School Programs and Groups

Olewine Nature CenterWildwood 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.

Planning a Visit

Registration

Fees

Requirements

Payment is expected on the day of the program. Checks should be made payable to DCPR (Dauphin County Parks and Recreation). If paying by credit card, we require advanced notice.

Wildwood Field Study Trips

Olewine Nature CenterEnvironmental Education Programs

Environmental education programs meet Pennsylvania’s Environment and Ecology Standards. Our qualified, flexible naturalists can modify any program listed below to more closely align with your curriculum.

Field Study Topics

Discovery Walk
All ages
Join a naturalist for a guided walk on trails where students will explore nature up close. Learn the importance of wetland and forest habitats and the animals and plants that call them home. We will combine age appropriate activities and games to discover nature's wonders. Concepts can include functions of wetlands, watersheds, adaptations, biodiversity, and seasonal changes.
Wetlands
All Ages
Join a naturalist to discover the characteristics and different types of wetlands. Students will take a walk to identify plants and discover and the important roles wetlands play in our environment. Students will also compare and contrast soil samples collected from wetlands and forest/fields.
Insect Investigation
All Ages
Students will conduct a field investigation to explore insects and other invertebrates in forests, fields, or ponds. Insect collection and educational activities accompany this topic. Concepts include metamorphosis, adaptations, decomposers, and pollination. Program is available April through October.
Trees
Grades K-Adults
Students in Kindergarten through grade 3 will create tree and leaf rubbings while on a walk to identify trees. They will also learn the age of trees by counting the rings on tree cookies. Students in grades 4 and up will explore the diversity of trees and identify them using a dichotomous key by taking a walk around the Nature Center.
Birds
Preschool - Grade 12
Wildwood is a great place to see birds of all kinds up close. Students will learn identification and natural history of the birds at Wildwood. This program will include a walk and a choice of interactive activities to explore concepts like migration, adaptation, nests, or eggs.
Reptiles and Amphibians
Preschool - Grade 7
WStudents will compare and contrast the characteristics of reptiles and amphibians. Activities will focus on adaptations and metamorphosis of snakes, frogs, and turtles that live at Wildwood Park. Students will then go on a walk to identify some of these scaly and slimy friends. Program is available April—May.
Seeds and Dispersal
Preschool - Grade 5
Discover seeds and their methods of dispersal. Students will take a walk and look for evidence of seeds along trails. Concepts can include adaptations, classification, life cycles, and the importance of seeds.
Mammals
Preschool - Grade 5
Students will explore roles of animals and discuss terms including predator, prey, and food chains. Discover mammal signs such as tracks and scat while on a walk with a naturalist. Students will perform close inspection of adaptations with professionally cleaned animal pelts.
Sensory Walk
Preschool - Grade 2
: 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.
Aquatic Study
Grades 3-Adults
Students will explore water quality through a macroinvertebrate study. This could be done using a biotic index and a dichotomous key. Another option includes looking more closely at adaptions. Chemical testing available for secondary students. Program is available April through October.
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