What’s new in EDU

November 20, 2023

We all play a role in shaping the environmental health of Southwest Florida, and environmental education is key in helping us do so responsibly. The Conservancy’s environmental education team is active with all ages from pre-k through gray. From journeys in the water to experiences in our Nature Center, the education team has entered this season with new and updated programs for all.

New panther program on the Learning Adventures Bus

Driving to community events and after-school programs all over Collier County, this year the Conservancy’s Learning Adventures Bus (LAB) will be focusing on Florida panthers! Our educators will teach students about these elusive big cats, the ways scientists find and study them, and the importance of wildlife corridors for their long-term health. Through fun STEM-based games and hands-on science activities, students will become stewards of Florida’s most iconic – and endangered – state animal.

Updated daily talks on hurricanes, climate change and more

The education team hosts two daily talks at our Nature Center at 11:15 AM and 1:15 PM. Learn about the invasive species disturbing our ecosystem, immerse yourself in hurricane and climate change conversations with our Science on a Sphere exhibit, and understand the work of treating over 4,000 injured, sick, and orphaned native animals each year at the von Arx Wildlife Hospital. Stop by a daily talk from Tuesday through Saturday to learn more about the Southwest Florida environment and the wildlife in our area.

Launch of Watery Wonders and Good Fortune II field trips

October marked the launch of the season’s Good Fortune II school trips. This science-based program offers seventh-grade students in Collier County the opportunity to get out on the water for hands-on data collection using real-world scientific tools. The Conservancy’s 35-passenger pontoon boat, the Good Fortune II, transports participants to conduct assessments and observations aimed at gauging the health of the estuary. This includes comparing water quality, plankton samples, and salinity at two different locations within the bay to assess its health.

Additionally, Watery Wonders, a specialty field trip for third graders in partnership with Collier County Public Schools, has returned. This program takes students on a three-hour journey where they explore key ecological concepts and discover why water is so critical to life in Southwest Florida. From dip-netting for small aquatic organisms in the Shotwell Wavering Family Filter Marsh to learning about plant biology, aquatic macroinvertebrates, and the water cycle while exercising their creativity at our three STEAM Stations, these field trips leave students knowing more about our unique ecosystems and what can be done to preserve them.

Conservancy education programs funded in part by: