Why Baird Creek is Perfect for Your Next Field Trip…

  • Baird Creek Preservation Foundation’s environmental education programs are designed to pair well with the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). Our programs are hands-on intensive to help your students or children experience science from a real-world view.

  • Build skills to champion healthy habitats in neighborhoods. Interact with nature and each other while having fun.

  • Spend time outside exploring, discovering, and interacting within a natural environment. Create meaningful experiences that help shape their view of nature.

  • Hands-on environmental exploration where students ask questions about the natural world, uncover evidence at their fingertips, and draw conclusions based on personal experience.

  • We survive on donations only; it’s why we are a non-profit.  That means we charge what we do so we can cover costs of putting together these amazing nature-based trips and have professional, caring, phenomenal teachers on our staff.  Any money we make goes back into trails, oak savanna restoration, forest preservation, and more. You are not supporting us; you are supporting nature!

Plan Your Visit

Our Classroom Topics

Full Day School Field Trip Programs

(4 Hours Fall or Spring)

Baird Creek Preservation Foundation school field trips run for four hours. The day is broken into two hours in the morning and two hours in the afternoon with a 45-minute lunch break.

All Things Ecosystems (Grades 1-5)
Students will embark on a journey to four ecosystems found in Baird Creek: Wetlands, Prairie, Forest, and Creek. At each ecosystem students will be immersed in hands-on activities, such as dip nets at the creek and sweep nets on the prairie. Topics of impact include definition of ecosystems, importance of wetlands, spiders versus insects, life cycle of trees, and navigating identification charts.

All Things Climate (Grades 3-5)
Through outdoor lab experiments and other engaging activities, students will develop an understanding of how climate change is affecting our ecosystems. Topics of impact include erosion, weather, environmental cycles, greenhouse effect, consequences on flora and fauna, and steps students can take to help make positive changes.

Water in Our World (Grades 3-8)
Students will have the opportunity to jump into Baird Creek to catch and identify macro-invertebrates and fish, test water quality, and debrief. Topics of impact include water cycle, water quality testing, and correlation between healthy water ecosystems and habitats. Content can be adapted for higher grade levels. Middle school we touch on the biotic index, erosion, soil quality and what that means for water quality, and how it effects inhabitants of the creek.

Food Chains & Webs (Grades 3-8)
Students will be able to explore both the forest and creek as we talk about what food chains and food webs are, how they are impacted by humans and available natural resources, and how energy moves through them.

Half Day Field Trips/After-School Programs

(1.5-2.5 Hours Fall or Spring)

Baird Creek Preservation Foundation has ten topic options for shorter time spans! Topics can be combined for a full-day field trip, or they make great
after-school programs. Contact us for more field trip topics.

Creek & Critters (Grades 1-5) fall/late spring
Students will use dip nets in the creek to find cool critters called macro-invertebrates. They will learn how to navigate an identification chart and will discover what the critters tell us about our water quality in Baird Creek.

Fish (Grades 1-5) fall/late spring
Students will be introduced to a seine net and will see and touch fish that are caught in Baird Creek. No harm will be done to any fish or critters, as they will learn to properly release them afterwards.

Nature Hike/Biology in Baird Creek (Grades 1-5) all seasons
Students will embark on a journey to different biomes in Baird Creek where they will learn about animal adaptations and what may negatively affect a habitat. They will develop ideas to help humans leave less of a footprint.

Animal Tracks (Grades 1-5) all seasons
Students will venture out to discover animal tracks, as well as other signs of animal and insect activity. This scavenger hike is for all animal lovers!

Signs of Spring (Grades 1-5) March-May
Students will observe the signs of Spring on this fun hike! With April showers, flower come…as well as birds and other animals. Students will experience nature in the Springtime and will learn all about the sounds and plants that are starting to reappear.

Prairie/Bugs (Grades 1-5) early fall
Students will be provided with sweep nets and bug viewers as they step into the prairie and uncover all sorts of creatures. Bugs, spiders, and grasshoppers, oh my!

Wetland (Grades 1-5) fall/late spring
Students will hike to a boardwalk and explore a wetland in Baird Creek. Students will touch cattails, make observations of wildlife and plants, and discover the important role wetlands play with a fun interactive model.

Trees – Life Cycle (Grades 1-5) fall/spring
Students will hike and learn about the importance of trees in the Baird Creek Forest areas. From living trees to decomposing trees, students will learn about the symbiotic relationships between trees and forest critters.

Trees – Identification (Grades 3-5) fall/late spring
Students will embark on a hike through Baird Creek to learn about different types of trees and how to identify them. The trip wouldn’t be complete without a stop at the famous Cottonwood tree where students will count how many of them it takes to wrap around the tree!

Hibernation (Grades 3-5) fall/spring
Students will be exposed to terms that encompass the topic of hibernation. They will participate in an interactive game as they hike to four different ecosystems, learning about the Baird Creek species that hibernate along the way.