Environmental Education: School Field Trips

Bear Creek and Fountain Creek Nature Centers offer quality environmental education programs for children in preschool and up to 8th grade. All of our field trip programs meet various Colorado State Education Standards. During an hour and a half to two and a half hour program, students will have the opportunity to interact with our hands-on exhibits, observe wildlife, explore the foothills or wetlands during a hike, watch an educational puppet show or short film, and most importantly connect with nature. Cost per student is $4.00 with a minimum of 15 students. Environmental education programs must be scheduled in advance.

Bear Creek Nature Center Logo

Bear Creek Nature Center Field Trips

245 Bear Creek Road, Colorado Springs, CO 80906
719-520-6387

An Outdoor Classroom Experience

For over 40 years, Bear Creek Nature Center has provided quality environmental education programs. In 2001 the entire facility was rebuilt featuring state of the art, interactive, hands-on exhibits. An observation beehive, “Who’s Home in These Hills” diorama, and interactive touch screens are just a few of the exhibits waiting to open the outdoor world to students and teachers.

Bear Creek Nature Center Classes

Discover Bear Creek

Grades: Pre-K & Kindergarten Program Time: 60 minutes
A puppet show introduces children to their five senses and to the ways in which animals use their specialized senses to interpret the world around them. Children then have an opportunity to use some of their senses as they take a discovery hike along the trails near Bear Creek to explore both abiotic and biotic parts of the Colorado foothills. Supports Colorado State Standards Correlations: Pre-K: Science- 2.1, 2.2, 3.1; Kindergarten: Science- 2.1

Foothills Habitats

Grades: 1-2 Program Time: 90 minutes
Description: After a brief discussion about the meaning of habitat, dancing animal puppets describe the four things that make up a habitat and the importance of humans showing respect for natural habitats. Students play “habitat bingo” as they hike along the trails to discover and explore the plants and animals present in three different communities of the foothills ecosystem. Unique plant and animal adaptations will be discussed as students compare and contrast the areas during the hike. Supports Colorado State Standards Correlations: 1st grade: Science- 2.2, 3.1; 2nd grade: Science- 2.1,2.2

Incredible Insects

Grades: 1-3 Program Time: 90 minutes
Description: This program begins with a puppet show that introduces students to insect characteristics, life cycles, and adaptations. Students will learn about arthropods as a whole and how scientists classify what we often refer to as “bugs” into different scientific groups. During a guided hike along the trails, students have an opportunity to catch, identify, and release live insects. Discovery activities in a variety of habitat types will provide students a hands-on opportunity to experience live insects up close and to learn the importance and benefits of the incredible insects in our world. Supports Colorado State Standards Correlations: 1st grade: Science- 2.2; 2nd grade: Science- 2.1, 2.2; 3rd grade: Science- 2.1

 

Water, We Care!

Grades: 3-6 Program Time: 90 minutes
Description: Starting indoors, students will discover more about water molecules, water properties, and the water cycle through an interactive presentation and competitions like the H2O Olympics. Students will then learn about the origins and value of water in El Paso County through an active game. A hands-on study and discussion of Bear Creek’s water quality and the importance of water conservation will complete the outdoor experience. Supports Colorado State Standards Correlations: 3rd grade: Science- 1.1, 4th grade: Science-1.1, Social Studies- 1.0, 2.0; 5th grade: Science- 3.1; Social Studies- 2.0; 6th grade: Science- 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 2.1, 3.2, 3.3

 

Colorado Wildlife Detectives

Grades: 3-5 Program Time: 90 minutes
Description: This program is introduced with a discussion about the wild animals that  inhabit the foothills life zone and how clues like scat and tracks that are left behind can be used to confirm a scientific hypothesis. Animal and plant adaptations will be discussed as well as how biotic and abiotic components interact within the foothills ecosystem. Students become wildlife detectives and hike along the trails to search for signs of wildlife and discover the importance of wildlife diversity and respect for nature. Supports Colorado State Standards Correlations: 3rd grade: Science- 3.1; 4th grade: Science- 2.1, 2.3; 5th grade: Science- 2.1, 3.1

 

Foothills Field Experience

Grades: 4-8 Program Time: 2 hours
Description: Students experience the foothills ecosystem as they rotate through four multi-disciplinary activities and record their observations in Foothill Field Experience notebooks. The four activities include a guided observational hike, a scientific study of the water quality of Bear Creek, a look at the local issues regarding human/black bear coexistence, and an exhibit room exploration tour. Students will learn about the importance of Colorado natural resources, particularly water and wildlife, as well as how changes in environmental conditions affect species survival. Supports Colorado State Standards Correlations: 4th grade: Science- 2.1, 2.3; 5th grade: Science- 2.1, 3.1; 6th grade: Science- 2.1, 2.2, 3.2, 3.3, Oral Expression & Listening- 1.0, Writing and Composition- 1.0; 7th grade: Science- 2.1, Oral Expression & Listening- 2.0, Writing & Composition- 1.0; 8th grade: Science- 2.1, 2.2, Oral Expression & Listening- 2.0, Writing & Composition- 1.0, Social Studies- 1.0, 2.0

Scheduling Information

  • Call 719-520-6387 or email mariapetkash@elpasoco.com.
  • To enhance everyone’s experience and prevent overcrowding, all groups must schedule their visits.
  • Please have the following information available: preferred and alternative dates,
    number of students, grade level, teacher contact information.
  • Fees: $4.00 per student. We accept VISA, MC, Discover, cash & checks. Adults
    and chaperones are free.
  • Minimum of 15 students, or $60 per visit.
  • Nature Center Hours
    9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
    Tuesday – Saturday
  • Picnic and playground facilities are approximately 1.5 miles southeast of the nature center at 21st Street.
Fountain Creek Logo

Fountain Creek Nature Center Field Trips

320 Pepper Grass Lane, Fountain, CO 80817
719-520-6745

A Hands On Learning Experience

Fountain Creek Nature Center is a spectacular location to introduce students to the wonders of the wetlands. Five habitats provide an opportunity to study this  wetland environment. Guided programs, led by professional environmental educators and trained volunteers, help students develop an awareness, understanding and appreciation for the ecosystem and the processes that shape it.

Fountain Creek Nature Center Classes

Walk the Wetlands

Grades: Pre-K–2 Time: 2 hours
Science Standards: Life Science GR1, GLE2
The Cattail Marsh Wildlife Area is a special place, providing habitats for many plants and animals. Students will use their senses to explore this wetland environment and consider the adaptations of the plants and animals seen along the way; Program consists of introductory puppet show, animal adaptations inquiry activity, Exhibit Room discovery, and guided hike.

Discover Wetlands

Grades: 3–6 Time: 2.5 hours
Science Standards: GR3, GLE1, GR4, GLE3, GR5, GLE1, GR6, GLE2, GR6 Life Sc GLE1, Earth Sc GLE2
We’ll explore the communities of creek, woodland, meadow, marsh, and pond. Students will learn about living organisms, how they interact with one another, discover differences between living and non-living things, producers, consumers and decomposers. The program consists of a video, wetland metaphor activity, Exhibit Room discovery and guided hike featuring a pond study of macro invertebrates living in the water.

 

Awesome Arthropods

Grades: Pre-K–2 Time: 2 hours
Life Science Standards: GLE.2, GRK: GLE1, GR1: GLE 1,2, GR2: GLE2
We’ll explore topics such as habitat, camouflage, anatomy, life cycles and more as they relate to insects, spiders, and their relatives. Highlights of this program include the “What’s Bugging Me?” puppet show and the use of sweep nets outside. Students will catch live arthropods and examine their colors, shapes, and adaptations. Best during May-September.

 

 

Map and Compass Skills

Grades: 5-12 Time: 2 hours
Geography Standards: GR 6,7,9-12, GLE1, GR5, GLE2
Explorers have depended on map and compass skills to aid their travels and adventures for centuries. Students will learn to read topographic maps and understand how symbols relate to the terrain outdoors. After an introduction to compass use, students will get first-hand experience using the compass to take bearings on landmarks from designated stations along the trail. Students will use teamwork and new skills to navigate through an offtrail orienteering course, gaining confidence and enjoying the outdoors along the way. This program is best October through April.

Scheduling Information

  • Call 719-520-6745 or email nancybernard@elpasoco.com.
  • To enhance everyone’s experience and prevent overcrowding, all groups must schedule their visits.
  • Please have the following information available: preferred and alternative dates,
    number of students, grade level, teacher contact information.
  • Fees: $4.00 per student. We accept VISA, MC, Discover, cash & checks. Adults
    and chaperones are free.
  • Minimum of 15 students, or $60 per visit.
  • Nature Center Hours
    9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
    Tuesday – Saturday
  • Picnic and playground facilities are just 1/4 mile south of the nature center at Duckwood Road.