Let’s go explore! Museum in the Parks is a reimagined Florida Museum program providing a unique combination of in-person and digital science programming. Go to your local Alachua County Library District location to check out an Exploration Backpack full of scientist’s tools and use the resources on this page to explore local parks and learn more about Florida’s natural history.

Exploration Backpacks are available at all 12 Alachua County Library District locations for library card holders! Borrow a backpack and use the tools inside to enhance your exploration experience, just like scientists in the field. Borrowing a backpack also comes with a pass for 4 free admissions to the Florida Museum’s Butterfly Rainforest exhibit.

Find the library closest to you.

What’s in the backpack?

  1. Binoculars
  2. Plant Press
  3. Butterfly Net
  4. Bug Enclosure
  5. Bug lens case
  6. Hand Lens
  7. Clipboard
  8. Pocket Microscope
  9. “The Nature of Florida” Field Guide

Exploration Backpack Guide PDF – English

Exploration Backpack Guide PDF – Spanish

Take a quick tour of each of the tools in the backpack in our playlist:

Self-Guided Explorations

The following digital resources will help guide your experience by meeting scientists, learning about the research that they do and the importance of parks for Florida’s natural history. We hope each of these units will inspire you to look at birds, mushrooms, fishes and bugs at our nearby parks!

Ethics of Collecting

Items like the plant press, butterfly net and bug enclosures should not be used at any State/County/City Parks. Collecting and touching wildlife in State/County/City Parks without authorization is prohibited. Participants are encouraged to see the guidelines/rules for any park or private property they visit. Participating in this program does not exempt anyone from these rules.

This project was made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services [MA-251532-OMS-22].

Institute of Museum and Library Services logo