Nature’s Trading Post

Nature’s Trading Post is the perfect place for the nature explorer, knowledge seeker, and everyday Fenner visitor to engage with nature, learn about ethical collecting and learn more about the natural world!

What is Nature’s Trading Post?

Nature’s Trading Post is a place for visitors of all ages that inspires interest in the natural world through the trading of natural items. Fenner staff provide “expert” identification assistance to help visitors learn more about the world around them. Additional project ideas will be given to encourage visitors to research a topic and earn more points.

How it Works:

  • When you visit the park, you can bring in 1 or 2 natural items and fill out a Trading Sheet for each item to earn points
  • Points are based on  the amount of research you have recorded on your Trading Sheet, the quality and condition of the item, and the uniqueness of the item
  • Points can be used when you bring your item in, or you can save them up to spend on bigger or rarer items.
  • Earn extra points by doing your own project on nature like making art, writing a story, or taking cool photos. Projects eligible for points are available at the Trading Post.

What CAN be traded?

  • Rocks, fossils, and minerals
  • Dead Insects (not squashed ones though!)
  • Pressed plants, leaves, and flowers
  • Clean bones
  • Casts of animal tracks
  • Pinecones, Acorns, walnut shells and seed pods
  • Cocoons and chrysalises (butterfly/moth already emerged)
  • Abandoned Wasp hives
  • Snail shells
  • Shed snake skin

Examples of things that can NOT be traded:

  • Native American Artifacts (like arrowheads)
  • Bird materials of any kind (shells, feathers, nests)
  • Living plants and animals
  • Road kill or dead animals (anything “gross” or that smells really bad should be left in nature)
  • Food, like fruit, that will eventually rot
  • Bones from your family dinner
  • Anything from the family pet (domestic snake skins etc)
  • Anything from the Fenner Nature Center grounds
  • Items from an area with rules that clearly state not to collect there (National, State, or private parks/beaches, nature reserves, etc. If you don’t know, ask or go to their website.)
  • No taxidermy animals or parts of animals
  • Any item regulated by the U.S. Endangered Species Act or other laws
  • Even if you can’t collect something you can always do a project on it to earn points!