Wildwood Park is south-central PA's premier wetland and study area. School groups experience 229 acres of shallow lake, swamp, riparian areas, field, forest and 6 miles of trails. They learn while exploring trails and a modern nature center with new exhibits. Our quality school program subjects ranges from wetland and wildlife ecology to PA plants and animals. Wildwood environmental educators are professionally trained naturalists who provide practical hands-on instruction.
Wildwood Field Study Trips
Environmental Education Programs
Environmental education programs meet Pennsylvaniaï¿½s Environment and Ecology Standards. Our qualified, flexible naturalists can modify any program listed below to more closely align with your curriculum.
- Each program includes an outdoor component and an exploration of our newly designed indoor exhibits.
- Each program runs 2-3 hours, depending upon the group size.
- All programs are offered year-round, except when otherwise stated.
- Large groups will be divided and rotate through stations.
Field Study Topics
- Discovery Walk
- All ages
- Our most popular program - Join us for a guided walk on our trails where we will explore nature up close. Learn the importance of wetlands and forests and the creatures that make them home as we walk the boardwalks and trails. We'll combine age appropriate activities and games to discover nature's wonders.
- Aquatic Study
- Grades 4-Adults
- In this popular hands-on program, students determine stream or lake water quality through aquatic invertebrate study using a biotic index and a key. Chemical testing available for secondary students.
- Preschool - Grade 5
- Discover the mammals of Wildwood with hands-on learning. Students explore roles of animals and discuss terms including predator, prey and food chains. Students perform close inspection of adaptations and professionally cleaned animal pelts. Fun learning for all.
- All About Insects
- Grades 2-8
- Students become junior biologists by studying insects and other invertebrates as they explore forests, fields or ponds. Collection and educational activities accompany the field study. Concepts include food chain, decomposer, and pollination. Dress to be outdoors. Program is available April through October.
- Birds and Migration
- Grades 4-8
- Wildwood is the place to see egrets and herons up close. Class will learn identification and natural history of birds of Wildwood with a walk and interactive activities. Interested classes may learn by participating in a role playing exercise on migration in addition to the walk.
- Grades K-Adults
- Everyone can learn about trees. K through 3rd grade students meet trees with tree cookies, leaf rubbings and a walk. Grades 4th and up discover trees through experiential education and gain understanding of terminology with a game.
- Sensory Walk
- Preschool - Grade 2
- Children love to explore. Your students will be encouraged to use their senses-sight, sound, smell, and touch-as they investigate the outdoors. Activities emphasize respect for and awareness of nature and the diversity of life that surrounds us.
Planning a Visit
- Call (717) 221-0292 to speak with an environmental educator
- Self-guided groups must call at least two weeks in advance
- Reservations up to 6 months in advance
- $5.00 per student (Dauphin County resident)
- $6.00 per student (Out-of-county resident)
- $100 minimum fee for any school program
For your best possible Wildwood visit, dress for outdoor weather.
Groups with 25 + students will be divided into smaller groups with the teacher leading self-guided explorations of indoor exhibits (materials will be provided) while the naturalist guides an outdoor group.
An outdoor picnic area is available for use.
Students may visit the Nature Shop during lunch or after the program.
Payment is expected on the day of the program. Checks should be made payable to DCPR (Dauphin County Parks and Recreation).
Complete park regulations.