School Programs at a Forest Preserve

Grades 6 – 8

Visit a DuPage forest preserve with your students where they will learn about natural sciences and DuPage County's cultural history. These programs are designed to meet national learning standards, including Common Core and Next Generation Science Standards.

Program reservations for the 2021 – 2022 academic year are now open. We offer programs throughout the academic year (Sept. 1 through June 1), and most are available Monday through Friday. 

The Forest Preserve District is committed to making its programs available to all groups. Please mention any accessibility needs or concerns when you reserve your program.

View the available guided school programs and descriptions below. Then, click the green button to complete and submit a program request form.  

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, school programs at forest preserves have been modified to align with the state’s health guidelines. All program participants are expected to wear a mask that covers their nose and mouth. Social distancing of 6 feet should be practiced by all program participants. Please mention any accessibility needs or concerns when registering for a program.

Guided School Programs

Guided school programs require a three-week advance reservation and have a minimal per-student fee.

Request a Guided School Program

Biodiversity & Habitat Restoration

Biodiversity & Habitat Restoration

Students discover the importance of biodiversity and the factors that negatively impact ecosystem health before participating in a project to restore a habitat. Ninety-minute interactive program for 10 - 30 students. $10 per student.

Academic year
Monday - Friday
Fullersburg Woods Nature Education Center in Oak Brook or St. James Farm in Warrenville.

Standards Explored

Common Core:

  • SL.6.1 Speaking and Listening: Comprehension and Collaboration
  • SL.7.1 Speaking and Listening: Comprehension and Collaboration
  • SL.8.1 Speaking and Listening: Comprehension and Collaboration

NGSS:

  • MS-LS1-4 From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes
  • MS-LS2-1 Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics
  • MS-ESS3-3 Earth and Human Activity

Loan Box Links:

Illinois' Invasive Species

Geocaching Exploration

Geocaching Exploration

Students learn about Global Positioning Systems and how they work while using a GPS unit to find a hidden treasure. Ninety-minute interactive program for 10 - 30 students. $10 per students.

Academic year
Monday - Friday
Fullersburg Woods Nature Education Center in Oak Brook,  St. James Farm in Warrenville, or Waterfall Glen in Darien.

Standards Explored

Common Core:

  • SL.6.1 Speaking and Listening: Comprehension and Collaboration
  • SL.7.1 Speaking and Listening: Comprehension and Collaboration
  • SL.8.1 Speaking and Listening: Comprehension and Collaboration

NGSS:

  • MS-PS4-2 Waves and their Applications in Technologies for Information Transfer

Get Outside: Outdoor Education Day

Get Outside: Outdoor Education Day

Students explore a variety of nature content while rotating between stations and activities. Teachers pre-select the activities fom the list below. Four-hour interactive program for 50 - 120 students. $10 per student.

Academic year
Monday - Friday
Fullersburg Woods Nature Education Center in Oak Brook or St. James Farm in Warrenville.

Activities to choose from include: bird banding, bird watching, fish ID & dichotomous keys, food chains & food webs, geocaching, guided nature hike, habitat restoration, insect investigation, nature art, nature engineers, plant powers, rocks & minerals, team challenge, tracking, and tree ID.

Standards Explored

Will vary based on activities selected.

Habitat Hike

Habitat Hike

This program increases students’ awareness of nature and interest in the natural world, while increasing observational skills, emphasizing the ideas of environmental patterns and their influence on biological processes. One-hour guided hike for 10 - 30 students. $5 per student.

Academic year
Monday – Friday

Take a guided nature hike at one of the preserves listed below. Each of these preserves includes school-group friendly amenities including bus parking, picnic areas and public restrooms. If you plan to eat lunch onsite and/or require a picnic shelter reservation, please indicate this on your program request form.

Preserve

Town

Acres

Shelters

Trails (miles)

Blackwell

Warrenville/West Chicago

1387

5

9

Churchill Woods

Glen Ellyn

265

3

2

Danada

Wheaton

825

0

6

Dunham

Wayne

374

0

1

Fullersburg Woods

Oak Brook

226

1

4

Greene Valley

Woodridge

1414

2

14

Herrick Lake

Wheaton

896

4

7

Hidden Lake

Downer's Grove

393

1

2

James ‘Pate’ Philip State Park

Bartlett

501

1

4

Mallard Lake

Hanover Park

953

1

4

Maple Grove

Downer's Grove

82

0

1

Mayslake (Peabody Estate)

Oak Brook

90

0

1

McDowell Grove

Naperville

465

2

7

Pratt's Wayne Woods

Bartlett/Wayne

3474

1

8

Salt Creek Park

Wood Dale

93

1

1

Springbrook Prairie

Naperville

1829

1

9

Timber Ridge (West)

West Chicago

1163

0

2

Waterfall Glen

Darien

2492

1

12

West Branch

Bartlett

725

0

3

West DuPage Woods

West Chicago

462

0

4

Wood Dale Grove

Wood Dale

185

2

1

 

Standards Explored (may vary by season)
Common Core:

ELA/Literacy

  • CCR.SL.1 Speaking and Listening: Comprehension and Collaboration
  • CCR.SL.2 Speaking and Listening: Comprehension and Collaboration
  • CCR.SL.4 Speaking and Listening: Presentation of Knowledge and Ideas

NGSS:

  • MS-LS1-4 From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes
  • MS-LS1-5 From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes
  • MS-LS2-1 Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics
  • MS-LS2-2 Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics
  • MS-LS2-4 Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics

Loan Box Links:

Field Trip Pack

USRC Tour: Human Impacts on Aquatic Ecosystems

USRC Tour: Human Impacts on Aquatic Ecosystems

Students dive into the Urban Stream Research Center to investigate what happens when something disrupts the ability of an ecosystem to meet the needs of the organisms living in it. While meeting freshwater animals and investigating their roles, students explore first hand human impacts on aquatic ecosystems and the science used to reverse those effects. Ninety-minute guided tour for 10 - 30 students. $5 per student.

November 4th & 18th
Thursday
Urban Stream Reserach Center, Blackwell Forest Preserve in Warrenville

Standards Explored

Common Core:

  • SL.6.1 Speaking and Listening: Comprehension and Collaboration
  • SL7.1 Speaking and Listening: Comprehension and Collaboration
  • SL8.1 Speaking and Listening: Comprehension and Collaboration

NGSS:

  • LS1.B Growth and Development of Organisms
  • LS2.A Interdependent Relationships in Ecosystems
  • LS2.C Ecosystem Dynamics, Functioning and Resilience
  • LS4.C Adaptation
  • LS4.D Biodiversity and Humans
  • ESS3.C Human Impacts on Earth Systems

Loan Box Links:

Aquatic Illinois

Illinois' Invasive Species

Wildlife Exhibit Hike

Wildlife Exhibit Hike

A Willowbrook interpreter takes students on a guided tour of the outdoor wildlife exhibits and discuss the natural history of local wildlife as well as the individual stories of the animals living at the center. Willowbrook’s mission as a center will be discussed as well as an overview of how the animals are cared for both in the hospital and as permanent residents. One-hour guided tour for 10 - 30 students. $5 per student. At this time, all Willowbrook indoor facilities are closed to the public.

Academic year
Monday – Friday
Willowbrook Wildlife Center in Glen Ellyn

Standards Explored
Common Core:

ELA/Literacy

  • SL.6.1 Speaking and Listening: Comprehension and Collaboration
  • SL.7.1 Speaking and Listening: Comprehension and Collaboration
  • SL.8.1 Speaking and Listening: Comprehension and Collaboration

NGSS:

  • MS-LS2-1 Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics

Loan Box Links:

Illinois' Birds
Illinois' Wild Mammals
Owls

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