School Programs & Field Trips

School Programs

and field trips

Our experienced educators can bring engaging hands-on environmental education right to your classroom or we would love to host your field trip to our McDonald Farm in Naperville, our Dickson-Murst Farm in Montgomery, or lead your exploration at any other local natural area.

By bringing in natural artifacts like skulls, pelts, shells, and seeds, we expose your students to a variety of plants and animals that live in the prairie, woodlands, and wetlands in nearby habitats. These up-close, hands-on experiences allow students to expand their scientific knowledge, develop a better understanding of the plant and animal world, and be inspired to learn and care about the living things they share their environment with.

All of our programs have been developed to align with the Next Generation Science Standards, STEM and Common Core. All programs are $12 per student with a minimum of 10 participants. 

Please email Jordan Wilson, our Youth Programs Manager, to discuss an educational program to fit your curricular needs.

Late Elementary (Grades 4 and 5)

Earth’s Changing Surface – Set up experiments using the River Cutter Model to investigate the geoscience processes involved in the dynamic changes in Earth’s surface.

Nature’s Recyclers – Identify the importance of decomposers in nature by delving into their microscopic world.

Conservation In Action On The Farm – Tour the wind, energy and rainwater conservation features at McDonald Farm.  Discover the impact of these science and technological innovations through hands-on investigations.

Wetland Study – Discover the plants and animals specially adapted to living in a wetland.  Determine the health of the water by identifying the presence of certain kinds of macroinvertebrates.

Middle School and High School

Let us know what kinds of programs will help you satisfy your curricular needs for your middle school and high school students, whether it’s in the classroom, at one of our locations, or somewhere else entirely!

McDonald Farm picture

McDonald Farm Field Trips

The Conservation Foundation’s 60-acre McDonald Farm in south Naperville provides a unique site for nature discovery and exploration.  Featuring a children’s discovery garden, natural wetlands, prairies, woodland habitats, organic farm fields and several renewable energy and sustainable technologies such as solar and wind power and rainwater harvesting, the farm offers endless topics and opportunities for learning.

Dickson-Murst Farm

Dickson-Murst Farm Field Trip

Though we are headquartered at the McDonald Farm, The Conservation Foundation also has a program office near Montgomery at the Dickson-Murst Farm.  This site is 4.5 acres and its shining stars are the impeccably preserved historic farm buildings.  But with native gardens, solar panels and lots of room to run, it also offers plenty to pique your students interests and fuel their imaginations.

Classroom Visits

Though we are definitely proponents of getting students out of the classroom and into nature, we completely understand that sometimes the time and/or funding to do that is just not there!  We’re happy to come to you, bringing a host of activities, tactile teaching tools like skins, skulls, root boxes, watershed models and all kinds of fun, hands-on lessons with us. 

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