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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Educational Programs

Susan Kain guides a class in a web of life activity.Planning a field trip to the refuge? Inviting refuge staff to present an environmental education program in your classroom?

Choose from one of the following prepared programs, or ask if we can develop a program tailored to fit your needs. Download an Educational Programs or Traveling Trunks flyer or browse through available programs below. All programs are correlated with Idaho Achievement Standards in Science.

Programs are also available for Girl and Boy Scouts.

After selecting a program, contact us at 467-9278 to schedule your program. We recommend that you make arrangements as early as possible to insure that your visit will fit in the schedule.

Available programs

Refuge Orientation (30 minutes)
A brief orientation to Deer Flat National Wildlife Refuge and the National Wildlife Refuge System. Includes an 11 minute video. Can be modified for use in grades K-12.

Guided Habitat Walk (45-60 minutes)
Osprey, or fish hawks, nest each summer along the refuge Nature Trail Discover wildlife and wildlife habitat during a guided walk along the Nature Trail. The half-mile trail winds through a sagebrush grassland and along a riparian forest and the lake's edge. A trail brochure is also available for groups to guide themselves on the trail. Can be modified for use in grades K-12.

Great horned owl babiesAll About Owls (Grades 2-8; 45-90 minutes)
Idaho is famous for its birds of prey. Explore the unique adaptations of nocturnal birds of prey and dissect owl pellets to learn what they eat. This trunk includes a mounted barn owl, displays to explain owl wings and eyes, a great-horned owl skull, books and a video about owls, as well as pellets for students to dissect. Also available to check out as a Traveling Trunk!

Animal Camouflage (Grades 2-10; 30-45 minutes)
From arctic hares to sand spiders to leafy sea dragons, learn how animals hide and hunt by blending into their surroundings. Lesson is adaptable for a variety of grades. Programs for older groups discuss the more technical aspects of camouflage (e.g., chemical camouflage).

Animal Olympics (Grades 1-6; 45-60 minutes)
Animals can perform amazing feats of Olympic proportions! Can you jump as high as a mule deer, hold your breath as long as a sperm whale, or flap your “wings” as fast as a hummingbird? Kids compare their skills to those of animals through this physically-active lesson.

Bird Beaks (Grades 3-9; 45-60 minutes)
Birds use their beaks as tools for many tasks. Conduct hands-on experiments to explore why birds have different kinds of beaks. Includes eight experimental beak kits, a variety of bird skulls, and a book about birds and their beaks. Also available to check out as a Traveling Trunk!

Discover Wildlife Journeys Field Trip (Grades 4-6)--Bus Scholarships Are Available!
Starting in Fall 2010, the Refuge is 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. This field trip will be offered on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays in fall 2010 and spring 2011. 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.

Evening primroseEcosystems Alive! (Grades 2-7; 60 minutes)
If you had a magic wand, would you get rid of mosquitoes? How about snakes? Students learn about habitats, food webs, and ecosystems as they come to understand why all wildlife – small and large, liked and disliked – are important for a healthy ecosystem.

Fish! (Grades K-3; 20-30 minutes)
Introductory lesson to the world of fish. What makes a fish a fish? What is the difference between a fish and a mammal? Learn how fish survive, where they prefer to live, what they eat, and how they catch their food. Also find out about some native and exotic fish that live in Canada Geese migrating along the Pacific Flyway use Deer Flat NWR as a stopover or wintering area.southwest Idaho. Also available to check out as a Traveling Trunk!

Highways in the Sky (Grades 1-8; 45-60 minutes)
What bird migrates 30,000 miles each year? How many McDonald’s hamburgers would a person have to eat to store as much fat as a migrating shorebird? Learn fascinating facts about wildlife migrations and the Pacific Flyway – a highway in the sky for migrating birds over Southwest Idaho.

Jaws & Levers (Grades 4-9; 30 minutes)
Coyote skull
Simple machines are everywhere, even in nature! Explore the physics of mammal jaws and the functions of different classes of levers, as well as the biology of wolves and coyotes. Includes different types of levers and tools, a coyote skull, display panels and a book about wolves. Also available to check out as a Traveling Trunk!

Lessons from the Lorax (Grades 1-5; 45-60 minutes)
Learn about conservation through literature. Discover the importance of trees to people and wildlife through Dr Seuss’ “The Lorax.” Students explore how human choices impact wildlife and how they can be good land stewards by making responsible choices to help wildlife.

National Wildlife Refuge System (Grades 2-12, 45-60 minutes)
Explore the National Wildlife Refuge System with this interactive program. Students learn about the largest system of public lands designated for wildlife and take a closer look at critters from Maine to Hawaii and every region in between.

Scat and Tracks (Grades 3-9; 30-50 minutes)
Budding biologists learn about animal sign while practicing critical thinking, comparing, memorizing, and observing skills. This lesson challenges students to use knowledge of an animal’s lifestyle and size to identify its scat and tracks. Includes artificial scat and tracks to use in the activities, as well as books about scat and tracks. Also available to check out as a Traveling Trunk!

Suitcase for Survival (Grades 3-12)
Take a closer look at species you wouldn’t normally think about. From elephant ivory to giant python skins, this trunk examines endangered species, biodiversity, and the reasons why these species are in peril. Includes confiscated animal items from all over the world, as well as books and videos on these vulnerable species and the niches they inhabit. Available to check out as a Traveling Trunk!

Touch Trunk (Grades K-12; 30-60 minutes)
This hands-on investigatory activity is designed to introduce students to nature and get them thinking about wildlife in their local environment. The trunk includes animal pelts, skulls, snake skins, feathers, and more. The trunk can be scheduled alone or in addition to another program.

Urban Wildlife (Grades 2-4, 45-60 minutes)
This program was designed especially for 3rd graders as a companion to the City Wildlife reading unit. Discover the difference between wild and domesticated animals. Learn which animals live in the city and how they have adapted to urban life.

Waterfowl Conservation and the Junior Duck Stamp Art Contest (Grades K-12)
We visit your classroom with a 30-45 minute introduction to waterfowl and wetland conservation. What a great way to begin a larger unit on waterfowl conservation based on the Federal Junior Duck Stamp Conservation Program (curriculum available online). This program uses art to engage students in learning about waterfowl, culminating in a state-wide Jr. Duck Stamp Art Contest! Every entrant receives a certificate.

Wetlands' Wonders (Grades 2-4; 45-60 minutes)
How is a wetland like a pillow? Like a bar of soap? Like a zoo? Students identify metaphors for wetland functions and learn about the ecology of local wetlands wildlife.

Last updated: December 28, 2011