Mill Creek MetroParks strives to bring the best of environmental education to our school program offerings. We provide hands-on learning experiences outdoors throughout Mill Creek MetroParks or at your school.

  • We welcome homeschool, scout, and other youth groups.
  • Outreach Programs are held at your school (Mahoning County Schools only).
  • Most programs can handle up to 60 students at a time, unless otherwise noted.
    • Suggested chaperone ratio 1:10
  • Bus permits are required for accessing park roads

Scheduling Process

Please schedule four weeks or more in advance. Submit online form with program inquiry and a member of the education team will be in touch to schedule your program.

Fees

  • Programs are free for Mahoning County schools
  • Non-Mahoning County schools pay $3/student, or $20 minimum

Things to Remember the Day of Your Program

  • Please call if you are unable to keep your scheduled appointment.
  • Programs are intended to have an outdoor component and are held rain or shine.
  • Dress appropriately for the weather.

Aligns with SCIENCE content standards

Aligns with MATH content standards

Aligns with SOCIAL STUDIES content standards

Aligns with ENGLISH & LANGUAGE ARTS content standards

Features a live PROGRAM ANIMAL 

At MULTIPLE LOCATIONS

OUTREACH program, travels to your site

ADAPTIVE programs, designed to meet the needs of individuals with disabilities

Multiple Grades

Coming to America
Preschool – Grade 3
This Thanksgiving program demonstrates what the Native Americans taught the Pilgrims about growing the “Sister Seeds”: corn, beans and pumpkins. Students will plant their own “Sister Seeds.”

Length: 45 minutes
Season: November

Seasons Go ’round
Kindergarten – Grade 3
Grow an appreciation for seasonal changes through activities and explorations. Find out how wildlife traits and behaviors, as well as changes in weather, can be used to determine seasons.

Length: 1 hour
Season: Autumn, Winter, Spring

Happiness is a Cow
Preschool – Grade 3
Find out how milk gets from the cow to you. Discuss dairy foods and the role the dairy food group plays in nutrition. Students will have the opportunity to make butter using a butter churn (changing a liquid to a solid) and taste test their homemade product.            

Length: 45 minutes
Season: Any

ChickQuest
Grades 2 – 4
Investigate the life cycle of the chicken and handle real eggs to classify and weigh. Program is presented in stations and so adequate space is required.    

Length: 1 hour
Season: Any
Location: MetroParks Farm

Preschool – Grade 2

Sensing Nature
Preschool
Discover nature through sight, touch, smell, and sound. Students will listen to the story My Five Senses, learn how animals use senses for survival, and explore with their own senses.
        
Length: 1 hour
Season: Any

Barnyard Buddies
Preschool – Kindergarten
Students will learn to identify all types of farm animals and their purpose or use. Students will visit with real animals, representing livestock and poultry.      

Length: 1 hour
Season: Late Winter, Early Spring
Location: MetroParks Farm

Little Red Hen
Preschool – Grade 1

Listen to and learn all about the popular children’s story The Little Red Hen. The story teaches about the process of growing wheat and changing it into a food. Students will follow directions to make playdough.    

Length: 45 minutes
Season: Any

Millin’ Around
Kindergarten – Grade 1
A hands-on program that is especially geared for younger students. Learn how pioneer children lived and try your hand at grinding grain. Maximum number of students: 30     

Length: 1 hour
Season: Autumn, Spring
Location: Lanterman’s Mill
Max: 30 students

Super Seeds
Kindergarten – Grade 1
Students will investigate different colors, textures, and sizes of seeds from coconut to corn. Explore the life cycle of a plant and back to a seed again. Hands-on activities include creating a seed necklace, sowing seeds, and seed dissection. 

Length: 2 hours
Season: Autumn, Spring

Nature Friends
Grade 1
Meet real live forest friends with this hands-on adventure. Uncover the clues animals leave behind that tell us where they live and what they have been doing. Investigate how the surrounding environment helps fulfill wildlife’s basic needs.        

Length: 1.5 hours
Season: Any

Habitat Is Home
Grades 1 – 2
Take an exciting journey through a variety of habitats. Learn what makes up a habitat and how these places meet the needs of the creatures within them. This program includes a fun scavenger hunt, interaction with live animals, as well as engaging activities.

Length: 1.5 hours
Season: Any

Food Power Tower
Grade 2
Explore nutrition based on the current “MyPlate” guidelines. Students will discover the food groups and their sources on the farm. To reinforce food group concepts, students will play a food bingo game.

Length: 1 hour
Season: Any

Grades 3 – 5

MiniBeasts
Grade 3
Catch a glimpse at the often overlooked creatures of the forest and field – insects, spiders, centipedes, and more. Find out about the behavior, growth, and changes that make these animals unique. Students will participate in a bug identification activity and watch a short film. 

Length: 1.5 hours
Season: Autumn, Spring

Woolly Critters
Grade 3 – 4

Identify sheep as farm animals and their use in wool production. Learn about the process of shearing, spinning, and weaving to get wool into a finished product. A spinning wheel is brought for the presentation and students will practice carding and weaving.   

Length: 1 hour
Season: Any

“Tree”mendous
Grades 3 – 5
Explore the world of trees from acorn to oak. Fun activities will help students learn about tree structure and function, classification, photosynthesis, and more.    

Length: 2 hours
Season: Any

Captain Cornelius
Grades 4 – 5
Not all corn is created equal…with the help of Captain Cornelius discover the many types of corn grown throughout the world and it’s many uses. Students will make a biodegradable plastic material from corn.

Length: 1 hour
Season: Winter

Extreme Streams
Grades 4 – 5
Investigate the stream ecosystem. Using scientific methods, dip into the waters to sample aquatic life, participate in a macroinvertebrate study, and comprehend the connections between people and the environment.

Length: 2 hours
Season: Autumn, Spring

Wildlife of Ohio
Grades 4 – 5
Students will learn about wildlife that once lived in our state and how habitats have changed over the last 200 years. School must have a large spacious room, such as a gymnasium. Maximum number of students: 50

Length: 1 hour
Season: Winter
Max: 50 students

Grades 6 – 8

Biodiversity Basics
Grades 7 – 8
What is biodiversity? And what role does it play in our everyday lives? Students will learn the answers to these questions and more through a simulation game and other activities.

Length: 2 hours
Season: Autumn, Spring

Interpretive School Tours

The Mill Creek MetroParks interpretive school tours highlight the processes, history and benefits of several of our facilities: Fellows Riverside Gardens, Ford Nature Center, Lanterman’s Mill, and the MetroParks Farm.

Botanical Discoveries
Preschool – Grade 8
Learn about plants through the seasons while enjoying the beauty of the Gardens.

Length: 1 hour
Season: Autumn, Spring
Location: Fellows Riverside Gardens

Exploring Nature Tour
Preschool and up
Get a glimpse of the Ford Nature Center and the surrounding forest with a guided walk along the All People’s Trail.

Length: 1 hour
Season: Autumn, Spring
Location: Ford Nature Center

 

Farmer for a Day
Preschool – Grade 5
Experience a working farm from crops to livestock. On this tour students will take a tractor-wagon ride, visit the animals, and have fun with educational exhibits.

Length: Varies
Season: Autumn, Spring
Location: MetroParks Farm

Mill Tour
Grade 2 and up
Tour a 19th century gristmill and watch as grain is stone ground into meal using power provided by the water of Mill Creek.

Length: 1 hour
Season: Autumn, Spring
Location: Lanterman’s Mill