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Field Trip & Outreach

Program Guide

Tama County Nature Center

Educational Opportunities
To Inspire Your Students

Chris Anderson
Naturalist Park Ranger
Tama County Conservation
2283 Park Road
Toledo, IA 52342
Ph: 641-484-2231
Website: http://

guide to utilizing the services of a
professional naturalist to enrich
your students learning opportunities.
Whether it is an exciting field trip
to Otter Creek Lake and Park
and the Tama County Nature
Center, an excursion on the
school grounds, or an outreach
program in your classroom, Chris
Anderson, our new Naturalist
Park Ranger, will work with you
to provide an enriching experience for your students.

The Tama County Nature

Center, located within
Otter Creek Lake and
Park, is a 5,600 sq.
ft. environmental
education facility.

Meet Chris Anderson

Naturalist Park Ranger
Chris Anderson loves to
get kids outdoors and
learning in nature.

A graduate of the
University of Idaho
with a B.S. in ConserThe Center boasts a
vation Social Science
high quality interacand an A.A.S. in Wiltive exhibit room guarderness Mgmt from Veranteed to interest your
milion Community
students in learning Through environmental education comes understanding, through College Chris has a
about water quality understanding, appreciation, through appreciation protection. decade of experiand the diverse
ence in outdoor eduhabitats in Tama County.
The Nature Center is but one
classroom at the park as it will
serve as a stepping off point for
your students to take a walk on
the wild side and explore the
natural outdoor classrooms in
the park forest, prairie, and

A native of Iowa, Chris has had

an interesting 15 year career
with experiences as a Wilderness Ranger in the Boundary
Waters Wilderness Area, working at parks in Nebraska and
Washington state, including naturalist experience with the
Woodbury and Black Hawk
County Conservation Boards

If you dont see a program in this brochure that works for you, please talk
with Chris. He can design a program to meet your needs!

Field Trip/Outreach (FT/0)

(All programs meet with Iowa Core
Standards. For details: contact Chris)
Pollinators-(FT/O) (Spring)
(PreK & Up) Butterflies, Bees,
Moth, & Hummingbirds- Learn
about the important roles that
pollinators serve in our day-to-day
Apple Cider Press--(FT/O)
(Fall) (PreK & Up) Learn about
photosynthesis, pollinators, the
life cycle of plants, and more!
Each student needs to bring along
2 apples.
Storytimes-(FT/O) (Any) (PreK
- 1st) Read a nature themed story
& related craft/activity
Pelts-(FT/O) (Any) (PreK & Up)
Learn about the past & present
wildlife of Iowa and Tama Co.
Fall Leaves-(FT/O) (Any) (PreK
- 2nd) Learn about tree ID, photosynthesis, chemical make-up of
leaves & their colors

Hikes-(FT) (Any) (PreK & Up)

Wildlife & Habitats
Outdoor & Survival Skills
Tree & Flower ID
Wild Edible & Medicinal Plants
Natural Weather Prediction
Owls of Iowa-(FT/O) (Any) (1st
& Up) Learn about the different
species of owls commonly found in
Build a Tree-(FT/O) (Any) (1st3rd) Learn how the different parts
of a tree, from the tap root to the
leaves, work together. During this
program children participate by acting out the parts of a tree.
Pond Study-(FT) (Spring/Fall)
(2nd & Up) Search for and identify
macro-invertebrates and learn what
they can tell us about water quality,
with older students do water quality
testing in addition to macroinvertebrates
Oh Deer-(FT/O) (Any) (3rd - 5th)
Students will learn the importance
of food, shelter, and clean water to
wildlife through this fun and interactive game.
Predator-Prey Game-(FT/O)
(Any) (3rd - 5th) Learn how predators and their prey interact with
their environment to form an ecosystem. The game is adaptable to
most any predator/prey relationship
you might be studying.

Ecotone Encounter- (FT) (Spring/

Fall) (4th & Up) Compare and contrast forest and prairie ecosystems by
looking at their plant & animal communities, soil temps, moisture content, and more.
STEM Woodland Engineering(FT/O) (Spring/Fall) (4th & Up)
Learn how to measure the height of
a tree and the width of a body of
water, build a friction bridge, use
ropes/dowels to move heavy object (simple machines)
Turtle Hurdles-(FT/O) (Any) (4th
& Up) Students will act out the roles
of turtles and predators during
this interactive game to learn the
troubles that face turtles in their
struggle to survive.
Rotten Log-(FT) (Fall, Spring) (K5th) Take a look into the tiny ecosystem that is a rotten log.
Skullduggery-(FT/O) (Any) (5th &
Up) Students will catalog different
skulls to discern if they are herbivores, omnivores or carnivores while
Mock Bobwhite Quail Reintroduction-(FT/O) (Any) (5th & Up)
Your students will learn what it takes
to bring an animal back to the landscape. They act as Conservation
Board members and have to make
decisions involving budgets (math),
public opinion (social studies), ecology (science) and team work (21st

century skills).

Soil Science- (FT) (Fall, Spring)

(4th & Up) Identify soil types and
their attributes.
Watersheds- (FT) (Fall, Spring) (5th
& Up) Define watersheds, Find
your watershed address, ID threats,
Mapping, Water quality testing
Geology (FT/O) (Any) (5th & Up)Learn about the geology of Iowa,
and how it affects our lives today.
Forestry (FT/O) (Any) (5th & Up)Learn how to ID tress and create an
inventory/map of the species in
your schools neighborhood. Your
students can then monitor those
trees throughout the school year for
changes season-to-season.
Antler Scoring FT/O) (Any) (5th &
Up)- Your students will learn deer
biology and how to score antlers
which uses a variety of math skills;
addition/subtraction, fractions/
decimals, multiplication.
Explore Bowhunting FT/O)
(Any) (5th & Up)- Learn about archery, Whitetail deer, turkey, elk &
predator ecology, game calls, anatomy, weather patterns, map reading,
and more!