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Grand Rapids Public Schools Environmental Education Partnership

At Blandford Nature Center we strive to have every child experience nature and history in a fun, hands-on way. Thanks to the generosity of Grand Rapids Student Advancement Foundation, we are able to provide outdoor science-based education programs to all Grand Rapids Public School first and third grade students.

Registration for the reserved GRPS dates opens on August 23rd, 2017, and will be released to other districts on October 20th, 2017.

Don’t Delay — Get your First Choice Today!

Program Options

Offered 1st Grade Programs

Science Discipline: Life Sciences

Animal Adaptations 1.5 hrs.

October – TBA
November – TBA
March – TBA
April – TBA
May – TBA

How do organisms survive in their environment? Students will learn that animal adaptations, whether it’s an unique trait or survival strategy, play a critical role in an animal’s outcome in life.

NGSS Standard: 1-LS1 Molecules to Organisms Core Ideas: LS1.A, LS1.B, & LS1.D

Birds of a Feather 1.5 hrs

April – TBA
May – TBA

Discover the amazing world of birds as they call for mates, build nests and raise their young. Students will identify distinguishing characteristics and meet one of our resident Birds of Prey

NGSS Standard: 1-LS1.2 Molecules to Organisms Core Ideas: LS1.B, LS3.A & LS3.B

Seeds and Plants 1.5 hrs

October – TBA
November – TBA
April – TBA
May – TBA

A focus on seed movement has students exploring fields and woods and uncovering secrets of plant and animal interdependence.

NGSS Standard: 2-LS2 Ecosystem: Interactions, Energy and Dynamics Core Idea: LS2.A

Science Discipline: Earth Science

Focusing on the Farm Five 1.5 hrs 

October – TBA
May – TBA

Investigate the Blandford Farm using your five senses! See plants growing, hear pollinators buzzing, smell nectar-rich flowers, taste vegetables, and get hands-on experience as you and your students experience the day in the life of a farmer.

NGSS Standards: K-ESS2-2 Earth’s SystemsK-LS-1 From Molecules to OrganismsK-ESS3-1 Earth-Human Activity    Core Ideas: ESS2.E, LS1.C, LS1.D, ESS3.A & ESS3.C

Sugarbush 1.5 hrs 

March – TBA

A lively puppet show begins our exciting exploration of maple syrup production. Investigate the entire sugaring process through stories, activities, and a short hike to the Sugarhouse to understand how human interaction and the use of natural resources affect the environment.

NGSS Standards: K-ESS2-2 Earth’s SystemsK-LS-1 From Molecules to OrganismsK-ESS3-1 Earth-Human Activity    Core Ideas: ESS2.E, LS1.C, LS4.D, ESS3.A & ESS3.C

Offered 3rd Grade Programs

Social Studies: Michigan Studies

Anishinabek Lifeways 2 hrs. Offered in the AM only.

October – TBA
November – TBA
December – TBA
January – TBA
February – TBA

Travel back 400-500 years ago to the time of early Native Americans and reflect on how the seasons and resources of Michigan influenced the lives of the Anishinabe people using hands-on experiences with traditional tools.

Standard: History of Michigan
Statement: Use historical thinking to understand the past.
Expectations: H3.0.4, H3.0.5, & H3.0.7

Science Discipline: Life Science

Wildlife with a Backbone 1.5 hrs 

October – TBA
November – TBA
December – TBA
January – TBA
February – TBA

March – TBA


Learn about vertebrate groups, their unique qualities and habits. Live animals and hands-on props highlight adaptations the different vertebrates use for protections, warmth and food gathering.

NGSS Standard: 4-LS1 Molecules to Organisms Core Ideas: LS1.A & LS2.D

Michigan Ecosystems    1.5 hrs

October – TBA
November – TBA
   
Young biologists explore two different Michigan ecosystems, searching for evidence of biodiverse food chains within the unique habitats. Program will finish with an up close view of Blandford’s Wildlife Ambassadors.

NGSS Standard: 3-LS2 Ecosystems & 3-LS4 Biological Evolution Core Ideas: LS4.C & LS4.D

Snowy Survivors 1.5 hrs. Add snowshoes for a special 2 hr. AM only experience!

December – TBA
January – TBA
February – TBA

Discover the secrets of animal survival during the winter and how animal characteristics and adaptations help them survive during this cold and snowy season. Program is 1.5 hrs. without snowshoes; 2 hours with snowshoes (Snowshoe availability is dependent on amount of snowfall).

NGSS Standard: 3-LS1 Molecules to Organisms  Core Idea: LS1.A

Science Discipline: Life Science & Earth Science

Sugarbush 1.5 hrs 

March – Fridays {3rd, 10th & 17th (AM only)}
Experience the science of maple syrup production. Identify maples, collect data on forest health and smell the sweet syrup cooking in the Sugarhouse. Practice modern methods of tapping, collection and boiling using real tools, then taste the sweet results.

NGSS Standards: K-ESS2-2 Earth’s SystemsK-LS-1 From Molecules to OrganismsK-ESS3-1 Earth-Human Activity   Core Ideas: ESS2.E, LS1.C, LS4.D, ESS3.A & ESS3.C

Request a Program

To start the process:

  • Determine the program (within the appropriate grade level) you would like to attend from the list at above
  • Decide on a date and time (from the dates/times listed underneath each program choice above) that works best for your students’ and your schedule
  • Have an alternate date and time ready

Once you have these 3 choices made, click on the correct button below to complete your request.

Program Request Follow-Up

Once your request has been submitted, it will be processed within 1 week.

You will receive an email confirmation with date, time, and program details.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Blandford Nature Center can host up to 60 students per program. If you have more than 60, you will need to book multiple days/times.

GRPS 1st Button

GRPS 3rd Button

  • Due to staff resources, a maximum of 60 students can attend a program at one time.
  • Please organize your students into groups of approximately 15 students prior to arrival as to maximum program time. Blandford will provide 1 instructor for every group.
  • There must be at least 1 chaperone for every 5 students. Chaperones within this ratio can attend the program for free. There must be at least 1 chaperone accompanying the Blandford instructor at all times.
  • Please arrange for transportation to arrive promptly and depart after completion of the entire program.
  • All programs are taught outdoors, so please help students be prepared for the weather including appropriate footwear.
  • Pre- & Post-materials will accompany each GRPS program confirmation email. The materials include program resources, vocabulary, objectives, as well as class projects and writing prompts. Please use these materials to best prepare your students for and assess your students after your Blandford field trip.

As an outdoor education facility, Blandford Nature Center school programs proceed in a variety of weather.

If severe weather occurs program cancellation will be determined by Blandford Staff. However, we will honor rescheduled programs due to GRPS weather-related closings. Should you choose to cancel the program, rescheduling of the program will be the responsibility of the teacher and based on availability.