School Programs

Welcome, Teachers!

Exciting hands-on learning experiences await your students – our staff-led programs will help them learn about local history, ecology, and gardening. We also offer interdisciplinary opportunities to support your curriculum.

Visit the Homer Lake Interpretive Center at Homer Lake, the Museum of the Grand Prairie or the Mabery Gelvin Botanical Garden at Lake of the Woods, or one of our other Forest Preserve sites. You can also schedule an in-class program!  

All of our programming is aligned to learning standards, and most of our programs can be adjusted for younger or older audiences. As always, our staff is available to help you find the right fit for your classroom.

We look forward to working with you!

Programs and Resources

See a list of programs for these grade levels:

Download the entire 2019-2020 Expanding the Classroom brochure (6.78MB pdf).

Hard copies of the brochure are also available at most District locations; or, let us know if you would like to receive one in the mail.

In-Class Programs (Preschool - High School)

If your class cannot come to us for a field trip, consider an in-class program. Our educators can tailor a visit to meet your classroom needs. Presentation length varies from 30 minutes to one hour per classroom. Call to discuss any idea you have for your class. This experience could be scheduled for one class or multiple classes.

Visit Our Exhibits!

1968: A Time for Every Purpose
Museum of the Grand Prairie

This year, we are celebrating the 50th anniversary of our museum, with a special exhibit that commemorates the year of our founding, 1968! In this special exhibit field trip, your students will explore the ways in which Science and Technology, Civil Rights, The Vietnam War, and Pop Culture shaped our world on both a local and national level.
Grades 5-12
Program Length: 1.5 hours

Vanishing Acts: Trees Under Threat
Mabery Gelvin Botanical Garden

Learn about how our planet’s most valuable resources are disappearing before our eyes in this outdoor exhibit. Students will learn about different tree species around the world and how we are connected to trees in our everyday lives.
September - Early November 2018
Grades 4-8
Program Length: 1.5 hours

From Rail to Trail
Homer Lake Interpretive Center

The new Kickapoo Rail Trail has a fascinating history of uses, from the transport of goods along the CSX Railroad, to public transport along a parallel electric train line called the Interurban, to the current multi-use trail. Include a visit to this indoor exhibit in your field trips to Homer Lake!
April - December 2018
Grades 4-12

Register Now!

Go to the Registration page to find out more about how to register for a program.

Resources for Educators

The Forest Preserve District provides a variety of special resources for teachers, including age-appropriate displays, handbooks and binders, and backpacks for your class to take on the trails.




Cultural & Plant Science

Katie Snyder
(217) 586-2612


Stacey Clementz
(217) 896-2455