School Programs

To Schedule your group

Call Ann Hutchinson, Lead Naturalist, at 651-249-2170 to sign up to reserve the time and learn more details. Got a special program in mind that you don’t see listed here, or an adult group that wants a program? You may also fill out our online form.

School Groups Overview

Our programs typically begin with students exploring our indoor exhibits. Then, naturalists introduce students to program concepts and inform them about equipment they will use and activities they will do.

Students go outdoors in small trail groups to observe, measure, collect and compare. Programs end at the Visitor Center with a brief wrap-up in which students compare their experiences and observations.

Elementary Curriculum Links:
K-1 School Programs
2-3 School Programs
4-6 School Programs


Programs last approximately 1.5 - 2 hours depending on number and age of students unless otherwise noted. Consider having a bag lunch in our picnic area.

A class of up to 30 students is the ideal size for a nature center visit. We can accommodate groups of up to 60, but teachers and adults will be needed to help lead trail activities, and a minimum of 2 hours is needed. You will be asked to attend an orientation meeting.


  • Programs: $4 per student - $30 minimum
  • Puppet Show with self-guided hike: $3 per child - $30 minimum
  • Energy Bike Outreach: $100 per program - Add $30 each consecutive program on the same day
  • Homeschool Fees: $4 per person - $30 minimum

Service Learning

Service Learning Opportunities at Maplewood Nature Center and Neighborhood Preserves offer several service learning programs:
  • Fall Season: “SUNergy” and "Buckthorn Busters"
    Students help oak forests and the animals depend on them
  • Spring Season: "Watershed Watchers"

Energy Exhibit

Energy Bike: The Energy Bike Exhibit helps students discover that kinetic energy can be transformed into electrical energy. Students compare and contrast the amount of energy needed to power compact fluorescent bulbs to incandescent bulbs. Bike also powers a 12 V fan. The Bike is available for school outreaches or special events.

Solar Exhibit: The nature center has 8 photovoltaic panels that are monitored on the enphase website that can be viewed online. These can also be viewed on a touch screen computer at the nature center.