We create a dynamic, hands-on, minds-on experience where each student is an active participant. Programs are offered free of charge.

Chicopee State Park
Forest Ecology Basics – on a Sandplain
Grades 4-6   (May through mid-October)

Determine the “what” and “whys” of a sandplain, see what grows there, and notice the challenges it poses for park management.  Soils and geo history.  Trees and a sandplain forest ecosystem.  Resource management.

For information or to schedule your group, please contact Gini Traub, Central West Regional Environmental Education Coordinator, 413/584-6788; Gini.Traub@state.ma.us

Great Falls Discovery Center, Turners Falls, MA
Animals, Habitats and Human Impacts
PreK-High School   (year round)

Life-size, life-like dioramas illustrate the Connecticut River’s 410 mile sweep.  They depict the watershed’s varied environments with representative plants, animals and human activities.  Timelines and displays give context to the natural and cultural history that makes the river what it is today.  A variety of age-appropriate activities are available.

Animals, adaptations, classification, habitats, biotic and abiotic factors.  Local history. Natural resources.  Economic concepts, civics.

Mt. Sugarloaf State Reservation, South Deerfield
Local History, Long Ago
Grades K-3  (mid-May through mid-October)

Learn exactly what a “sugarloaf” is.  Hear the legend of the giant beaver and relate the legend to the landform. Build a human timeline, dating back to the first days of the hotel atop Mt. Sugarloaf.  Recreate a bucket brigade, and use the view to connect the past with the present.  Local history, landforms.  Timelines.  Myths.

For information or to schedule your group, please contact Gini Traub, Central West Regional Environmental Education Coordinator, 413/584-6788; Gini.Traub@state.ma.us

Erving State Forest
Sunlight, Soil, Plants and Animals
Grades  2 and up (mid-May through mid-October)

See the forest and the trees and search for evidence of wildlife.  Look for interactions within this environment.  Trees and other plants, identification/classification. Forest ecosystem.

For information or to schedule your group, please contact Gini Traub, Central West Regional Environmental Education Coordinator, 413/584-6788; Gini.Traub@state.ma.us

Holyoke Heritage State Park
The Human Face of Industrialization
Grades 5-8  (year round)

Examine how immigrants' gender, ethnicity, job and personal decisions affected their lives. Local history. Immigration, social customs. Industrialization. Economic decision making.

For information, contact Park Supervisor Charlie Lotspeich 413/534-1723 or Charlie.Lotspeich@state.ma.us

Lake Wyola State Park
Sunlight, Soil, Plants and Animals
Grades  2 and up  (June through August)

See the forest and the trees and search for evidence of wildlife.  Look for interactions within this environment.  Trees and other plants, identification/classification. Forest ecosystem.

For information or to schedule your group, please contact Gini Traub, Central West Regional Environmental Education Coordinator, 413/584-6788; Gini.Traub@state.ma.us

Mt. Tom State Reservation
This Valley Rocks: Geological History and Landforms of the Connecticut River Valley and Hilltowns
Grades 3-8 (spring through fall)

Take a field walk, looking for examples of rock types, land forms and geological processes.  Put observations together in a hands-on demonstration of Valley geohistory.  Includes teacher-led pre and post site visit activities, background information, vocabulary, correlations with state curriculum standards, assessment suggestions and a bibliography.  Rock cycle, rock types, landforms, geological processes.  Maps, land use, civics.

Beaver Adaptations and Ecology
Grades 3-5  (spring through fall)

Beaver are so well adapted to their environment that they are one of the most successful animals around.  Look for evidence of beaver activity and the changes made to the land.  Relate these observations to beavers’ physical and behavioral adaptations.  Includes teacher-led pre and post site visit activities, background information, vocabulary, correlations with state curriculum standards, assessment suggestions and a bibliography.  Adaptations, changes to habitat. Map reading.

Dinosaur Footprints Reservation
Dinosaur Detective
Grades 3-7
Holyoke (spring through fall)

Simulate the 1802 “discovery” of the footprints. Recreate the 1970’s research at the dinosaur trackway. Make observations and draw inferences. This site is owned and managed by Trustees of Reservations with assistance from the Department of Conservation and Recreation.

Historic context. Scientific process. Comparative anatomy. Fossils. Observation and inference.

For information or to schedule your group, please contact Gini Traub, Central West Regional Environmental Education Coordinator, 413/584-6788; Gini.Traub@state.ma.us

Robinson State Park
Every Forest Tells a Story
Grades 4-6    (May through October)

A hike on old roads and footpaths reveals the story of human use and forest disturbance over time.  Local history, land use, resource management.   

For information or to schedule your group, please contact Gini Traub, Central West Regional Environmental Education Coordinator, 413/584-6788; Gini.Traub@state.ma.us

Skinner State Park
This Valley Rocks: Geological History and Landforms of the Connecticut River Valley and Hilltowns
Grades 3-8  (May through mid-October)

Take a field walk, looking for examples of rock types, land forms and geological processes.  Put observations together in a hands-on demonstration of Valley geohistory.  Includes teacher-led pre and post site visit activities, background information, vocabulary, correlations with state curriculum standards, assessment suggestions and a bibliography.  Rock cycle, rock types, landforms, geological processes.  Maps, land use, civics.

Then and Now at the Mt. Holyoke Summit House
Grades 3-6   (May through mid-October)

Determine what made the mountain a popular tourist destination in the early 1800’s.  Role-play anthropologists to discover what life was like for visitors at the Summit House hotel.  Includes teacher-led pre and post site visit activities, background information, vocabulary, correlations with state curriculum standards, assessment suggestions and a bibliography.  Local history, historic documents, historic context, social customs.  Map analysis. Observation and inference. Transportation and other technologies. Entrepreneurship, goods, services.

For information or to schedule your group, please contact Gini Traub, Central West Regional Environmental Education Coordinator, 413/584-6788; Gini.Traub@state.ma.us

Wendell State Forest
Wonderful Wetlands - Aquatic Macro Invertebrate Adaptations (“Ponding”)
Grades 3-8   (spring through fall)

Sample aquatic environments for animal life. Describe and inventory the results.  Look for a variety of physical or behavioral adaptations.  Includes teacher-led pre and post site visit activities, background information, vocabulary, correlations with state curriculum standards, assessment suggestions and a bibliography. Adaptations.  Resource management.

For information or to schedule your group, please contact Gini Traub, Central West Regional Environmental Education Coordinator, 413/584-6788; Gini.Traub@state.ma.us