The Greenburgh Nature Center offers an array of seasonal and year-round environmental education programs for all grades. Students are engaged in and inspired by the wonders of nature. They are challenged to utilize their critical thinking skills. Best of all, these programs are memorable and fun.
Thanks to generous funding from Westchester County's Department of Parks, Recreation and Conservation, the Greenburgh Nature Center is able to offer discounted programming to Westchester school groups that meet specific criteria of need. Please call 914.723.3470, to determine if your school or organization qualifies for this discounted programming.
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Programs fill quickly. All programs are offered Monday through Thursday, from 10am to 4:30pm. Reservations are for rain or shine. For questions, please call 914.723.3470.
Note: teacher guides are downloadable in pdf format
Animal Adventures for pre-K to grade 2
Our live animal collection provides the opportunity for children to get up close and personal with residents who may be two legged, four legged, no legged, furry, feathered, bristled or scaled. The Nature Center is the perfect setting to introduce them to the basic differences between mammals, reptiles and amphibians. A visit to our outdoor animal exhibits is included in the program. Also offered as an outreach program (Meet the Animals). Animal AdventuresTeacher's Guide - Meet the Animals Teacher's Guide
Animal Adaptations for grades 3 to 7
Using animals from our live animal museum, students investigate the strategies animals have devised in order to adapt to their environment. An outdoor hike provides an opportunity for students to deduce how local wildlife use physical and behavioral adaptations to survive in the natural world. Also offered as an outreach program. Animal Adaptations Teacher's Guide
Birds Of Prey for Kindergarten to grade 7
Soaring, diving, and catching prey on the wing--raptors capture the imagination of young and old. The live raptors in our outdoor Birds of Prey House provide a unique opportunity for students to observe the physiology and adaptations that enable birds of prey to do what they do so well. An investigation of raptors, including the dissection of an owl pellet (for grades 3+), provides insight into “specialization” and what life is like near the top of the food chain. Materials fee of $20 per class for grades 3+. Also offered as an outreach program without pellet dissection. Birds of Prey Teacher's Guide
Composting - the Magic of Decomposition for grades 3 to 7
Hands-on investigation of different methods of composting offers students the opportunity to experience the fun of participating in nature's great drama of decomposition. Students will discover how water, air, plants and animals from the micro to the macro-scopic all work together to recycle organic matter into the nutrient-rich soil-enhancer we call "compost". Students will learn how humans optimize conditions for efficient decomposition through process control. Outdoors rain or shine.
Orienteering for grades 3 to 7
Students learn basic orienteering techniques, including how to interpret a map and take a bearing with a compass, and are then challenged to navigate their way along an outdoor orienteering course. Orienteering Teacher's Guide
A Plant’s Life for Kindergarten to grade 2
Our greenhouse is the starting point for children to observe the diversity of plant life and understand that plants, like animals, have unique needs and strategies for survival. In every season, an outdoor exploration adds to the understanding of plant ecology. A Plant's Life Teacher's Guide
Plants, Our Partners for grades 3 to 7
Starting in our greenhouse and then moving out of doors, students learn about the food web and develop an understanding of our dependence on green plants for our survival. They are introduced to the life cycle of plants, their adaptations and the symbiotic role played by animals. Plants, Our Partners Teachers Guide
Recycling: Where Does All the Garbage Go? for Kindergarten to grade 5
Recycling is as old as the Earth---everything in nature is constantly becoming something else and being used in new ways. We will study the lessons nature offers about how we can better deal with the growing problem of waste. In the forest and at our pond, we’ll learn about the soil and water cycles. Then, looking at samples of some typical garbage generated at schools, we’ll examine how much and what kinds of waste we generate, learn how our community currently disposes of waste, and consider how humans can make choices to better fit into nature’s system of interconnected cycles. Also offered as an outreach program. Recycling Teacher's Guide
Sustainability: Learning Lessons From Nature for grades 3 to 7
In this program we’ll learn how a sustainable ecosystem produces food and shelter without resource depletion. Our green roof exhibit, sustainable garden, and forest habitat serve as a jumping off point to show how we can learn to mimic nature’s way and not deplete our resources. Also offered as an outreach program.
Apple Cidering–September to October, for pre-K to grade 7
Children use an old-fashioned screw press to make apple cider. In the process, they learn about the colonial experience of cider making and get a glimpse of Americana pre MTV. Groups must bring 3-5 apples per child. Also offered as an outreach program. Apple Cidering Teacher's Guide
Aquatic Adventure–April to June, for pre-K to grade 2
Turtles, frogs and other pond critters that reside in our live animal museum are used to teach young children about aquatic life. A visit to our pond to look for signs of who’s home and to observe the diversity of an aquatic habitat is part of this adventure. Aquatic Adventures Teacher's Guide
Pond Ecology–April to June, for grades 3 to 7
There’s an abundance of life and activity in a seemingly quiet pond. Students visit our pond and “dip” for pond critters. They investigate the interrelationships of plants and animals and the adaptations of each. They uncover aquatic niches and learn about life cycles. This program is designed to create an understanding of a pond’s balance of life. Teachers may choose for students to conduct water tests (pH, temperature, turbidity). Download our Pond Life ID Sheets - Pond Ecology Teacher's Guide
Forest Ecology–September to October and April to June, for grades 3 to 7
Forests tell a story. Students learn to deduce the history of a woodland by “reading the landscape.” They also uncover some of the differences between deciduous and coniferous forests by doing field-testing of forest plots, studying the flora and fauna of the forest and making field observations. Forest Ecology Teacher's Guide
A Bug’s Life–September to October and May to June, for pre-K to grade 7
They’re everywhere, so let’s get to know them! Learn how their life cycles compare to our own. Discover their adaptations for survival. See them eye-to-eye in our indoor honeybee hive. Search for them outdoors in the forest and the field. Learn how we depend on insects. Live insects and their relatives are used in this program. A Bug's Life Teacher's Guide
Winter Bird Buddies–December to March, for pre-K to grade 7
Using birds from our live animal museum, students are introduced to the basics of avian anatomy. They learn how to identify some of our common winter residents, why some birds migrate and how others adapt to winter life. Children make a pinecone feeder that they hang outdoors at the Nature Center and look for winged visitors snacking on tasty offerings. (No peanuts are used.) Winter Bird Buddies Teacher's Guide
Maple Sugaring–Mid-February to March, for pre-K to grade 7
Students learn about the history of maple sugaring in America by visiting our sugar bush and seeing how trees are tapped and sap is collected. (Sap tasting, when available, is encouraged.) Native American and colonial techniques of syrup making are demonstrated at our outdoor sugaring sites. Students can challenge their taste buds by seeing if they can tell the difference between corn syrup and the “real thing,” 100% maple syrup. Maple Sugaring Teacher's Guide