Students Migrate to the International Crane Foundation

For 40 years, the International Crane Foundation has been a favorite field trip destination. Photo by Deb Johnson

Baraboo, WI – The International Crane Foundation (ICF) in Baraboo, WI and its unique collection of the world’s cranes has been a favorite Wisconsin school field trip destination since 1978. Over 6,000 students per year visit ICF and take home the important lesson that each of us plays a role in the relationship between cranes, humans, and the natural systems on which all forms of life depend. Learn more about ICF’s School Field Trips.

In 1978, the Patrick and Anna M. Cudahy Fund and Kohler Foundation, Inc. supported a full-time educator that led daily tours, starting what is now a successful education and visitor program. At that time the price per student was $1.00. Today, ICF charges just $2.00 per student keeping it affordable for all schools. ICF’s education department, staff and dedicated volunteers, have extensive experience teaching youth groups and provide students with a tour that is challenging, age-appropriate, and enjoyable.  Aware of state-wide standards and curriculum needs, ICF works with each classroom to modify tours and enhance the student’s experience by aligning ICF material to class curriculum or the specific needs and interests of a group.

“Our field trip offers students something no one else in the world has access to and it is right here in Wisconsin,” ICF Interpretive Programs Manager Cully Shelton said. “During our tours, students have the opportunity to view, not only, these spectacular birds, but they can also walk through a tall grass prairie, learn about resource conservation, and hear inspiring stories from around the world. It is a wonderful, hands-on, outdoor experience.”

Each student that is inspired by their visit to ICF has the potential to be a conservation leader. ICF Co-founders George Archibald and Ron Sauey knew that if they were to be successful in saving cranes they had to engage the next generation.

This May, ICF will launch our Crane Chick Cam, a web cam that takes people behind-the-scenes to reveal the lives of endangered Whooping Crane chicks as they begin their journey back into the wild. The story of reintroduction and endangered species comes to life and can be an engaging classroom or home teaching tool.

ICF is open to the public daily between April 15 and October 31 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.  From Memorial Day through Labor Day guided public tours are offered daily at 10:00 a.m., 1:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m., and on weekends ONLY in April, May, September, and October.