Naturalist-Led Group Programs

winterfun - CopyProfessionally-trained naturalists lead programs year-round for children and adults of all abilities (ages 4 and up). Classes are usually 1-1.5 hours in length and have a naturalist/participant ratio of 1:15. To schedule an activity, please call 612-861-9365. Please try to call several months in advance to schedule a trip. There is no charge for parking.

$5 per participant ($60 minimum per group; no fee for supervising adults) 

Classes with Rental Fee:
Cross-country Skiing  - additional $1/participant
Snowshoes - additional $1/participant
Classes with Supply Fee:
Group supply fee of $5 for group sizes of 1-15 participants, $10 for group size of 16-30 participants, $15 for groups of 31-45 participants, $20 for groups of 46-60 participants.
  • Animal Tracks
  • Apple Cidering
  • Bees and Honey
  • Maple Syruping
  • Native American Life
  • Wild Edible Plants 
Class Offerings
Classes are listed by grade level. Most programs can be adapted to fit all ages, including adults, but the grade levels listed are the staff's recommendations. Curriculum is outlined by grade level at the links below.

Preschool-Kindergarten  | 1-2 Grade | 3-5 Grade | 6-8 GradeAdaptive Programing | Homeschool | Scout Groups
Complete Program List
Next Gen Standards and Wood Lake Curriculum 
Wood Lake Field Trip Social Story

Bringing Programs to You
Wood Lake Naturalist Staff are also able to bring programs directly into your school, library, local park, or other onsite locations or work with you to customize a virtual program to meet the needs and interest of your group. Please call 612-861-9365 to discuss possible program topics, logistics, and fees. 
$180 for 1.5 hour program with one Naturalist within 10 miles of the nature center. 

Wood Lake Bus Scholarship Program
Available until limited funds run out
Wood Lake Nature Center offers the opportunity for school field trip groups to apply for financial assistance for the transportation of their group to Wood Lake.  Schools may apply for up to two buses, or a limit of $400 per grade per school.  Teachers must complete and submit the bus scholarship application form to Wood Lake Nature Center upon booking a field trip. If awarded the scholarship, teachers must submit bus invoice to Wood Lake Nature Center within three weeks of field trip visit. Find out more about this amazing scholarship opportunity!

To apply for the Wood Lake Bus Scholarship Program, please complete the application and submit it to Wood Lake by mail or email.

Hennepin County Bus Scholarship Program

To overcome a common barrier, Hennepin County provides bus transportation to schools and organizations to take their groups on environmental field trips. Learn more and apply for bus funding. Pre-approved classes at Wood Lake Nature Center for bus funding: Bees and Honey; Endangered Species; Human Impacts and Earth’s Resources; Invasive Species; Maple Syruping; Marsh Explorers; Native American Life; Trees, Leaves, and Seeds; Water Cycle; Water Quality


For Teachers:

Wood Lake staff expects teachers have reviewed the appropriate field trip activities with students. Teachers should come prepared knowing what the trip is about. 

For Students: 
Wood Lake staff expects students are able to demonstrate being respectful, responsible, and are ready to learn. Listed are specific guidelines:

  • Dress appropriately for the weather conditions as most of the class time is spent outdoors.
  • Classroom rules still apply both inside and outside.
  • Students must stay behind the naturalist while on the trails.
  • Respect nature and leave no trace. For your safety do not touch plants or animals unless otherwise instructed. 
For Chaperones:
Parent and adult chaperones are welcome to attend student field trips for free! We ask that each class brings two chaperones to assist the students during their field trip. The best way for students and children to learn is to see curiosity modeled by adults in their lives.  So be prepared to have fun, join in the activities, and explore along with the students!

The following is a list of classes offered at Wood Lake Nature Center that currently have both pre and post field trip activities designed by Wood Lake Nature Center Naturalists. Vocabulary for each class is also suggested. Some activities are more in-depth and others can be done on the bus on the way to the nature center. Research shows that students get more out of field trip experiences when they are introduced and reinforced with the subject through pre and post field trip activities. This list is growing so please check back to see if your field trip class is listed! If you have any questions please contact Wood Lake Nature Center at 612-861-9365. Click on a subject below for more information about Wood Lake's field trip options or watch one of the videos (some subjects have video links).

Animal Adaptations  Apple Cidering
Animal Life Cycle Animal Tracks
Animals in Winter Camouflage
Cross-Country Skiing  VIDEO Invasive Plants  VIDEO
Introduction to Wood Lake Critter Hunt Keeping Warm
Light and Energy Living or Non-Living 
Maple Syrup Muskrat Safari
Native American Life Predator/Prey
Rocks & Minerals/Underfoot Senses Around
Soil/Plants Snowshoeing
Toes in the Marsh Water Cycle
Weather Wild Edibles/Swamp Stir Fry/Wild Nettle Seed Muffins