For Educators

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Each year approximately 8,000 students, teachers, and group leaders visit Billy Frank Jr. Nisqually NWR. The Refuge offers an invaluable opportunity for students to experience and learn about the natural world.  The Refuge is a popular place and reservations for educational groups are required. So, call the Education Coordinator or complete and submit the field trip reservation form to schedule your field trip.  The Education Program has something for all school age groups.

Reservation Forms are processed on a first-come first-served basis. You must submit a complete field trip reservation packet and receive a confirmation form from a refuge educator to reserve a date.

Reservation Forms for March through the end of the school year are not accepted until the second Monday in January.

Please call or email with questions regarding field trip reservations.

  • Elementary School Groups

    The majority of educational groups that visit the Refuge are elementary age. The Refuge is a great place for elementary age students to gain an appreciation for nature, to learn new skills and knowledge, and experience one of our area's greatest outdoor places. The indoor and outdoor activities are designed mostly for the upper elementary grades but can easily be adapted for younger students. The Education Coordinator will work with you to design a field trip that best meets the needs of you and your students.

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  • Junior High and High School Groups

    Middle and high school groups may choose any of the indoor or outdoor programming options available through the education program. Although most activities are designed for younger students, the education coordinator will work with you to design an age appropriate experience that will enhance your classroom learning. The Refuge is a great place to expand learning in language arts, art, or the sciences.

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  • College Groups

    Faculty and professors from a variety of disciplines bring students to the Refuge to extend classroom learning. Students studying the arts, sciences, and education find ways to incorporate the outdoor environment into their studies. College groups need to complete field trip application to receive the entrance fee waiver. Most groups choose to be on their own but Refuge staff are available to speak with college groups on a case-by-case basis. College groups may request use of the Education Center however most activities are designed for younger age groups. 

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  • Refuge Resources for Teachers

    The Refuge offers many resources to assist in planning and to ensure that you make the most of your field trip.

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  • Field Trip Orientation Workshop

    Several times a year, the Refuge offers a 4-hour Field Trip Orientation Workshop, where teachers can learn about the facilities and resources available, how to structure a field trip to the Refuge, and how to prepare students with pre-trip classroom activities.

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  • Transportation Grant

    Does your school have a high population of students that qualify for free-and-reduced lunch? If so you may qualify for the Rides to the Refuge transportation grant program provided by Friends of Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge Complex.

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  • Educator's Guide

    Our educator's guide to Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge offers complete information about field trip planning, preparation, and pre-field trip activities.

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  • Frequently Asked Questions

    Additional information about logistical aspects of planning and applying for your field trip at the Refuge.

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