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Field Trip Opportunities

Polk County Conservation is putting more emphasis outdoors. Field trips may have two or more naturalists or volunteers leading the programs. Winter is a great time to explore the outdoors so consider visiting us for a winter field trip.

Our goal is provide students with memorable experiences and to help them make stronger connections to the natural world.

All field trips are FREE except for any field trip involving canoes/kayaks. The $50 fee helps cover the cost of transportation and equipment replacement.

Scheduling Programs

To schedule a field trip, please fill out the Program Request Form here and e-mail it to:Patrice.Petersen-Keys@polkcountyiowa.gov.

Bus Scholarships Available

The Great Outdoors Foundation (GOF) has committed to sponsoring a limited number of buses each school year. GOF will reimburse the cost of one bus per field trip up to $200 per school.

Example: If two busses are needed for the field trip, GOF will reimburse the cost of one bus. Schools must be in Polk County.

Fill out the Field Trip Bus Scholarship Form and e-mail it to Patrice Petersen-Keys at Patrice.Petersen-Keys@polkcountyiowa.gov.

Field Trip Opportunities

Polk County Conservation is putting more emphasis on getting students outdoors. We have developed theme based field trips. These field trips may have two or more naturalists or volunteers leading the programs. Don’t forget winter is a great time to explore the outdoors so consider a winter field trip. Check out the new opportunities and let’s try to get more students outdoors exploring nature. Our goal is to provide students with memorable experiences and to help them make stronger connections to the natural world.

All field trips are free except for any field trip involving canoes and/or kayaks. The $50 fee helps cover the cost of transportation and equipment replacement. To schedule a field trip, contact Patrice Petersen-Keys at patrice.petersen-keys@polkcountyiowa.gov or 515-323-5359.

Habitat Discovery

Grades - 2nd-5th

Length - 4 hours

Months - September, October, May

Locations - Chichaqua Bottoms Greenbelt, Jester, or Thomas Mitchell Park

Description - Through hands-on discovery, students will explore Iowa’s habitats including a woodland, prairie, and pond.

 

Hatchet/Survival Skills

Grades - 6th – 12th

Length - 3 - 4 hours

Season - Spring or Fall

Location - Chichaqua Bottoms Greenbelt, Jester Park

Description - Are you reading Hatchet? What a great way to integrate Language Arts and Science! This field trip can include fishing, canoeing, geocaching, and a survival hike.

 

Insect Safari

Grades - Kindergarten - 2nd

Length - 4 hours

Months - September, October, May

Locations - Jester Park, Fort Des Moines Park, or Thomas Mitchell Park.

Description - Students will learn the basic characteristics of insects and how to identify them through fun and interactive programs. Hands on activities include insect hunts in a stream, pond, woodland and prairie.

 

Kayak and Canoe Carnival

Grades - 4th - 12th

Length - 2 - 4 hours

Season - Spring or Fall

Locations - Jester Park or Fort Des Moines Park

Description - Students will learn how to kayak and/or canoe as they paddle their way though an aquatic obstacle course sure to test out their newly developed skills. A $50 fee will be charged to help cover the cost of transportation and equipment replacement.

 

Life on the Prairie

Grades - 3rd - 6th

Length - 3.5 hour (10:00 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.)

Month - Postponed for 2020

Location - Red Feather Prairie, SaylorvilleLake

Description - Tall grass prairie once covered 85% of Iowa’s landscape. Most of this unique habitat has long since vanished; however, life on the prairie still lives today. Join Polk County Naturalists and get a glimpse of what life was like on the prairie. Students will learn about Native American cultures and Iowa’s natural history through games and hands-on activities.

 

Marsh Madness

Grades - 6th - 12th

Length - 4 hours

Months - September, October, May

Location - Engeldinger Marsh only

Description - Get down and dirty as naturalists lead students into one of the last remaining wetlands in Polk County. Geological formation, wetland history, ecology and hydrology will all be explored through adventurous hands on activities that will leave the students muddy, wet, and wild about wetlands. Students must wear old shoes and clothes that can get wet and muddy.

 

Service Learning

Grades - 6th - 12th

Length - 3 -5 hours

Months - September, October, May

Location - Any Polk County Park or Area

Description - Students will get hands-on learning while providing a valuable service. Projects included, but are not limited to, prairie plant seed collection, removing invasive species, and planting wetland species.

 

Take a Hike

Grades - Kindergarten - 8th

Length - 1 hour

Season - Any

Locations - Brown’s Woods, Jester Park, Thomas Mitchell Park

Description- Guided hikes for all ages are available on the following themes: Trees, Animals Signs, Habitats, Seasons, and Birds.

 

Winter Adventure

Grades - 3rd – 12th grade

Length - 2 - 4 hours

Season - Winter

Location - Jester Park, Chichaqua Bottoms Greenbelt

Description - Come explore the great outdoors in the winter. This field trip can include snowshoeing, ice fishing, and a winter hike. Warm up indoors around a wood stove.

 

Water Wonders

Grades - 4th-8th

Length - 4 hours

Months - September, October, May

Locations - Chichaqua Bottoms Greenbelt, Jester Park, Easter Lake Park, Fort Des Moines Park, Thomas Mitchell Park

Description - Students will explore a pond or creek and learn about the importance of water.