerful zoom, the Hotel is a great place to take photos.

  • Sertoma Signs

There are the obvious, typical playground attractions at Sertoma, but there are also a number of plaques explaining the park’s fun applications of science and astronomy, as well as a few that tell the interesting history of the park.

sertomahistorysign

Sam Williams is a public relations intern this summer at The Outdoor Campus, and spends his free time looking out the window like he’s thinking deep thoughts when he’s actually thinking about lunch.

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