Environmental Education Activities and Programs


All topics and curriculum on this page have been approved by the School District of Palm Beach County and can be used by everyone. If you have something different that your class is studying or you want us to cover, please ask. We do not want you to be confined in any of the curricula we provide, we encourage you as the educator to think outside the proverbial box. We are flexible in the programs we offer here in the northern Everglades.

Environmental education is one of the primary objectives of the National Wildlife Refuge System. Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee NWR is an excellent place to bring a class to conduct hands-on environmental education activities and programs. Come visit the only National Wildlife Refuge in Palm Beach County, Florida for a FREE field experience! Interpretive Specialist Serena Rinker can tailor your visit to fit what you are studying in the classroom OR review the three lessons listed below. Each lesson incorporates a variety of hands-on activities into each class. Through interdisciplinary experiences, audience interaction, fun plant and animal anecdotes, and meaningful contact with Refuge staff, all participants may experience a new awareness and appreciation for the Everglades.

Pre-Trip Preparations

PreTripPicture_116x150To make your field experience and the pre-trip preparations even more beneficial to you and your students, the Refuge is pleased to offer the Rhythms of the Refuge Teacher Manual. Please utilize this manual to its fullest by incorporating the lessons and activities with your daily teaching a few days or a week prior in preparation for your visit. This manual is currently being revised and reviewed.

How to Schedule Your Visit

Please call at least two weeks in advance of your preferred visit date to schedule a field experience. To better plan your visit, whether it is a self-guided or staff led, the Refuge staff encourages group leaders to contact the office first. The difference between making your field experience a powerful learning experience depends on how well you and your students are prepared. Fill out the Visit Request Form and return (via fax or email) to the Interpretive Specialist. Keep a copy of this form and carry it with you on your visit day. Refuge staff will send each teacher an educator packet of general information related to the Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge. Suggested areas to visit include the Cypress Swamp Boardwalk, Marsh Trail, C-6 Pavilion complete with outdoor classrooms, LILA (Loxahatchee Impoundment Landscape Assessment) see the South Florida Water Management District (www.sfwmd.gov) for visiting, and the L-40 Levee and Canal.

 ~ Year-round (Tuesday – Thursday) 8:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
~ 2 – 3 hour trip preferred
~ Educator led experience outside in our freshwater marsh and cypress swamp
~ Two class maximum, check for multiple class visits
~ Classroom pre-visit with our Friends Group, Marshall Foundation for the Everglades (www.artmarshall.org) educators
~ Call Interpretive Specialist Serena Rinker at 561.735.6029 for reservations.
~ Pre and Post Tests are available for K-2; 3-5; 6-8; 9-12
~ ALL programs can be adapted to serve the special needs classes

The following lessons can be adapted for any grade level and ability. Florida Next Generation Standards are listed below each lesson.

Butterfly Watch Lesson
Students will investigate the Refuge for butterfly activity and record data using simple and effective collection skills and methods. Learn about plants that are critical to individual butterfly species and the life cycle of butterflies.


Alligator Hole Ecodrama Lesson -- Adapted from Everglades National Park Educator Materials
Students will experience life in an alligator hole. Using drama, pantomime, and research, students will understand the science and ecology of this vital Everglades habitat.


KOE (Kissimmee-Okeechobee-Everglades) Lesson
Using maps, relics, role-playing, and discussion students learn the economic, environmental, aesthetic, and moral significance of the Everglades ecosystem. Students will also use mathematical and language arts to understand the history and importance of this vital south Florida icon.

CCSS.Math Content.6.NS.C.8
CCSS.Math Content.7.G.B.6