Floodplain Trail Closure: Fontenelle Forest’s Wetlands and Mink Trail at Neale Woods are closed due to flooding.

Floodplain Trail Closure: Fontenelle Forest’s Wetlands and Mink Trail at Neale Woods are closed due to flooding.

School Programs

Inspiring future generations to care for the natural world is our mission. Encouraging students to become engaged, well-rounded members of society is yours.

Together, we can make our community a great place to live, work, learn and play.

A picture of a group of children hiking on a trail through the woods.

Step out of the classroom and into an outdoor adventure at Fontenelle Forest

Learn more about available on-site school program options via the button below.


Bring the Forest into your classroom with a raptor or critter on-the-go program

Learn more about available on-the-go program options via the button below.


School Programs at
Fontenelle Forest

With over 1,500 acres of land and 17 miles of maintained trails, Fontenelle Forest provides the perfect setting for outdoor activities that will engage and inspire students of all ages.

Our dedicated Naturalist Educators are ready to help your students learn about the natural world through our interactive education programs, specifically designed to align with the latest Nebraska State Science Standards.

School Program Pricing

$8.75 per student       |        
Teacher/Adult free up to 1:10 ratio      |        $15 + tax per additional adult


Up High, Down Low

Fall, Winter, Spring           K             (1.5 hours)

Explore the Forest from top to bottom while learning how different animals and plants relate to one another! Discuss how seasons initiate changes to plants in the Forest, how animals react to changing weather, and identify the role that seasons play in the life cycles of living things. (Includes 20 minutes of free play)

Scales and Tails

Fall, Winter, Spring          K, 1st             (1 hour)

How does a snake swallow its food? Can an owl find its prey in the snow? Learn about the wide variety of native wildlife you can find at Fontenelle Forest and throughout Nebraska. We will investigate these amazing animals and the adaptations that help them survive in their environment. This program will feature close encounters with live animal ambassadors.

Marvelous Mimicry

Fall, Winter, Spring          1st             (1.5 hours)

Let’s learn about mimicry! Discover how parents teach their offspring about the world and observe examples of animals that utilize mimicry to survive (either in appearance or behavior). Listen to a variety of natural sounds to understand the unique ways that animals communicate with each other.

A Plant’s Life

Fall, Winter, Spring      2nd     (1.5 hours)

How do plants grow? Why are they important? Why are there so many different kinds? This program is designed to answer these questions and many more! Identify different plant species that make their home in the Forest, see how they spread their seeds, and learn about the integral role that plants play in our world.

Habitat Adventure 

Fall, Winter, Spring     2nd, 3rd     (2 hours)

Let’s investigate habitats! We will define what a “habitat” is and collect evidence that links animals to specific habitats. Students make observations about the area where a plant or animal lives, consider why they live there, and theorize what may happen when habitats are disturbed.

Amazing Adaptations

Fall, Winter, Spring     3rd, 4th     (2 hours)

Discover the difference between physical and behavioral adaptations! Learn how plants and animals have adapted to thrive in their unique ecosystems. Through hands-on games and demonstrations, students will gain a deeper understanding of what skills and tools are needed to survive in nature.


Fall, Winter, Spring     4th, 5th     (1 hour)

What do mice, voles, shrews, snakes and birds all have in common? They might end up as dinner for an owl! From plumicorns to nictitating membranes to pectinate claws, explore the amazing adaptations that help these predators survive. Optional Add-on: Owl pellet dissection can be included for a small fee.

Agents of Change

Fall, Winter, Spring     4th     (2 hours)

Learn the different ways that wind, water and ice transform the land. Identify specific land features and rocks that tell the story of historical landscape changes within the Forest. Discuss the difference between erosion and deposition, and take a hike to discover real-time examples of these forces.


Fall, Winter, Spring     5th      (2 hours)

In a never-ending cycle, energy is constantly transferring from one thing to another in our universe. Through observing the plants and animals we encounter, students will trace the flow of energy through the Forest and discover the mighty influence of the Sun on our environment.

Renew or Not

Fall, Winter, Spring     5th     (2 hours)

Identify natural resources found in the Forest and consider how those resources can be transformed. Review natural resources that are particularly important to Nebraska’s success. Race your mind in our recycling relay, and discover surprising facts about what you throw away.

Awesome Adaptations

Fall, Winter, Spring     6th, 8th     (2 hours)

Observe adaptations in plants and animals and discern whether they are physical or behavioral. Consider how genetic and environmental adaptations are key to an individual’s probability to reproduce and learn how natural selection affects the animal and plant world.

Critters On-Site 

All Year     Pre-K – 12th     (1 hour)

Come face to face with some of our amazing critters and learn all about why they are so neat!

Request a Critter program

Raptors On-Site 

All Year     K-12th     (1 hour)

What is a raptor? Find out in this up close and personal encounter with our educational raptors.

Request a Raptor program


Book a school Program

For more information about our educational school programs by fill out the form below or call 402-731-3140.

Nature On-the-Go

Bring the Forest into your classroom with a Raptor or Critter On-the-Go program!


Critters On-the-Go     Pre-K – 12th

Come face to face with some of our amazing critters and learn all about why they are so neat!

1 Hour Program – $175

Additional Programs – $85/each

Raptors On-the-Go     K – 12th

What is a raptor? Find out in this up close and personal encounter with our educational raptors.

1 Hour Program – $175

Additional Programs – $85/each


Book a Raptor or Critter for an Outreach Program

Want to learn about how your school, organization, or club can invite some Fontenelle Forest raptor education birds or critters to visit? Our trained staff and volunteer presenters are experienced in tailoring presentations to a wide variety of audiences and group sizes.

To find out more information about educational programs, please fill out the form below or call 402-731-3140.

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Fontenelle Forest is a 501(c)(3) tax exempt nonprofit.

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