Environmental Education

Take your next field trip at Spring Valley! 

Spring Valley offers numerous school field trip opportunities. Program themes change seasonally and all include outdoor activities and inspire curiosity and teach about the natural world.

Group programs offered at Spring Valley have student resources and teacher resources available online. These resources are great for learning more about topics taught in group programs.

For more information, or if there is a particular topic you are looking for, please call 847-985-2100 (we can sometimes customize programs to meet the needs of a curriculum).

Program Survey

Take the program survey.


More information about programs offered are available in the Spring Valley Environmental Education Program Guide.

  • Conservation in Action - Help with conservation efforts! Some time will be devoted to an explanation of the importance of the particular activity and the rest will be on the activity itself! Projects might include collecting seeds, planting wildflowers or trees, clearing brush or wood chipping.
  • Fall Ecology- Fall is a time of great activity in the natural world as plants and animals prepare for winter. We will search for seasonal changes in the prairie, under logs, in holes and just about everywhere. We’ll also explore connections between plants and animals.
  • Growing Time - Spring is a time of new awakening! Sunlight, food, water, and nutrients are in high demand throughout the natural world and life is bursting out allover. Take a hike to discover signs of spring, look for animal life, and appreciate the gradual emergence of color. Explore various habitats using your senses. Younger students plant a seed to take home and watch develop. Older students explore plants and pollination.
  • Night Hike - Experience nature without the benefit of sight and use the rest of your senses on a walk at night.
  • Spring Ecology - Spring is a season of lush growth, migrating birds, emerging insects, flowering plants, and competition for nesting territory. We will search for early signs of spring in March or April, and explore the diversity of new life later in the season..
  • Sugar Bush - When nighttime temperatures are below freezing and daytime temperatures are above, the sap begins to flow and maples are ready to be tapped! Celebrate spring with a tapping demonstration, boildown and a taste test.
  • Winter Ecology - Winter is a challenging time for plants and animals. Students focus on the adaptations they use to survive and look for evidence that they're still active around Spring Valley. Participants view birds at the birdfeeders and if there's snow, may go snowshoeing.

Click here for general Spring Valley information.