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School Programs

About Our Programming

As the Kalamazoo Nature Center’s mission is to inspire people to care for the environment by providing experiences that lead them to understand their connection to the natural world, KNC’s education department plays an essential role in supporting that mission, utilizing our programs to help schools and families in our community to have positive experiences exploring, and connecting with, nature.

KNC school programming  primarily serves preschool/daycare aged children through elementary school, but we also offer programs and field lab experiences for up to 8th grade, as well as customizable programming options for every grade level.

Common topics in school programs include animal classification, plant parts/life cycle, animal life cycles, ecological relationships, habitats, adaptations, natural resources, human impact, and natural cycles and patterns. Our programming is focused primarily on environmental science and Michigan history, but we are also able to provide customizable opportunities for english and arts classrooms.

Why Outdoor/Environmental Education? 

Teaching in the Arboretum

There is a seemingly endless number of resources and studies available that argue in support of environmental education and outdoor learning, and all of its amazing benefits. We’ve included a few favorites in the links below for your perusal, and will continue to contribute to this resource list over time.

Website Resource Suggestions:

BEETLES: Infusing outdoor science programs with research-based approaches and tools to improve science teaching and learning.

Classroom Engagement Study in Frontiers in Psychology

"Outdoor Lessons Boost Classroom Engagement," from Teachermagazine.com

"About EE and Why it Matters," from North American Association for Enviornmental Education

Social-Emotional Environmental Education Development Framework from International Journal of Early Childhood Environmental Education

Programs by Grade Level

Kids at KNC

Our specially-designed programs are listed below by grade level. 

Pre-K & Kindergarten 
Grades 1 - 3
Grades 4 & 5
Grades 6, 7, & 8
High School

Self-Guided Activities

Frequently asked questions about KNC programming


Contact: Bianca Anderson, Program Registrar
(269) 381-1574 ext. 24
register@naturecenter.org