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Environmental Education Programs for K-6 School Groups

The Kenai NWR provides school groups with high quality environmental education programs on wildlife related topics.  Currently, the environmental education staff has developed nine curricula aligned with the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District standards. Each year approximately 2,500 students from the central Kenai Peninsula participate in our programs.

The Kenai National Wildlife Refuge is 1.92 million acres and is often called “Alaska in Miniature”. The various habitat and ecosystems offer a wonderful opportunity for local students to explore, hands-on, a variety of areas in the natural world.

All programs are free to students and teachers.

Animals and Their Senses (Kindergarten) 

Through a series of activities using their own senses, children relate to how wildlife use each of their five senses for survival.

Amazing Animals (1st) 

Activities and games highlight what makes living things different than non-living things, how animals move, differences between wild animals and pets, and about animal life cycles.

Habitat Is Where It’s At (2nd) 

Activities and games highlight what is habitat, the importance of habitat, how animals are adapted to their habitat, and how humans impact habitat.

Plants, Animals and Their Environment (3rd) 

Through hands-on activities students will explore plants, food chains, food webs, and their interdependence of plants and animals necessary for survival.

Wetlands and Wildlife (4th) 

Students learn about the variety of wetlands in Alaska and their important functions for wildlife and people through exploring water quality testing and dip netting for aquatic invertebrates.

Fire Ecology (4th-5th) 

Students hike the Hidden Creek Trail to explore a naturally re-vegetated burn site. Concepts covered include succession, habitat mosaic, fire triangle, and firefighting methods.

Leave No Trace (5th-6th) 

Students learn the seven Leave No Trace principles through hands-on activities, an overnight stay at the Outdoor Education Center, and a day hike.

Winter Field Trips 

February to mid-March

Wildlife in Winter (4th-5th) 

Students explore the reasons for the changing seasons and how wildlife adapts to Alaska’s winter.  Concepts covered include seasonal changes, animal tracks, and animal adaptations.  Snowshoeing is an element of the field trip if weather permits.

Winter Ecology (6th) 

Students are introduced to the challenges wildlife face in the winter. Concepts covered include predator-prey interactions; food chains; and human impacts of winter recreation on wildlife. Snowshoeing is an element of the field trip if weather permits.


Field Trip Requirements:

Advance reservation. 

Teachers are required to attend an orientation session prior to the field trip. 

Participating schools need to be within an hour drive from Soldotna.

Assistance from teacher and chaperones.

Teachers are required to attend a one-hour teacher orientation in Soldotna.

Post trip activities completed with class.


Last Updated: Sep 16, 2013
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