Deer Flat National Wildlife Refuge
Pacific Region
Deer Flat NWR
13751 Upper Embankment Rd Nampa, ID 83686
Phone: 208-467-9278
Fax: 208-467-1019

Environmental Education at Deer Flat

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Refuge Field Trips

Types of Field Trips

Discover Wildlife Journeys Field Trips--Bus Scholarships Available!

Scavenger hunt during a field trip to the refuge Starting in Fall 2010, the Refuge began offering a new field trip called Discover Wildlife Journeys. Fourth, fifth, and sixth graders are invited to participate in this new field trip to discover the Lake Lowell ecosystem at Deer Flat National Wildlife Refuge. You and your students will learn outside with trained naturalists through hands-on, inquiry-based experiences...and have fun splashing around in Lake Lowell!

  • Schedule a field trip and you will receive Student Workbooks (PDF file larger than 500 kb) with pre- and post-visit activities correlated with 4th, 5th, and 6th grade Idaho Standards for science, math, and language arts.
  • Field trips offered on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays in fall (September and October) and spring (March, April, & May).
  • Maximum capacity for a Discover Wildlife Journeys field trip is 120 students, but 100 is preferred for a higher quality educational experience.
  • To register, 208-467-9278 or

Friends of Deer Flat Wildlife Refuge offers a Teacher Support Scholarship to help defray the cost of bussing students to the refuge. Download information about the bus scholarship and an application.

Self-Guided Field Trips

Deer Flat National Wildlife Refuge invites school groups, scout groups, families, and community groups to take a self-guided field trip to the refuge. Lake Lowell offers a great outdoor classroom for hands-on explorations of sagebrush upland, riparian, and lake habitats.

Self-guided programs must be scheduled with the Refuge to be sure that they do not conflict with other scheduled activities.

Refuge staff can speak with teachers and group leaders to help them plan activities during an independent visit. Leaders can also use the Environmental Education Library, available in the refuge Visitor Center.

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Scheduling a Field Trip

To schedule a guided or self-guided field trip, contact us at 467-9278. Please make arrangements as early as possible to insure that your visit does not conflict with other scheduled activities.

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Preparing for the Field Trip

There are several things you can do before the big day to make your Field Trip an exciting and educational outing rather than just a day out of the classroom.

  • Great horned owletsFamiliarize yourself with the site. If at all possible, familiarize yourself with refuge resources before the field trip by visiting the refuge and by surfing this website to find out about refuge wildlife, management, and habitats, as well as refuge history. It's best to plan a familiarizing trip during the same season as your field trip.
  • If you are doing a Discover Wildlife Journeys Field Trip, then be sure to have students complete the pre-visit activities in the Student Workbook. You might also choose one or more of the activities in the Teacher's Guide to do with your students.
  • Involve the students. Students are more likely to enjoy and learn from a trip that they help design. Ask your students to write answers to the following questions and use their answers in your planning.
  • What do you expect to see at the wildlife refuge?
    What do you expect to do at the wildlife refuge?

    What would you like to study at the wildlife refuge?

  • Great horned owletsPlan pre-visit activities. If you are doing a self-guided field trip, design pre- and post-field trip activities to prepare students for their visit and cement their learning when they're back in the classroom.
  • Familiarize students with refuge rules. Your group will be visiting animals' homes and should behave accordingly. Before your visit, you might ask students to describe what behavior they think will be appropriate during the visit to minimize their impact on wildlife and habitats. If they come up with the rules themselves, they may be more likely to follow them! Fill in points that they miss from the list below.
  • Break into groups. If you will be splitting into groups, divide into groups that are as small as possible before arriving. Identifying the groups with color- or shape-coded name tags simplifies things.
  • Provide students with list of what to bring.

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Refuge Rules

  • Take away only memories! All plants, animals, rocks, or other specimens are protected on National Wildlife Refuges. Students can take away drawings, photographs, rubbings, and memories.
  • Replace animals' homes! If you move any rocks, sticks, or logs, please put them back where you found them, they could be part of someone's home.
  • Walk and talk quietly to maximize your chances of seeing wildlife--and to minimize wildlife disturbance.
  • Stick to the roads. All vehicles must stay on roads at all times. Please do not ask to enter areas that are closed to the public.
  • Lunch in the wilds. The Visitor Center is notavailable as a lunch room. Eat outside, in the county park on the east end of the Upper Dam, or on the bus. Remember to bring enough bags or boxes to carry out all trash!

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What to Bring

The following items may help you have a successful--and pleasant--visit.
  • Lunch, water bottles, and plenty of fluids
  • Trash bags--all visitors are expected to carry out their own trash. You may also want to bring bags to pick up trash you find on the refuge.
  • Hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen
  • Dress for the weather
  • Hiking boots or shoes with ankle support. No open-toed shoes!
  • Magnifying lenses
  • Binoculars or spotting scopes
  • Camera
  • Field guides to birds, plants, insects, etc.
  • Insect repellent
  • Pencils and paper

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Last updated: January 3, 2014