Stream ActionMarys River

Location: Avery Park, Mary’s River

Season: Fall or Spring

Kit: Landforms

1 Hour Field Trip Activities

  • Hike to Stream – Investigate how rivers change through erosion and sedimentation. See erosion in action by exploring layers in the soil and river rocks.
  • Stream Table Simulation – Hands-on look at the processes present in a stream. We can speed up time to see seasons and river changes in minutes.mushroom picture

Nature’s Decomposers

Location: OSU Old Growth

Season: Fall (preferred)

Kit: Fungus and Mold

2 Hour Field Trip Activities

  • Hike – Scavenger hunt for different kinds of decomposers. See fungi, molds, bacteria and more at work in the forest.
  • Log and Snag Investigation – Explore the importance of trees as they go through the process of becoming soil. Close up investigation of different stages of a tree turning to soil.
  • Nutrient Cycle – Students will work to connect the energy they can find with a string showing movement and flow. A closer look at key decomposers.

For a full day of adventure filled programming combine this with Native and Invasive plants or the Wetland Investigation programs!

1 Hour Nature Center or Classroom Visit

Wild Bats

  • Bat Anatomy – How a bat compares to the students; flap your wings, draw a bat, use math skills to calculate and compare.
  • Echolocation – Small groups will learn about echolocation in a fun game of Bat and Moth.
  • Bat Mask – Discuss special facial adaptations bats have and students will get a mask to color.


  • Amphibian & Reptiles – Compare structure and adaptations.
  • Herpetology Stations – Explore educational hands on stations that teach about herpetology through different classes and adaptations of vertebrates.
  • Live animals – Hold, compare, and discuss native vs. non-native and invasive species with snakes, tortoise, newts, and frogs.

Local Mammals

  • Furs – View and touch over ten different local animal species.
  • Skulls – In small groups look at different skull adaptations and see if you can figure out what mammal species you have. Share with the group.
  • Tracks – Match the track to its owner by solving adaptation clues.

Wetland Wonders (Outdoor Nature Center Program) View local seasonal flooding from the Mary’s River that creates an amazing wetland ecosystem exploding with life each spring. Season depends on rain usually March to early May. Students must wear waterproof boots.

  • Athropods Netting – Find and identify different aquatic invertebrates like insects, crustaceans, isopods, copepods, and arthropods.