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: 90 minutes

Available year-round

A puppet show introduces the five senses and the ways animals use their specialized senses to interpret the world around them. Children will then fine-tune their own senses on a discovery hike on the trails of Bear Creek. CO State Standards Correlations: Preschool Science: 2.1, 2.2, 3.1; Kindergarten Science: 2.1

Foothills Habitats

Grades: 1-2 Program Time: 2 hours

Available year-round
Description: Animal puppets take a journey through the foothills habitats, shedding light on habitat types in the foothills, animal adaptations, and the importance of showing respect for the natural world. Students will then hike through the three main habitats found at Bear Creek, comparing and contrasting different areas along the way. CO State Standards Correlations: Preschool Science: 2.1, 2.2, 3.1; Kindergarten Science: 2.1

Incredible Insects

Grades: 1-3 Program Time: 2 hours

Available April- October
Description: Introductory activities, including a puppet show, familiarize students with insect adaptations and life cycles. During a guided hike along the trails, students have a chance to catch, identify, and release live insects in a variety of habitat types. These hands-on discovery activities provide opportunities to learn about arthropod classification and the importance of insects in our world. CO State Standards Correlations: 1st Grade Science: 2.2; 2nd Grade Science: 2.1, 2.2; 3rd Grade Science: 2.1

 

Colorado Wildlife Detectives

Grades: 3-5 Program Time: 2 hours

Available year-round
Description: 

Students will play detective in a “who-dunnit” scenario that introduces wild animals of the foothills life zone and conveys how clues like scat and tracks can be used to confirm a scientific hypothesis. Students will continue to hone their detective skills as they hike through different habitats searching for signs of life, observing how biotic and abiotic components interact within the foothills, and increasing their respect for the natural world. CO State Standards Correlations: 4th Grade Science: 2.1, 2.3; 5th Grade Science: 2.1, 3.1

Foothills Field Experience

Grades: 5-8 Program Time: 2.5 hours
Description: Students experience the foothills habitats and learn about the importance of CO natural resources as they rotate through four multi-disciplinary activities and record their observations. Activities  include:

  • Guided hike through riparian, meadow, and shrubland habitats, focusing on the hallmark species in each
  • A hands-on scientific study of the water quality of Bear Creek
  • Interactive watershed activity in which students explore human impacts on watershed health
  • Exhibit room exploration tour

CO State Standards Correlations: 5th Grade Science: 2.1, 3.1; 6th Grade Science: 2.1, 2.2, 3.2, 3.3;  7th Grade Science: 2.1; 8th Grade Science: 2.1, 2.2

Scheduling Information

  • Call 719-520-6388 or email maryjolewis@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.