The Forest Ecology Preserve School Program provides a diverse array of nature-based curricula for visiting school groups. Programs range from 90-120 minutes and are customized for the children’s age and school curriculum. Available topic areas include:
- Food webs and habitats
- Environmental conservation and sustainability
The preserve is a 120-acre living laboratory, offering students a valuable multi-sensory experience with abundant opportunities for hands-on learning, and features:
- Conservation and wildlife viewing areas
- Teaching gardens and demo sites
- Live animal collections and exhibits
- Hiking trails and interpretive stations
- Stream, pond, and wetland areas with boardwalks
Facilities available to students include:
- Several outdoor field classrooms
- Covered pavilion
- 150-seat open-air amphitheater
- Shaded nature playground
- Handicap accessible restrooms
- Drinking fountains
The nature playground is a unique play space which offers children a rich, naturalistic experience complete with mounds, ditches, logs, tunnels, fallen trees, boulders and some creative structures including a beaver lodge, tree house and eagles nest. The nature playground is conveniently located to allow the children time for free play before returning to school.
School groups are invited to bring their own bag lunches to eat after the program. Class fees are $5/child and includes all materials and free admission for teachers, aides, and parents.
Mobile Critter Caravan
Schools may also request the Forest Ecology Preserve’s Critter Caravan to provide teacher/naturalist-led educational programs and live animal encounters within the student’s classroom. This service is available to schools located within a 50-mile radius of the preserve. Cost is $2.00 per child up to 75 students. Special rates apply for more elaborate programs, larger groups of more than 75 children, and schools located outside of the Auburn/Opelika communities.
For more information about environmental education initiatives or to schedule a school visit or program, contact Jennifer Lolley, outreach administrator, at (334) 844-8091 or E-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org).