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Home School Group/Pod Field Trips

Field Trip Programs Available All Year (All programs are 90 minutes unless noted otherwise) 
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Meet four different live animals and identify how they use their external parts to help them survive, grow, and meet their needs. Discover how animals need different adaptations to survive in various habitats and what tools people have designed to mimic some of these adaptations.

Meet a live bird of prey and learn what it is that makes a bird a bird. Discover bird diversity, what they need to survive, and how people can reduce their impact on avian species. Learn how a birds external parts help it to grow and survive and identify how the shape of a birds beak enables it to obtain food.

Challenge yourself and discover as a group how to communicate effectively and cultivate cooperative skills. Through problem-solving challenges, generate and compare multiple solutions and recognize each individuals strengths.

Discover how the shape and/or color of some animals help them to survive by enabling them to blend into their surroundings. Meet a live animal that uses camouflage and play a game to emphasize the lessons learned and see if people can do better than nature at keeping animals hidden.

Discover what really makes an animal nocturnal and what they need to survive. Meet several live animals who are most active at dawn, dusk, or night. Learn how the earths surface is affected by sunlight and about the amazing adaptations some of these animals possess to thrive as they roam the nighttime landscape.

Learn about the major factors that threaten animals with endangerment and extinction worldwide. Discover how people both directly and indirectly affect the Earth's biodiversity and meet 4-5 living examples of species whose populations are being affected by human actions today. Gain an awareness of New Jersey’s 60+ endangered species, and develop solutions to help prevent threats to our local wildlife. Field trip programs (90 minutes) explore what happens to a species when most of the population is gone and how easily the remaining animals can perish.

Students explore the local forest to learn about the ecology of the plants and animals that live there. Learning to deduce the history of a woodland by “reading the landscape”, students uncover some of the differences between deciduous and coniferous forests by field-testing forest plots, studying the flora and fauna, and making field observations. Students will discover the cultural and natural history of plants, particularly trees, as we examine a tree’s life stages, following it’s growth from seed to maturity, finally, to decomposition.

Learn how the Palisades were formed, identify why geology is important, what the geosphere is, and what types of rocks can be found along the northeastern edge of New Jersey. Make observations and measurements to identify materials based on their properties and discover the effects of weathering and erosion by water, ice, wind, or vegetation. Determine the difference between trace and body fossils and identify evidence from patterns in rock formations and fossils in rock layers to support an explanation for changes in a landscape over time.

Meet a few live reptiles and amphibians (herps) and learn about the many ways they are similar and different. Discover the patterns in behavior of parents and offspring that help younger generations survive. Field trip programs (90 minutes) enable exploration and comparison of the diversity of life found in the different habitats here at TNC.

Discover what animals, plants, and people need in their habitat to survive and what makes a habitat a “home”. Explore two different areas found at TNC and compare the diversity of life. Learn why some organisms can't thrive and what adaptations others possess to enable their survival in our forest neighborhood.

Examine live insects and learn how diverse invertebrate life can be in a forest habitat. Discover how each animals shape help it to survive and how insects are similar yet different from other invertebrates. Learn about insect life stages and how some insects provide for their young. Learn how invertebrate have influenced humans and what we can do to reduce our negative impacts on their populations.

Meet live invertebrates and amphibians and go for a tadpole hunt in one of our ponds. Discover some of the amazing things that insects and amphibians do and learn about complete and incomplete life-cycles with a focus on the stages of metamorphosis.

Discover how the Native Americans who inhabited this area utilized science, technology, engineering, and math in their daily lives. Utilize natural resources to create similar survival tools the natives would have and engage in some classic Lenape games of skill.

Discover how the earth's magnetism can be utilized to help locate directions and learn how to use a compass properly. Learn about pacing and then apply all newly learned skills on an outdoor course and work as a group to complete a magnetic and direction finding challenge.

Learn about orienteering, a competitive international sport that combines racing with navigation. Discover how to analyze and interpret data from maps to identify natural and man-made features. Learn how to orient a map and then participate in a timed race in which individual participants use topographic maps to select routes and navigate their way to find hidden control points along TNC trails.

Discover the essential things people need to survive and learn about the "rules of three". Generate and compare solutions and develop a plan to construct a survival shelter or other tools needed to aid in wilderness survival.

Meet a live hawk and owl and learn how each animals shape and other adaptations help it to survive. Discover what birds of prey need to survive and how people can reduce their impact on all avian species. Identify how the shape of a bird assists it in flight and what specific adaptations enable diurnal and nocturnal raptors to obtain food in their habitats. Field trip programs (90 minutes) feature a pellet dissection and learning how scientists are able to study and learn more about these winged wonders without direct contact.

Identify how plants use their external parts to help themselves survive, grow, and meet their needs. Discover the various elements plants utilize to help disperse their seeds and how the shape of an object helps it to function as needed to solve a problem.

Discover how animals receive different types of information through their senses, process the information in their brain, and respond the the information in different ways. Learn how senses are used to help animals survive, utilizing sensory observation skills, and investigate how people can apply some of these techniques to enrich their lives.

Meet an animal that hibernates in the winter season and learn where migrating animals go. Discover what strategies animals utilize to survive the colder months and how these responses differ. Learn about some of the adaptations animals have to meet their needs and what makes an animal a true hibernator.

Learn about the various shapes and kinds of bodies of water in our area and how they are all interconnected within our watershed. Explore while on a trail hike how TNC prevents erosion, runoff, and fill-in and discover how the states of water can be identified and altered.

Learn how the elements can be used to predict weather patterns and how the effects of weathering or the rate of erosion by water, ice, wind, or vegetation has on our natural world. Through demonstrations and experiments, your class will learn how to use several basic instruments to measure and hypothesize future weather patterns and come up with solutions that reduce the impacts of a weather-related hazard.

Discover how energy flows from the sun through the ecosystem and what components make up a food chain. Meet live animals that form a local food chain and discover how producers, consumers and decomposers interact through a fun action filled game that highlights predator and prey relationships.

Examine the different parts of a plant and how each tree's shape assists with its survival. Discover what plants (specifically trees) need to survive and the relationship between these needs and where they live. Learn about some of the ways we and other animals utilize plants and meet a live animal whose survival is dependent on the trees it inhabits.

A hole in the ground is always mysterious as it invites curiosity and wonder. Discover why some organisms can survive in this underfoot habitat while others cannot at all. Meet several live animals who spend part of their lives underground and discover why subterranean ecosystems are diverse, balanced, and much more active than you may think.

Seasonal Field Trip Programs
(All programs are 90 minutes)
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Discover how young and old plants are alike and what elements are needed for growth to occur. Learn how animals assist in seed dispersal and about the history of apple cider and the tools and solutions people developed to solve extraction problems. Then use an old-fashioned screw press to make and sample fresh apple cider.

Discover what plants need, and how their main parts function to help with their survival. Explore how daylight affects a plants seasonal cycle and what that has to do with Maple Syrup. Learn how to identify a Maple tree and discover how to make maple syrup as we journey through the entire process of sap to syrup. Find out how those processes have changed over time and take the syrup challenge where participants taste and try to distinguish 100% maple from other syrup.

Examine the living macro-invertebrates found in a freshwater pond system and discover how each animals external parts help it to meet their needs. Learn about the diverse life cycles found within TNC's freshwater habitats, the interrelationships found within, and how human activity impacts these.

Observe and learn about the characteristics of each season and how the amount of daylight relates to any changes. Discover how plants and animals respond to seasonal changes and what factors trigger that response. Learn why the leaves fall in the autumn, what signs animals leave in the winter, and how plants and animals prepare for changes and new growth in spring.

Home-school Group Pricing

   1 Hour  1.5 Hours
Maximum of 15 children
(up to 25 people with parents)
 $10 per person
 $100 deposit minimum
 $15 per person
 $150 deposit minimum
  • A non-refundable deposit for a program covers 10 children. Groups of fewer than 10 are welcome, but the minimum deposit charge is required. 
  • Programs require one parent per home school group. 
  • Additional parents are welcome to stay or drop-off; parents are always free. 


  • In order to obtain adequate number of staff, advance notice of additional parents and younger siblings is required. We reserve the right to limit the number of non-registered participants to the number originally registered on the confirmation form.
  • Siblings may not attend without prior permission from the Field Trip Manager. If siblings would like to participate in the class, the same per child fee noted above will be applied.
  • Participants should be prepared to be outside for the majority of the class. An Environmental Educator will lead the group through the program; attending adults are expected to stay and assist the group when necessary to provide an enjoyable experience for all involved.
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