Environmental Education Activities and Programs
Teachers and other educators are encouraged to utilize the refuge as a “living classroom”. Described below are a variety of activity sheets that can be downloaded and copied for students to complete to enhance their educational experience during their visit. Students will learn about the natural and cultural history of the Okefenokee, while reinforcing skills and knowledge learned in the classroom. A packet of information can be created for each student containing information downloaded from the refuge website and other materials that might be useful. A cover sheet for student’s packet is available or each teacher or student can create their own. For basic information about Okefenokee, check out the Fun Facts About Okefenokee webpage.
- Okefenokee Word Search is an activity designed to introduce students to some of the plants and animals found in Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge. They can complete this activity while traveling to the refuge, keeping them busy while preparing them for their visit.
- Okefenokee Outpost Challenge- raccoon edition is a 20 question multiple-choice worksheet for younger elementary students to challenge them in learning about the Okefenokee, while interacting with the exhibits in the Visitor Center. An answer sheet for this activity is also available.
- Okefenokee Outpost Challenge- owl edition is a 20 question short answer worksheet for older elementary and middle school students to challenge them in learning about the Okefenokee while interacting with the exhibits in the Visitor Center. An answer sheet for this activity is also available.
- A Swampers Life is an activity sheet for elementary students to complete after touring the Chesser family house and homestead. An answer sheet is also available.
- Okefenokee Habitats introduces students to the five major habitats found in the refuge. Students should be able to complete the activity after reviewing the “Habitats Field Guides” exhibit in the visitor center. A short walk from the visitor center to the Mizell Prairie Boardwalk will lead students by these five habitats. An answer sheet for this activity is available.
- Counting Birds focuses on how biologists use math to determine bird populations in large areas like the Okefenokee. An answer sheet for this activity is available. As a follow-up to their visit, students can learn about three species of birds that live in the Okefenokee.
Ranger-guided "On-site" Programs
- Swamp Tales: Amazing Alligators- Kindergarten and 1st grade- This program introduces students to Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, wild animals, and one of the refuge’s resident animals, the American alligator through a story, activities, hands-on objects, and the possible viewing of a live alligator. Time required: approx. 45 minutes
- Habitats of the Okefenokee- 2nd and 3rd grade- In this program which includes a ranger-guided walk and activities, students will discover the importance of protecting wildlife habitat while exploring three habitats in the Okefenokee. Time required: approx. 60 minutes
- Wonderful Wetlands- 4th and 5th grade- Students will learn about the importance of protecting wetlands through demonstrations, activities and close examination of the animals and plants found in the Okefenokee. Time required: approx. 90 minutes
- Chesser Island Homestead Tour- all ages- Rangers and volunteers lead the students through a 1920's house and around the homestead as they explain how swampers once lived in the Okefenokee. Time required: 15-45 minutes
|Environmental Education and Concession Center-
credit Blaine Eckberg/USFWS
|Environmental Education Classroom-
credit Blaine Eckberg/USFWS
The refuge has an Environmental Education Classroom that opened in April 2009. It is used for programs, training sessions and meetings and contains a wetlab and exhibits. It is located in the Environmental Education and Concession Center.
Please contact the Environmental Education Coordinator at (912) 496-7836 for information about additional programs and to schedule a program for your group.