Education

Education Programs & Tours

All ages can have amazing experiences at the prairie.

Group Tours – Clubs, organizations, companies, churches, et. al., are welcome to schedule guided tours along our prairie trails to get their members outside enjoying nature. A one-hour tour is $7/person for groups of 6 to 20 people; $8/person over 20 people; $40 minimum for groups of 5 people or less. Topics can be general in nature, or can highlight specific prairie themes such as history, birds, wildflowers, etc.

School/Club Field Trips – Public and private schools, homeschools, daycares, clubs, scout troups, et. al., can have curriculum-based field trips guided by our staff and volunteer Discovery Leaders. Tours can be adapted to a particular subject matter, and topics can run from prairie-related themes (such as birds, wildflowers and grasses, prairie management, history, ecosystems) to specialized ones (art, literature, et. al.). (Learn more about becoming a Discovery Leader.)

Fees (regular business hours):

Group Size Time Fee (teachers/chaperones free)
Under 15 students Under 2 hours $4/student
15 students and over 2 hours and over $6.50/student

Fees (after hours or weekends): $10/hour/student

Guests can use our picnic area and have access to indoor bathrooms and meeting room. Classes are divided into small groups, each led by a staff member or volunteer naturalist. To schedule your group or for additional information, call (402) 797-2301 or e-mail us.

For schools, we know that students learn best when they have an opportunity to explore and discover. In that spirit, our educators focus on facilitating the activities that tie back to the classroom curriculum goals. Our engaging outdoor classroom allows students to learn which features distinguish Nebraska’s natural heritage from other ecosystems, and we help them discover differences among ponds, wetlands, streams, and springs as well as the bur oak woodlands and tallgrass prairie. People of all ages develop stronger observation skills, an understanding of the scientific methods used to investigate habitats and adaptations, and substantial problem-solving skills.

Inside our Visitor Center, students can continue to learn—no matter the type of weather. With windows that look out onto the tallgrass prairie and activities using authentic materials, students and their teachers can learn details of all the species that make their homes on our Nebraska prairie in a thoughtfully designed space.

Whether inside or outside, visitors discover how our rich human history is integrated into this landscape, whether their roots are Native American, European immigrant, or the more recent American rancher. As students experience the nineteenth-century wagon ruts left by immigrants moving westward, they unearth a passion for discovery that originally led them to our tallgrass prairie.

Among the many topics to delve into are:

1) Animals and Habitats:
Explore and compare diverse habitats — prairie, streams, ponds, wetlands, and woodlands. (Meets Lincoln Public Schools’ First Grade Science Animals and Habitats objectives.)

2) Prairie Explorers:
Explore the tallgrass prairie and make discoveries about our natural and human history.
(Meets Lincoln Public Schools’ 4th Grade Science Prairie objectives and can incorporate Nebraska History objectives.)

3) Prairie Waterworks:
Immerse yourself in the study of prairie springs, streams, and wetlands.
(Meets Lincoln Public Schools’ 5th Grade Science Wetlands objectives.)

Students begin making personal discoveries about Nebraska’s natural history through the multidisciplinary approach and hands-on activities we promote. Programs can easily be individualized to meet specific grade-level objectives, and can function either as introductions or follow-ups to classroom study.

Comments from teachers regarding their students’ experiences at Spring Creek Prairie:

“Children were able to ‘experience’ science and think extensively about their observations.”

“(I liked) the fact that the children were allowed to explore, discover, and have up-close, hands-on experiences.”

“Your program provided an excellent learning opportunity for my students.”

 

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