Field Trip Options

At Blandford Nature Center, we strive to have every child experience nature and wildlife in a fun, safe way!

From field trips to specialized programs for public, private and home school students, Blandford Nature Center has something for every curious student. Below you’ll find details about each of our various programs tailored to each type of student.

Field Trips

Check back for updates on booking programs for the 2021/2022 school year.

Program Options

Bring the wonder of Blandford Nature Center to your students by choosing from our in-person and virtual field options to fit your needs for students in preschool through sixth grade. We offer a traditional on-site field trip, where you and your students will join us at our 264-acres of forest, wetland, and meadow. Or, we can offer virtual lessons with a Blandford Educator.

In-person Field Trips

Our in-person field trips are $6 per student with a $96 minimum fee and a maximum group size of 36 students with 4 chaperones. Each program is 60-90 minutes long unless otherwise specified. For groups larger than 36 students, multiple dates are required. Please note that due to Covid-19, some of our usual programs may not be offered or will have significant changes. Some programs will offer touchable items or require students to work in close proximity to each other. Please include any additional health or safety protocols required by your organization when booking. See below for program options:

Pre-K & Kindergarten Programs

The changing seasons inspire sensory investigation and role-playing that will help students answer the big questions of WHERE do animals live, WHY do they live there and WHAT does it take for them to survive?

Signs of Spring
April – June (90 minutes)
Spring is an amazing time of growth and change, and the evidence is all around us. Investigate with your senses, practice counting and develop color recognition by spying blooming flowers, singing birds, and buzzing insects.

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

Whooo Lives in the Forest?
April – June (60 minutes)
Ask WHO, WHAT, WHERE, WHY, and WHEN questions about Blandford’s owls as students explore their habitat and investigate owl pellets to learn more about the birds of prey that are hunters of the night!

NGSS Standards: K-LS-1 From Molecules to OrganismsK-ESS3-1 Earth-Human Activity

Core Ideas: LS1.C, ESS3.A

1st, 2nd & 3rd Grade Nature/Science Programs

First Grade

Birds of a Feather
April – June (90 minutes)
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

Second Grade

Seeds and Plants
April – May (90 minutes)
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

Third Grade

Predator-Prey Simulation
April – June (60 minutes)
What does it take for an animal to survive in the wild? Students will engage in an action-packed simulation to explore and understand the complex interactions between herbivores, carnivores, and omnivores in an ecosystem. They will experience firsthand what it feels like to be part of a food chain, the value of camouflage, and other animal survival strategies. Minimum group size of 20 is required.

NGSS Standards: 3-LS2 & 3-LS4 Biological Evolution Core Ideas: LS2.C, LS2.D, LS4.B, LS4.C & LS4.D

4th & 5th Grade Nature/Science Programs

Fourth Grade

Farming Comes Naturally
April – June (90 minutes)
Discover how a farm is like an ecosystem, the impact farms have on our health, and the impact they have on the health of the biosphere. Visit the greenhouses, examine soil samples, learn about vermiculture, and greet the resident farm animals!

NGSS Standard: 4-LS1 Molecules to Organisms, 5-ESS2 Earth Systems, & 5-ESS3 Earth & Human Activity Core Ideas: 4-LS1-1, 4-LS1-2, 4-ESS3-1, 3-5-ETS1, 5-LS2-1, 5-ESS2-A & 5-ESS3-C

Fifth Grade

Ecosystem Energy
April – June (90 minutes)
Everybody has to eat something and something eats everything! Follow the sun’s energy by exploring plants, animals and fungi through the lens of a producer, consumer, or decomposer.

NGSS Standards: 5-LS2 Ecosystems5-ESS-2 Earth Systems & 5-PS3 Energy Core Ideas: LS2.A & LS2.B

Watershed Guardians
April – June (90 minutes)
Discover essential aspects of a watershed as well as investigate key indicators of healthy wetlands by evaluating biotic and abiotic factors. Students will explore ways that their actions can impact the watershed, as well as other natural resources, around them.

NGSS Standard: 5-ESS2-2 Earth Systems: Water & Fresh Water  & 5-ESS3 Earth & Human Activity Core Idea: ESS2.C, ESS.3C, ETS1-1 & ETS1-2

K-6th Grade Social Studies Programs

Anishinabek Lifeways
April – June (90 minutes)
The cultural heritage of the Grand River comes alive through hands‐on experiences with traditional tools. We will investigate how the seasons and resources of Michigan influenced the lives of Anishinabe people around 500 years ago. This program’s duration is 90 minutes and includes a 10 minute intro and four 20 minute stations which will introduce home life in a wigwam, hunting techniques, agriculture, and foraging.

Standards: H, G, E

Sugarbush Programs

March – No longer booking for 2021
Experience the science of maple syrup production! Identify maple trees, collect data on forest health, and smell the sweet syrup cooking in the Sugarhouse. Practice modern methods of tapping, collecting, and boiling using real tools, then taste the sweet results.

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

Virtual Programs

Our Virtual Programs are available for $120. Educators will come equipped with key “show and tell” items for students to explore virtually (via Zoom, Google Meet, etc.). The 45-minute live lesson will allow time for Q & A and any unanswered questions can be submitted alongside a teacher survey. In addition to the live lesson, supplemental learning documents will be provided to teachers and may include games, activity ideas, worksheets, and links to virtual storybooks and videos. Most materials will be able to be utilized by a teacher who may have children in class or given to students who may be learning from home.

Virtual lesson content and any supplemental activities shared with teachers are not to be copied, recorded, or distributed in any way after or before the program.

K-3rd Grade

Michigan Wildlife, Habitat, and Adaptations
This is a customizable virtual learning experience geared (and scalable) for grades K-3. In accordance with NGSS standards for 1st grade and 3rd grades, the program will focus on Michigan Wildlife, their habitats and life cycles, and the adaptations that make them particularly suited to life in Michigan. Blandford Nature Center’s Educators will serve as virtual guest speakers helping classroom teachers engage students with enriching environmental education learning. Blandford staff will collaborate with teachers individually to coordinate, plan, and facilitate an experience that suits the science objectives and interests for that class.

3rd-5th Grade

Anishinabek Lifeways
This is a customizable virtual learning experience for Grades 3-5. In accordance with Michigan Social Studies Standards, NGSS standards, and the North American Association for Environmental Education’s Guidelines for Excellence in K-12 Environmental Education, the program focuses on the lives of the Indigenous Peoples of Michigan 400-500 years ago. The primary focus is how the Anishinabek used natural resources for daily survival and how they interacted with, adapted to, and modified the environment around them. Blandford Educators will virtually present aspects of Anishinaabe life including the foods, plants, animals, and other natural resources that were commonly used.


Schedule a Program

Please submit all program requests via email to registrar@blandfordnaturecenter.org. Please be sure to include the following information in your request:

  • School/Organization Name
  • Contact Person
  • Address with City, Zip, and Phone Number
  • Group Size
  • Grade Level
  • Special Needs or ESL/ELL information
  • Is your group comfortable handling shared touchable items?
  • Requested Program
  • Preferred virtual platform (for virtual programs only)
  • First and Second Choice Date and Time of Program/Virtual Call

Please note that group sizes are limited to a maximum of 36 students with 4 chaperones, groups larger than 36 will need to request multiple dates.


Blandford on the Road

If you are unable to bring your class to Blandford but still prefer a program in-person, let us bring the excitement to you! Check out our Blandford on the Road program options by visiting our Wildlife Experiences page.

GRPS Partnership

ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION PARTNERSHIPS

For questions regarding current program options for GRPS schools, please email ashley@blandfordnaturecenter.org.

Boy in Creek
HOMESCHOOL PROGRAMS

Outdoor, hands-on learning with 264 acres!

Spring 2021 Homeschool
Fall 2021 Homeschool

2021 Spring Homeschool is now in session!

Homeschool field trips to Blandford Nature Center will immerse students in nature and are designed to help integrate Next Generation Science Standards while engaging students’ natural sense of inquiry. Four sessions are available (see below), will be taught by our highly experienced staff, and are geared toward children 5 to 12 years of age.

Students will be separated into two groups based on age so that program content is age-appropriate. Parents are required to register and attend with their children. For parents with multiple children who may be separated into different age groups, the parent is expected to accompany the younger student. Age groups are Acorns (ages 5-8) and Oaks (ages 9-12).

To ensure social distancing, each session will be limited to 20 participants with 10 participants in each age group. Pets, toddlers, and unregistered guests will not be allowed to attend. Please refrain from eating during the program. We encourage you to spend extra time on our property before or after your program, and public picnic tables are available in our schoolyard.

Please Note: Homeschool programs will take place outdoors, rain or shine. In the event of severe weather, the program will be canceled and participants will be notified of their refund options. 

Covid-19 Information: In accordance with current CDC guidelines and State of Michigan COVID regulations, Blandford Nature Center requires all staff, visitors, and program participants ages 2 and up to wear masks while inside all buildings and for the duration of all programs both inside and outside. If you or someone you are registering for a program cannot medically tolerate a mask, you must contact our Program Manager prior to booking a program. To contact our Program Manager, please call (616-735-6240 ext. 102, or email ashley@blandfordnaturecenter.org.

Session Information

Sessions Available – Multiple sessions are available. Please only sign up for one session. You are allowed to attend only the session for which you are registered. Please note: Due to limited group capacities, if you are unable to attend one of your scheduled session dates, we will not be able to transfer you to a different date.

Session 1
(10-11:30am)
April 21- Animal Adaptations
May 5 – MI Ecosystems
May 19 – Birds of a Feather
Session 2
(1-2:30pm)
April 21- Animal Adaptations
May 5 – MI Ecosystems
May 19 – Birds of a Feather
Session 3
(10-11:30am)
April 28 – Animal Adaptations
May 12 – MI Ecosystems
May 26 – Birds of a Feather
Session 4
(1-2:30pm)
April 28 – Animal Adaptations
May 12 – MI Ecosystems
May 26 – Birds of a Feather

Program Descriptions

Animal Adaptations
How do organisms survive in their environment? Students will learn that adaptations – whether they are unique physical traits or survival strategies – play a critical role in the life and survival of an animal.

MI Ecosystems
Young biologists explore two different Michigan ecosystems, searching for evidence of biodiverse food chains within unique habitats.

Birds of a Feather
Discover the amazing world of birds during the most active time in their lives. As birds call for mates, build nests, and raise their young, students learn how to identify distinguishing characteristics using observation and role-play.

Pricing and Registration Information

Pricing
Members: $30/student
Non-Members: $35/student
Adult Chaperone: Free (adult chaperones are free, and required to attend with their children)

Registration Information
To register, please email the following information to our Registrar at registrar@blandfordnaturecenter.org:

  • Parent Chaperone Name
  • Parent Chaperone Contact Information (address, phone, email)
  • Student(s) Name
  • Student(s) Age 
  • First Choice: Session 1, 2, 3, or 4
  • Second Choice: Session 1, 2, 3, or 4
  • Special needs or ESL/ELL Information
  • Are you a Blandford Member or Non-Member

Upon receipt of your email, we will respond within one week to confirm your session and give further instructions. If you have any further questions, please contact registrar@blandfordnaturecenter.org.

Please check back in late summer 2021 regarding Fall Homeschool options.