Oregon Ridge Nature Center School Programs
Investigate the natural phenomena associated with the specific season of the year. Animal behaviors and seasonal vegetation will be explored to highlight nature's internal clockwork.
Explore Maryland's waterways and learn the natural and cultural history of the area. Use of investigative equipment will enhance the participants awareness concerning biodiversity. Minimum age: 10 years.
Participants learn the traditional techniques of making maple sugar from raw sap. Emphasis will be on tree identification, tapping and collecting methods, and sampling of finished products. Seasonal availability: March
Explore the interrelationships between predator and prey through first hand observation, role playing and a hike.
Native Americans in Maryland
Investigate the world of the Woodland Indians. Who were they? What did they eat? How did they live? Emphasis will be direct hands-on participation.
The Meadow Community
Identify the living and non-living components of the meadow community. Hands on experiences using nets and magnifiers emphasized. Long pants recommended.
The Forest Community
Discuss the living and non-living components of the Oregon Ridge forest. Explore game trails, animal foods, and life zones of the forest.
Park History Hike
Explore the history of iron ore mining. Learn about early mining operations.
Learn about some of the common birds at Oregon Ridge. Emphasis will be on adaptations forsurvival, identification, and habitats.
Insects and Their Kin
Discover the often hidden world of insects. Hike to observe hoppers, crawlers, stingers, swimmers, and fliers.
Rock and Minerals
What are some of the rocks and minerals found in the Park? How were these rocks and minerals used by people in the past? Hike to find these rock and mineral formations.
We can customize any programs listed in this program menu or we can create a program to your specifications; however, we must know well in advance.
Meet and learn about some animal friends that inhabit the Park. Discover where they live, what they eat, and how they protect themselves. Hike to investigate their homes in their local habitat. The above listed programs can be adapted to your pre school or kindergarten group.
We schedule scout troops on Saturday and Sunday mornings from 10 am to noon. All prior listedprograms are open to scout troops as well as custom programs that satisfy badge requirements. It would be helpful to our weekend naturalists if you send in a copy of the badge requirements in advance.
Scheduling Your School Trip
- Select the program desired.
- Call the Nature Center between 9:30 am and 3:30 pm for reservations.
- (Fall scheduling takes place in the first week of September; winter scheduling takes place in the first week of December.)
- Fees and restrictions may apply to some programs.
- Please carefully review the confirmation you receive in the mail and follow directions for returning it to the Nature Center to avoid errors in the scheduling of your group. Please notify Nature Center staff immediately in the event of any cancellations.
Planning for your Group's Visit
- All naturalist-led programs must be scheduled in advance.
- School group size is limited to 55 participants or fewer per program. Weekend group size is limited to 25 or fewer.
- Please be prompt. All programs are approximately two hours in length, except for canoe trips. Programs usually begin at 10 am and end at 12 noon unless otherwise arranged. (Canoe trips begin at 9 am and end at 1 pm.) Programs for pre-K children may be shorter.
- Lunch will be in the outdoor picnic area.
- Teachers must participate in the program with their students.
- Teachers must bring one adult per ten children for supervision and discipline.
- Children should dress appropriately for the weather (shoes that can get wet or boots, long pants, socks, hat, and dress in layers according to the temperature).
- In case of inclement weather, the program can be abbreviated, and children should wear rain gear.
- All park areas are nature preserves. By law, all plants, animals and minerals are protected in their natural state and cannot be removed from the park.
- There is no charge for most programs.
- Bus permits are not required for Nature Center parking. Smoking is prohibited.
- Programs and facilities are designed to accommodate disabled visitors.
- Groups may visit the nature center on a self-guided basis (without a naturalist). Self-guided groups must notify the Nature Center in advance to avoid overcrowding of the Nature Center on any given day. Leaders of self-guided groups are responsible for the orderly conduct of their groups. Leaders are also encouraged to visit the Nature Center in advance of their group's visit to ensure the success of their trip.