DeVries Nature Conservancy


To help bring our message of conservation to the community, we are constantly developing education programs that cater to schools, scouts, youth groups and local organizations.

Not only do we offer a great place to bring your group for a hike or field study, but you can also have a program with our educator to expand your experience.  Programs are offered on-site, or at your site, year round.

If you would like a special program for your group, please contact us to discuss your options. Torey, our Environmental Educator can be reached at 989.723.3365 or

Field Trip Programs Available

(Outreach programs where indicated)

We offer field trip programs for one class or a whole grade level.  We can choose 1 program that fits your needs, or a combination of programs to provide the greatest learning opportunity. Programs start at $2 per student and range up to $4 per student based on materials and staff time. 

All grade levels

(programs are modified for curriculum standards for each grade)

-   Fossils, Rocks and Minerals:   Dig into a hands-on discussion of fossils and the 3 types of rock. See many examples and then do a simulated dig. This program utilizes scientific tools, sorting and classifying as well as real fossils, rocks and mineral examples. (PreK-2, no mineral discussion)     (Also available as an outreach program)

-   Bug Adventure:  This program explores the traits of common insects and arachnids, along with basic ID. Then using nets, containers and magnifying lenses the students will explore the grounds looking for insect samples. All specimens are discussed as a class and then released.

-   Toad Abodes (seasonal):  Meet and touch Mr. Toad while learning about the life cycle of amphibians and the difference between frogs and toads. Then create and paint "Toad Abodes" for each student to take home. Abodes can be placed in flower beds as a home for a toad. $1 extra fee for materials. (Also available as an outreach program)

-   Plants: Learn about the needs of plant life and their lifecycle. Learn simple population dynamics. See examples and then plant your own plants and chart their growth.   (Also available as an outreach program)

-   Animal Adaptations (live animal program): Our animal program features snakes, turtles, toads, frogs, hissing cockroaches, skulls and furs! Get up close and touch our cool friends while discussing their adaptations and habitats.  (Also available as an outreach program)

-   Invertebrates versus Vertebrates: This class dives into a discussion on the differences between invertebrates and vertebrates. See and touch examples and then go out in the field to find your own specimens. 

-   Nature Playscape Exploration Time: Its a playground with no playground equipment! Your students can work on team building, problem solving, conflict resolution and more in our skill building playscape. Full of natural elements that they can manipulate and tools they can use, this is a valuable and educational way to add a little fun to a fieldtrip!

-   Food Chain Adventures: Learn the ins and outs of food chains and food webs. Be part of one as we discuss predators, prey and more. A great way to reinforce concepts and vocabulary! Can include live animals as well.                 (Also available as an outreach program)

-   Producers and Consumers Oh My!: Be part of a great interactive discussion on producers and consumers. Get in depth practice with terms and relationships.

-   Mammals  or   Reptiles   or  Amphibians:   Pick your animal group and learn all about them! Students get to touch and learn about the groups through interactive activities.  (Also available as an outreach program)

-   We All Need Trees:  Trees are a very important piece of our ecosystem. Students will learn about the importance of trees, products made from tress and the parts of a tree with fun hands-on activities!  (Also available as an outreach program)

-   Scavenger Hunt:  Our scavenger hunts can be made to accommodate any curriculum or season. Just ask!

-   Plus many more...just ask!

Sample Schedule

Class A
 Class B
 Class C
PlayscapeFood Chain Fossils
Shape Hike
PlayscapeFood Chain
 11:00-11:45Animal Adaptations
Shape HikePlayscape
 11:45-12:15Picnic Lunch
Picnic LunchPicnic Lunch
Animal AdaptationsShape Hike
 1:00-1:45Food Chain  FossilsAnimal Adaptations

Programs for specific age groups

Early Childhood Only

-   Down on the Farm:   We will meet all the friends on a farm through fun puppets. Then read a fun story before going out to meet and pet the chickens, and collect eggs!

-   Fuzzy Wuzzy Sensory Hike: Only know what the fuzzy wuzzies feel like, your preschoolers can explore our trails in search of the elusive fuzzy wuzzy. While on the trails, they are using their senses to enjoy and learn from the forest.

-   Shapes & Colors in Nature Hike: This half mile hike is perfect for early childhood. Each child gets a "bingo" card of shapes and colors to look out for in the woods. For each they find, they get a sticker. The hike highlights unique features in our woods as well as helping to direct the attention and observation skills of your students.

Upper Elementary Through High School Only

-   Compass Course and Skills: Your students will learn the basic math skills to make compass use fun. They will practice their compas skills and then hit the course for some hands-on guided practice in compass navigation.  Great for math and team building!

-   Habitat Hike: Our guided habitat hike will showcase the trails and grounds while looking for different habitat types to discuss. Each team of students will complete a hunt sheet to expand their learning.

-   The Great Watershed Caper:   This fun program outlines the Shiawassee Watershed and our part in the watersheds of Michigan. We discuss the influence of cities, farming and dams on the river. Then we learn about indicator species before donning waders and heading into the river to collect macroinvertebrates.  (Waders provided, but each student should bring a change of clothes just in case of splashing)

-   River Study (Macroinvertebrate sampling - our most popular program): Like the Watershed Caper....but more time is spent investigating the macroinvertebrates we find in the river and using those to assess the rivers health. This can also include simple water quality sampling. (Waders provided, but each student should bring a change of clothes just in case of splashing)

-   Stewardship: We continually have stewardship projects happening on the grounds. Your students can learn about the projects happening on the grounds, as well as problems facing our communities and natural resources. You can also opt to have your students get down-n-dirty lending a helping hand to a project of their choosing. (Also available as an outreach program)

-   Invasive Species: This programs discusses the invasive species plaguing our natural resources. A hike with trail side ID is included as well as optional invasive species removal work for your students to get hands on experience. Species can include garlic mustard, dame's rocket, multiflora rose, honeysuckle and more.         (Also available as an outreach program)

Teachers - Need resources, funding or professional development opportunities??  Click here!

Contact us

Mail us: 2635 N. M52 

             PO Box 608

             Owosso, MI 48867

Call us: 989.723.3365

Email us:

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