The Forest Preserves offers educational programs and field experiences for students of all ages.

Teachers—are you looking for an engaging, learner-driven experience for your students outdoors, in real time? An experience in which they will use the tools of science, practice their observational skills and use inquiry to solve a mystery? Or are you looking for an interesting and unique way to bring science into your classroom? The Forest Preserves of Cook County offers educational programs and field experiences for learners ranging from play-centered early childhood to adult learning at the college level.
Programs have been professionally developed to address the Illinois Science Learning Standards based on the Next Generation Science Standards (Pre-K through 12th grade) and are designed to support challenging and rigorous curricula.
Contact individual Nature Centers for more information:


Field Trips: Experiences in the Field

Pre-K – Adult Learning

Five unique nature centers and an environmental learning center each represent the geographic and habitat diversity of Cook County. All are inviting places to explore and discover.
All centers feature indoor exhibits that highlight the local natural history of the area. Nature trails at each site vary in length and offer many options to connect learners to diverse habitats. Nature centers also include live, native wildlife exhibits as well as special places designed for nature play.
Field trip experiences at each nature center and the environmental learning center are unique in format. This allows programming to be individualized to best meet the needs of your students. Programs can be arranged for one hour or more depending on your curriculum goals and objectives.
Service learning projects, ecological stewardship service projects with education outcomes, can be developed to accommodate your student’s needs. Please inquire about scheduling at least three weeks in advance, as calendars fill quickly. All programs are subject to limits of available staff and space.

In-School Programs: Educational Adventures

Pre-K – 12th Grade

Let us come to you! Educational Adventures are science programs for individual classrooms that feature hands-on activities with real animal and plant specimens. Programs align with Illinois Learning Standards for specific grade levels and can be tailored to your students’ needs. Naturalists are also available to share their expertise at science and career fairs.
Field trips and classroom programs may be scheduled throughout the year at no cost. Contact any of our six educational centers for more information about field trips or classroom programs.
View Programs

Visit two of the treasures of the Forest Preserves of Cook County