School Programs

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We offer a wide range of nature field trips for various grade levels. Some, but not all programs can be adjusted to accommodate different age groups, length of time, locations, and multiple classrooms. We can even do some programs in the winter. 

Unable to visit one of our locations? Ask us about possibly bringing a nature lesson to the classroom. 

Don't see a program that fits your needs? Let us know, and we can create a program just for your class! 

Schedule a Program

If you would like to set up a nature program please fill out a Program Request Form. One of our Naturalist will be in touch to finalize details. 

Programs We Offer

Geology Rocks!
Age: 2nd – 5th grade
Season: Any
Length: 1.5 hours
Location:  Fox Science
Description: We will visit a nature preserve, but an unusual one, because the preserve once was a gravel pit!  We will talk about how the rocks, sand, and gravel got there and why/how humans came to use the gravel and sand.  We’ll talk about the 3 main types of rocks (igneous, metamorphic and sedimentary rocks), the rock cycle, and search for fossils! Please note that this location does not have restrooms. 

Nature and Earth Science Exploration 
Age: Preschool – 2nd grade
Season:  Spring or Fall
Location:  Independence Lake
Length: 1 hour
Description: Become a field scientist as we hike through the forest to study trees by their leaf shape, discover glacial rocks, sort through soil for small creatures, and observe the lake habitat.

Pioneer Day 
Age: K – 3rd grade
Season: May – October
Length: 1 - 3.5 hours (depending on selected activities)
Location:  Parker Mill
Description: Learn about Washtenaw County history and 19th century milling during an indoor/outdoor tour of the County's only operational pioneer flour mill. Students will learn about early area history, operation of the mill machinery, and see the processing of corn into flour, meal, and cracked corn. Mill tour will also explain the use of waterpower to run the mill. Due to the small size of the mill buildings, only 30 people at a time can fit in mill. If brining more than one class, classes will have to rotate time in mill. 

Additional add-ons can include, learning about how the pioneers lived by visiting an authentic 1870’s log cabin, built by the Parker Family, where modern life and late 1800’s cabin life are compared. 

And or taking a nature hike to learn about the wild plants and animals that would have provided food and medicine for the Parker Family, and Native populations before them. 

One or all activities can be done depending on time constraints and staffing availability.

Signs of Fall 
Age: K – 1st grade
Season: Fall
Length: 1 hour
Location:  Various
Description: Discover the wonder of fall by using your 5 senses to explore the changes made during this time of year.

Signs of Spring 
Age: K – 1st grade
Season: Spring
Length: 1 hour
Location:  Various
Description: Spring is here and Mother Nature is waking up from her winter snooze! Explore the forest floor for little creatures, discover new spring flowers, and observe other exciting spring events.

Water in Our World
Age: 2nd grade
Season: Spring
Length: 3 hours (includes snack/lunch break)
Location: Independence Lake
Description: This field trip discusses and shows how water impacts our world, the different kinds of water in Michigan, and the plants and animals that live in those habitats. Students will visit a vernal pond and a marsh to see and experience the different plants and animals that call those habitats home. In addition, students will spend time at the lake edge to learn how water flows across our land and about watersheds.


Curious to know more about the locations we host some of our programs at? For a brief summary of our most popular parks and preserves, please visit our Field Trip Locations page to see what other amenities each location has to offer!