Fall Programs


Fall 2015 Program Registration Begins September 1. Programs run September 22 -October 28. Remember to schedule your full year of programs when you call! 231.347.0991.

Parentheses indicate suggested grade levels.



Animal Homes Discoveries (PreK) This program is designed to engage young children’s fascination and curiosity of animals and where they live I in the wild while building upon observation skills through a fun story and guided walk. While looking up, on the ground, under logs and behind trees, children will gain an awareness of why animals build homes and what materials they use to do so. (45 minutes)

To Be a Tree (PreK) Through song and dance, children will gain an awareness of a tree’s structure and functions. Children will learn how each part of a tree plays a role in helping the trees function. Developmental components of this program include music, movement comparison, identifying parts, and interactive play. Program adapted from Project Learning Tree. (45 minutes)

Falling for Leaves ( K-1) Fall is a perfect time to take a hike and enjoy the colors and multitude of leaves falling to the ground. During this program, students are asked to use their observation skills to categorize leavers by shape and color. We’ll also share differences between deciduous and coniferous trees and discuss how trees grow. (45 minutes)

Sharpening the Senses (suggested grades K-1) Students benefit from guided observation of nature. Their curiosity about everything around them is evident, and their interest in nature is keen. This nature hike is designed to enhance a student’s awareness of the five senses and the ways they can be used to gather information about our natural world. (45 minutes)

Healthy Habitats (1-3) A focus on the four necessary elements needed for a healthy habitat: food, water, shelter, and space. Students will explore and compare three or more habitats. With help from category cards, students will be encouraged to actively explore surroundings for all of the elements required for a healthy habitat. (1 hour)

Buggin’ Out ( 1-3) Explore the world of insects, bugs, spiders, millipedes, centipedes, and crustaceans by collecting and examining a variety of invertebrates during this active hike. Students are provided with bug boxes and participate in a guided hunt for insects and other similar creatures. The naturalist will then gather the group together to look at everyone’s discoveries and discuss adaptations and special habits of the many-legged critters. Discussions include habitats, comparisons of insects to non-insects and collection techniques safe for both critter and student. (1 hour)

Everybody Eats (1-3) This hike focuses on food chains, animal habitats, and the transfer of the sun’s energy to all living things. Students are asked to take on the role of different parts of the food chain and to create a chain using other members of their class. During the hike they may search for examples of food from the different habitats they visit and discuss the roles of both predator and prey within a chain. (1 hour)

Purely Plants (3-4) This program focuses mainly on the importance of plants and their parts and functions. We will also take a closer look at the adaptations of plants and methods of seed dispersal on this hike. (1 hour)

Dirt Makers (3-5) Roll over logs and meet vitally important members of the ecosystem—the decomposers! Learn more about the variety of critters whose job it is to transform decaying material into rich soil. A note-taking or journaling component can easily be added by request for additional scientific observation. A worksheet activity is included to assist students on their endeavor. (1 hour)

Nature Study (5-8) Students combine personal observations and creativity while using the beauty of the natural world for inspiration. Students use a guiding worksheet to observe their surroundings. The worksheet focuses on the senses, micro and macro biology, general ecology, and some language arts. Teachers can then use the worksheet to assist other related units in the classroom. (1 hour to 1.5 hours depending on age)

Orienteering (6-12) *Fall & Spring The Ransom Nature Preserve near Charlevoix features the Conservancy Orienteering course. Bring your class out to learn how to use a compass and explore this beautiful upland preserve with rolling hills and scenic vistas. Students enjoy the challenge of “bushwhacking” through forest and field and the thrill of success when they discover their route marker.

NOTE: During this program, your class will be divided into teams of four or five students and an adult leader should be available for each team. *This program requires the completion of pre-visit activities sent with the confirmation packet. A classroom visit by a Conservancy Naturalist prior to your outing is also available and recommended. (approx. 2 hours)


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