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Check out our Calendar for upcoming programs like Wildlife in Winter, After-School Adventures, and What is Wild?

DETOUR:  The White Woods Rd. bridge over Bantam River is closed due to construction.  

This may impact the canoe and kayak launch.

School/Group Programs



Dear Teachers and Group Leaders,

Are you looking for an affordable, stress-free field trip or outreach program that fosters an appreciation for nature? Look no further than Litchfield Hills’ own White Memorial Conservation Center! School groups, homeschool organizations, scout troops, and all other groups are encouraged to schedule a nature experience with us by calling 860-567-0857.

FIELD TRIPS
Located conveniently off of Route 202 in rural Litchfield, CT, White Memorial provides an array of opportunities to learn about our natural world for groups as small as 10 students to as large as 120 at a time.  White Memorial Conservation Center is nestled within the 4,000 acre wildlife sanctuary of White Memorial Foundation. This expanse of diverse habitats provides an ideal “outdoor classroom” for promoting awareness, understanding, and respect for the natural world.

White Memorial is known for its 40-mile network of hiking trails, including a newly-updated self-guided Interpretive Trail that leaves from the Main Area and makes a convenient 1/2 mile loop. The use of our entire 4,000 acre outdoor property is completely free and open to the public. Challenge your students with this Outdoor Scavenger Hunt. You may also choose to visit the Gift Shop (in the yellow building) while you’re in the Main Area.

Did you know we also have a quality, interactive Nature Museum that captivates people of all ages? The discounted group fee for Museum admission is $3/person (must be 10 or more people). Feel free to use this Museum Scavenger Hunt if you would like to further engage your students while they go through the Museum.

To top it all off, we offer over two dozen guided education programs to choose from, taught by experienced professional educators. White Memorial Conservation Center has established a tradition of providing quality environmental education programming since 1964. Our programs meet CT Curriculum Standards (working on NGSS!) and nurture an appreciation for the natural world. Let us help you incorporate environmental education into your curriculum, or enhance your current studies. Programs (listed below) take place either in the classroom of the Nature Museum or out on the grounds of White Memorial. Typical programs last 45 minutes and cost $85 each (max. 30 people per program).* If you book just one of our education programs, admission to the Museum becomes FREE! We don’t want budget restraints to be the reason why your students aren’t getting exposed to nature. So, we try to make our opportunities as affordable as possible. We even have financial aid available to qualified schools.

*Due to the time it takes to meet multiple badge requirements, scout programs last up to 1 ½ hours and cost $115.

From hiking a trail to visiting the Museum to participating in a guided program, there is so much to do here! Rotations can be set up for larger groups. When lunchtime rolls around, we have plenty of lawn space and picnic tables for your whole group.

Unlike some of the larger museums and field trip destinations in the area, White Memorial is nestled in a rural environment that is easy to get to and uniquely serene. We don’t get flooded by big crowds and you sure won’t encounter many traffic jams around here! You also won’t feel like you’re getting funneled through a never-ending procession of school groups. Frankly, we think you’ll find the atmosphere here pretty laid back, which is the perfect setting for learning about the beautiful natural world around us.


OUTREACHES

Can’t make it to us? We’ll come to you! Most of the education programs we offer onsite can also be presented in your classroom. Many of them even include the appearance of a live critter or two, such as a snake or bird of prey! Program descriptions are listed below, along with the CT Curriculum Standards they meet (working on NGSS!). If you do not see a program that meets your needs, we can customize a program for your group.

Typical outreach programs last 45 minutes – 1 hour and cost $165 plus 54¢ per mile round-trip from White Memorial.* Replicate programs (on the same day) are $120. Maximum audience size for one outreach program is 50 people. More than 50 people is considered an assembly, which costs $200 for the first assembly plus 54¢ per mile round-trip from White Memorial. Replicate assemblies (on the same day) are $175.

*We also offer a shortened program for preschoolers (30 minutes), which costs $120 as opposed to the typical $165.

Call 860-567-0857 to schedule your nature experience with White Memorial Conservation Center!

Sincerely,
Carrie Szwed
Education Director

See Our Programs in Action!

Program Descriptions

(Note: The first number in each standard corresponds to the appropriate grade level.)

“Sense”-sational Study

Students will learn more about their own 5 senses as they compare them to the senses of several other animals, including a live snake.
[read more]


A Plant’s Life

Students will learn all about the life cycles of several flowering plants, including their seed germination, growth, flowering, pollination, and seed dispersal.
[read more]


Amazing Adaptations

We'll use natural props, animals mounts, and at least one live animal to illustrate the definition of an adaptation.
[read more]


Animal Appetites

Using animal mounts and at least 1 live animal, we'll define the terms herbivore, omnivore, etc., and find out what special features these animals have for acquiring their food.
[read more]


Birding Basics Walk

Birding can become a fun lifelong hobby once you learn some of the basics of bird identification and natural history.
[read more]


Classify THIS!

We'll discuss how both plants and animals can be placed into groups based on similar characteristics.
[read more]


Connecticut’s Native Wildlife

Using captive residents, this program provides up-close encounters with several species of wild animals that are indigenous to Connecticut.
[read more]


Creature Features

Using natural props, animal mounts, and a live animals, we'll break down the characteristics of several major animal groups.
[read more]


Do the Locomotion

Students will act out how several types of animals, such as snakes, move in unique ways in order to find food and water.
[read more]


Endangered Species

Find out what local species are considered threatened or endangered, and what we can do to help them.
[read more]


Focus on Food Webs

Using a freshwater ecosystem as an example, we will assign each student to an organism and build an intricate food web out of yarn.
[read more]


Guided Museum Tour

This program provides a guided tour of White Memorial's Nature Museum, in which our exhibits will be interpreted by a staff person.
[read more]


Habitat Chat

We'll break down the four essential components of a habitat through an interactive presentation using natural props, animal mounts, and at least one live animal.
[read more]


It’s Alive!

Students will learn what is living versus non-living in this program using natural props, artifacts, and at least one live animal.
[read more]


Measuring Our Impact

Find out how certain organisms have been positively or negatively affected by our impact.
[read more]


Nature’s Not-So-Cuddly

This program teaches children how to be heroes to creatures that often get overlooked or mistreated because of their unhuggable appearance.
[read more]


Night Hike

During this unique nighttime experience, kids will learn that you don't need light to discover the night!
[read more]


Our Local Ecosystems

Using a local CT ecosystem as an example, we'll discuss how its inhabitants are affected by the biotic and abiotic factors around them.
[read more]


Pond Prowl

Have you ever seen a dragonfly nymph or a water scorpion? Find out what critters live in a pond during a hands-on catch-and-release discovery session.
[read more]


Respect our Resources

Find out how our actions, both good and bad, can impact the global supply of natural resources.
[read more]


Seeds, Please

Through the use of lots of sample seeds and engaging hands-on activities, we'll discuss how seeds develop into plants, the variety of shapes and sizes that seeds are “packaged” in, and how they are dispersed.
[read more]


Small Wonders

We tend to overlook the smaller things in nature, but organisms such as fungi, mosses, ferns, and lichens are important components of an ecosystem.
[read more]


Take a Hike!

Let one of our staff expose your kids to the wonders of the outdoors on a guided nature discovery hike.
[read more]


The Power of Plants

Using local examples of plant species from different habitats, we will discuss the fascinating process of photosynthesis and the “tricks” plants employ to ensure their survival and growth.
[read more]


The Slimy and the Scaled

Through up-close encounters with several live animals, students will learn about the characteristics, habitats, life cycles, and adaptations of various species of reptiles and amphibians.
[read more]


Trees are a Breeze ID Hike

Get to know our local trees better, including white pine, sassasfras, hemlock, and various species of oak and hickory.
[read more]


Water and Wildlife

Using props, animal mounts, and at least one live animals, we'll “dive” into the subject of water and how several local organisms obtain and use water in various ways.
[read more]


Way to Grow!

During this program, we will compare and contrast the growth and life cycles of several local animal species, including those that go through the magic of metamorphosis.
[read more]


Wildlife in Winter

Find out what strategies animals employ to get through harsh winter conditions.
[read more]