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Spring Lake Outdoor Academy

Get out into nature with our programs just for students grades K-12th!

Are you looking for something fun and educational to do with your student? Are your children interested in science and the great outdoors? Join us at the Spring Lake Outdoor Academy!

This series of classes is designed for students K-12th to get outside and experience nature firsthand, while enjoying the Meadows Center’s exhibits and programs at Spring Lake. Homeschool students are encouraged to register. 

This event is perfect for smaller groups and families who cannot meet the 15-person minimum for a field trip at Spring Lake. 

Classes take place once a month and parties may register for individual classes or all classes in a season. Please note that all children must be accompanied by an adult and tickets are required for both children and adults. Pre-registration is required and classes are limited to 40 participants. Tickets are $8/person; children 2 and under are free. Get $1 off when you register for the entire semester! 

Check-in begins at 9:45am at the Meadows Center ticket kiosk. These events are held from 10:00am to 12:00pm and feature hands-on activities, including:

  • A guided glass-bottom boat ride
  • Interactive activities that teach students the interconnections between all living things and water

Please Note: Visitors' vehicles are required to display a permit in the Meadows Center parking lot. One-day temporary permits are available for $3 at the pay-and-display station located near the ticket kiosk.

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  • Spring 2022 Schedule

    • In this experiential activity, students will hone their nature observation skills through mindful approaches and techniques. Slowing down, being fully present, and engaging one's sensory capabilities are cornerstone skills needed for making detailed scientific observations. Students will use mindful techniques to assist them in finding answers to research questions about their environment. Students will use photography, writing, and group discussions to document and describe observations and understandings of nature experiences. This activity includes a glass-bottom boat ride and wetlands tour.

    • In honor of World Wetlands Day, we will take you on an adventure through the Meadows Center’s prized Wetlands. We will learn all about the plants and animals that call the Wetlands home.

    • In this fully guided tour, students will participate in hands-on activities that explore the ways in which the changing climate impacts the environment. Groups will learn about the role climate plays in moving water around the world, how healthy riparian systems support environmental resilience in the face of climate change, and how we can be solution-based in our thinking about environmental stewardship. Students will also enjoy a ride on a glass-bottom boat, while learning about the endangered species that rely on each of us to make a positive impact on the world around us.

      *Please note: Class will be held from 10am - 12:30pm.

    • In this program, we will learn about the importance of water and keeping it clean through game play and hands-on activities. We will interact with a large watershed model to discover the impact we have on our watershed, and brainstorm creative solutions to help keep our water clean.

    • With Springtime in full bloom, it’s time to hit the trails! In this adventure filled day, we will explore the park and create our very own plant and animal field guides. We will learn how to use our five senses to better understand the natural world.  

    • With bird migration underway, it’s the perfect time of year to break out the binoculars at Spring Lake! We will explore the various adaptations that allow certain bird species to be successful in their environment. This program is sure to be a hoot!

  • Visitors' vehicles are required to display a permit in the Meadows Center parking lot. One-day temporary permits are available for $3 at the pay-and-display station located near the ticket kiosk.

  • Cancellations must be received at least 24 hours in advance to receive a full refund. If a cancellation is made less than 24 hours prior to the event, you will receive half the total amount charged.  The amount refunded will be applied to the credit card that was used for payment.

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