School Programs at a Forest Preserve

Grades 9 – 12

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 2022 – 2023 academic year are now open. We offer programs throughout the academic year (Sept. 1 through June 2), 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. 

The Forest Preserve District follows all state and federal guidelines regarding COVID-19.

 

Guided School Programs

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

Request a Guided School Program

The Evolution of Agriculture

The Evolution of Agriculture

Students investigate and discuss crucial changes in farming technology over the past 125 years including transportation, expanding markets, the development of agri-business, and modern issues such as genetic engineering, feed additives, consumer safety, and environmental effects. Ninety-minute guided tour for 10 - 30 students. $10 per student.

Academic year
Monday, Thursday & Friday
Kline Creek Farm in West Chicago

Standards Explored
Common Core:

Social Studies Standards

  • SS.G.3.9-12 Geography: Human Population
  • SS.G.6.9-12 Geography: Geographic Representations, Human-Environment Interaction, Population
  • SS.G.8.9-12 Geography: Geographic Representations, Human-Environment Interaction, Population
  • SS.EC.8.9-12 Economics and Financial Literacy: National and Global Economy
  • SS.H.4.9-12 History: Perspectives

NGSS:

  • HS-LS2.A Interdependent Relationships in Ecosystems
  • HS-LS4.D Biodiversity and Humans

Pre-Activity Sheets:

Vocabulary List (PDF)

Geocaching & Information Technologies

Geocaching & Information Technologies

Students investigate the importance of digital information technologies in the modern world by learning about Global Positioning Systems and using a GPS unit to navigate waypoints, solve problems and find hidden caches. Ninety-minute 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.9-10.1 Speaking and Listening: Comprehension and Collaboration
  • SL.11-12.1 Speaking and Listening: Comprehension and Collaboration

NGSS:

  • HS-PS4.A Wave Properties
  • HS-PS4.C Information Technologies and Instrumentation

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 from the list below. Four-hour interactive program for 50 - 120 students. $10 per student.

Academic year
Thursday & 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, geocaching, guided nature hike, habitat restoration, insect investigation, macroinvertebrate sampling, nature art, team challenge, tracking, and tree ID.

Standards Explored

Will vary based on activities selected.

Are you looking for suggestions on how to pair your activities? 

Aquatics - fish ID & dichotomous keys, guided nature hike, macroinvertebrate sampling

Biodiversity – food chains & food webs, guided nature hike, habitat restoration, insect investigation

Community Action – bird banding, birdwatching, habitat restoration, insect investigation, or team challenge 

Creativity & Problem Solving – guided nature hike, nature art, team challenge, or tracking 

End of the Year Fun – bird watching, geocaching, insect investigation, nature art, or team challenge  

Wildlife – bird banding, birdwatching, fish ID & dichotomous keys, guided nature hike, insect investigation, or tracking 

Habitat Hike

Habitat Hike

Students increase their awareness of nature and their interest in the natural world through observation and discussion. Activities and discussion will vary by season and by forest preserve. 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

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

Naperville

1414

2

14

Herrick Lake

Wheaton

896

4

7

Hidden Lake

Downers Grove

393

1

2

James ‘Pate’ Philip State Park

Bartlett

501

1

4

Mallard Lake

Hanover Park

953

1

4

Mayslake (Peabody Estate)

Oak Brook

90

0

1

McDowell Grove

Naperville

465

2

7

Pratt's Wayne Woods

Wayne

3474

1

8

Salt Creek Park

Wood Dale

93

1

1

Springbrook Prairie

Naperville

1829

1

9

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.2 Comprehension and Collaboration
  • CCR.SL.3 Comprehension and Collaboration
  • SL.11-12.1.c Speaking and Listening: Comprehension and Collaboration

NGSS:

  • HS-ESS2.A Earth Materials and Systems
  • HS-ESS2.C The Roles of Water in Earth's Surface Processes
  • HS-LS1.B Growth and Development of Organisms
  • HS-LS2.A Interdependent Relationships in Ecosystems
  • HS-LS3.B Variation of Traits
  • HS-LS4.D Biodiversity and Humans
  • HS-PS1.A Structure and Properties of Matter

Loan Box Links:

Field Trip Pack

Natural Areas Restoration

Natural Areas Restoration

Students discover the importance of biodiversity and the impact that humans can have on an ecosystem's health while 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.9-10.1 Speaking and Listening: Comprehension and Collaboration
  • SL.11-12.1 Speaking and Listening: Comprehension and Collaboration

NGSS:

  • HS-ESS3.C Human Impacts on Earth Systems
  • HS-LS2.C Ecosystem Dynamics, Functioning, and Resilience
  • HS-LS4.D Biodiversity and Humans

Loan Box Links:

Illinois' Invasive Species

USRC Tour: Aquatic Conservation & Restoration

USRC Tour: Aquatic Conservation & Restoration

Students investigate how environmental issues threaten the quality and sustainability of aquatic resources while exploring the Urban Stream Research Center to view science technology and learn how ecosystem structure and function are being recreated and repaired using restoration techniques and aquatic species propagation. Ninety-minute guided tour for 10 - 30 students. $5 per student.

November 3, 9 & 17
March 16, 22 & April 13
Wednesday & Thursday
Urban Stream Research Center, Blackwell Forest Preserve in Warrenville

Standards Explored

Common Core:

  • SL.9-10.1 Speaking and Listening: Comprehension and Collaboration
  • SL.11-12.1 Speaking and Listening: Comprehension and Collaboration

NGSS:

  • HS-LS2.C Ecosystem Dynamics, Functioning and Resilience
  • HS-LS2.D Social Interactions and Group Behavior
  • HS-LS4.D Biodiversity and Humans
  • HS-ESS3.C Human Impacts on Earth Systems

Loan Box Links:

Aquatic Illinois

Illinois' Invasive Species

Wildlife Exhibit Hike

Wildlife Exhibit Hike

Due to construction of the new center, there will be no on-site programs after Jan. 1, 2023. 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.9-10.1 Speaking and Listening: Comprehension and Collaboration
  • SL.11-12.1 Speaking and Listening: Comprehension and Collaboration
Social Science
  • SS.G.3.9-12 Human Population

NGSS:

  • HS-LS4.D Biodiversity and Humans

Loan Box Links:

Illinois' Birds
Illinois' Wild Mammals
Owls

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