For Educators


A virtual classroom, Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge is a great place for students to learn about wildlife and environmental sciences.

For free, refuge staff and volunteers are available to schedule educational programs developed according to the State of Texas Academic Achievement Records.  Bring your class to the refuge for a short video followed by an exciting nature walk that introduces your students to the amazing wildlife and habitat in their community. If you are not able to bring your class to the refuge, let us bring the refuge to your class!  Staff and volunteers are available to do on-site visits for a 30-60 minute lesson that would best fit your teaching needs.  If you have specific request relating to wildlife or habitat issues, let us know your teaching needs and we will do our best to help you. 

Guideline and Reservation Information for Programs on the Refuge

  • All programs must be scheduled in advance. 
  • Reservations must provide a tentative date, length of visit, number of students, and number of chaperones.
  • We can accommodate school groups of 60 students or more. We recommend that larger groups be divided to avoid crowding in any one area.
  • An adult/student ratio of at least 1:10 is recommended for all school groups. More adults are recommended for younger groups. 
  • Tram Tours must be scheduled in advance. The tram holds 68 passengers, which may include students, teachers, chaperones, and refuge visitors. The cost of the tram is $2.00 per person. 

Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center is open from 8am-4pm


Park Ranger: 956-784-7543 or

Outdoor Recreation Planner: 956-784-7575 or

Visitor Center: 956-784-7500 




Dates: Saturday August 17th and Wednesday July 21st. 

Time: 8am-3pm

Purpose: This 6-hour long workshop, for elementary and middle school instructors, will focus on maintaining a safe and interactive learning space in school gardens, understanding in-depth information about the monarch butterfly conservation and recovery efforts, and becoming comfortable adapting lesson plans to create authentic experiences in native plant gardens.

Registration for this FREE event will begin on Saturday July 20th.

Please stay turned for more information and updates on this exciting event!


Environmental Education Programs Santa Ana Education Brochure
With the exception of the Wildlife Photography program, all programs listed can be provided at the refuge or in your classroom. 

Bird Adaptations and Behavior
Grades K-8
This lesson educates children about birds and their adaptations to the environment. It has been designed to meet the needs at each grade level and has the advantage of complementing what was previously learned. It also includes hands-on activities that usually require an outdoor setting. Simple preliminary preparation (available upon request) is recommended prior to lesson. 


Endangered Species 
Grades 5-12 
This lesson educates children about conservation, endangered and threatened species, and habitat. The student will be able to identify three endangered species of the Lower Rio Grande Valley and identify two major causes of why these species are threatened or endangered. 

Grades 4-12
This lesson educates students on wetlands and their importance to our ecosystem. Students will be able to identify wetlands and will be introduced to the various species that inhabit them. Hands-on outdoor opportunities are available at Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge where students can be reinforced with the basic function of wetlands and will learn to identify wildlife and vegetation. Simple preliminary preparation (available upon request) is recommended prior to lesson. 

Scaly & Slimy Friends
Grades 3-5
Explore the world of snakes, lizards and other reptiles and amphibians that make Santa Ana their home! Learn about our threatened reptiles and South Texas specialties. Explore their habitats, what they eat and other neat facts about these exciting creatures.

Wild Photography
Students will enjoy a 30 minute wildlife photography walk to get closer to birds and wildlife on the refuge.  They learn how to take photos of nature while also  learning about wildlife.  Cameras will be provided for student groups.