Fieldtrip Programs

School Fieldtrips and Presentations

The Environmental Learning Centers of Connecticut offers diverse, hands-on, and experiential programs to inspire the appreciation and enjoyment of nature in your students.  Field trip programs take place at Indian Rock Nature Preserve utilizing the preserves 280-acres with trails, a scenic pond, and farm.  Additionally, any program available Out-to-School is also available as a fieldtrip.

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Click here for information about our Maple Sugaring Program, only offered March-early April!

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Programs can be adapted for any grade level, so if there is a particular program that you are interested in that is listed for a different grade level, please call to discuss options. Desire another topic that you do not see listed? We’ve got you covered. Reach out to our Director of Education. We are more than happy to customize a program to meet your needs.

Please find a complete guide to both Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten to 5th Grade program descriptions downloadable below. Each guide is complete with a description and information regarding aligned standards, duration of time, max number of students, and cost.

Apples and Cider
What do apples need to grow? Are all apples the same? Students will investigate these questions and more while visiting our apple orchard. During the program students will have an opportunity to pick their own apple to take back to the classroom, taste a variety of apples while learning their history; press and sample fresh apple cider. Grades: Pre-K, K, 1st, 2nd
Farm Animal Encounters
Students will use the farm and its animals as a fun way to learn about living things and their needs for survival. Students will spend approximately 15 minutes with each animal on the Indian Rock Farm including; chickens, cow, sheep, pig, turkey or rabbit. Grades: Pre-K, K, 1st, 2nd
Discovery Ride
Discover the diverse habitats of the Preserve on an engine pulled hay wagon ride. Using their senses students will investigate the terrestrial and aquatic life on the Indian Rock Nature Preserve to discover what resources the plants and animals require and how they adapt to changing seasons. Grades: Pre-K, K, 1st, 2nd
Maple Sugaring
Who first discovered and made maple syrup? How have the original techniques been modified over time? What is sap? Answer these questions and more while learning about the history of maple syrup production and the process to transform sap into syrup. Learn how to know if maple syrup is ready and finish off with the opportunity to taste maple syrup. (Available Mid-February to Early April) Grades: K, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th,
Fall Foliage Walk
Experience the forest at its colorful best. Unravel the reasons for the changes in the woodland colors, begin a leaf collection for the classroom, and learn how plants and animals have adapted various strategies to survive winter. (Available: October – November) Grades: K, 1st, 2nd
Life Cycle of Plants
Where do plants come from? How do plants grow? How do seeds disperse? Develop answers to these questions and more while exploring a variety of plant types in their natural habitats. We will also examine the decomposition of a log and leaf litter to complete the life cycle. (Available: September – October & May – June) Grades: K, 1st, 2nd
Water Life
As a hatchery, nursery or grocery the pond is a natural system that fulfills many needs for the plants and animals that live in and around it. We will take a close-up look at this aquatic habitat and its inhabitants during a walk around the pond including locating the inlet and outlet, shoreline sampling, and examination of pond inhabitants. (Available: May – June) Grades: K, 1st, 2nd
Bees and Honey
Investigate the life and importance of a honey bee. Explore the process of pollination, the inner workings of a hive, how honey is made, and taste different types of honey. This is a three-part program that involves: visiting the hive, a presentation on the inner workings of a hive, and tasting different types of honey. Grades: K, 1st, 2nd
First American Experience - Foods of the Earth
Observe firsthand the various foods, gathered and cultivated, by the Native Americans. Learn how different foods were prepared and stored. Students will try grinding corn and sample a variety of native foods Grades: 3rd, 4th, 5th
First American Experience - Native American Tools
Tools were essential to the survival of the Native Americans. Investigate the making of and the uses of Native American tools through viewing relics and using reproductions. Learn first-hand what materials were used to create tools and work in small groups to designs and engineer a tool. Grades: 3rd, 4th, 5th
First American Experience - Tunxis Indians
Visit Indian Rock and learn about its legend while unearthing the history of the first inhabitants. Travel through the preserve to learn how the Tunxis Indians used this land to hunt and gather food. Grades: 3rd, 4th, 5th
First American Experience - Wigwam Adventure
Travel back in time with a visit to our authentic Native American Wigwam. Nestled deep within the forest of the preserve, you will rediscover how the Native Americans lived in harmony with the natural world. Learn how the wigwams were built and what daily life was like for the Native Americans. Grades: 3rd, 4th, 5th
Woodland Walk
Using the outdoors as the classroom, students will hike the trails of the Preserve in search of animals and signs of animal activity. Exploration on and off the trail will reveal footprints, droppings, food sources, fur, feathers and other indications of animal activity. Rotten logs, stones and ground debris will be examined for signs of small mammals, reptiles and amphibians. Through their exploration’s students will unravel the story of the animal that call the Preserve home. Grades: 3rd, 4th, 5th
Pond Study
This program will lead students on an investigation of the ecology of the pond and its watershed. What are the rolls of the diversity of plant and animal in this watery environment? Sample the water to find out how non-living factors affect life in the pond. Includes biotic and abiotic shoreline sampling and microscope use. (Available: May – June) Grades: 3rd, 4th, 5th
The Water We Drink
Before We Drink is a partnership between the Bristol Water Company and the Environmental Learning Centers of Connecticut (ELCCT) and is held at the Bristol Water Treatment Plant. It is a hands-on, interactive program for students describing the functionality of the water filtration process and technology, the importance of a healthy environment to clean water and the responsibility of all citizens to reduce water contaminants. During the tour of the plant students will conduct experiments with the Enviroscape Model and discuss the function of a watershed, test turbidity and pH, create filters and brainstorm ways to conserve water. Grades: 3rd, 4th, 5th