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For Educators

Education Collage

 The refuge hosts a nationally-recognized environmental education program aimed at all ages, with specific outdoor lessons correlated to state and national science standards. The new Nature’s Classroom provides microscopes, nets and other equipment for staff-led programs. Please see the following to learn more about connecting your family or students to natural Florida!

Environmental Education Programs

Attention schools, scouts and homeschool groups or other educational groups, now is the time to schedule your free educational field trip to St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge for the current school year! 

EE-2We currently have 18 programs that are offered, however if a teacher needs a program that is not listed we will work towards accommodating their needs. Programs are designed to accommodate up to 60 students. Students will be divided into smaller groups so each student will get the most from their experiences at St. Marks NWR. Each program may include a game, lesson and a hands-on activity. Unless otherwise noted, schools are expected to provide at least one chaperone for every 15 students attending. Chaperones and teachers are expected to actively participate in the presentation of the program under supervision of the refuge educational staff.

EE-3St. Marks NWR hosts thousands of students each year through its environmental education programs. Our unique programs allow students to use dip nets in the pond behind the Visitor Center or down at Apalachee Bay, explore for insects, minnows, shrimp and more. Yet other programs allow them to collect data such as temperature of the air and soil, humidity, wind speed and direction and the types of plants and animals observed in three different habitats, study skins and skulls and other bio-facts.

In a different exercise, weather data is collected to determine if the refuge should conduct a prescribed burn. In another learning station, wearing bouncing deely-bopper headbands, students re-enact the life cycle of a monarch butterfly, eluding predators and collecting golf ball eggs.

EE-4These are a few of the free outdoor environmental education programs available to school groups/scout troops who reserve a date well in advance. For more information click on the links below to take you to each program available.

Slide shows about the refuge and guided walks through shady oaks and rustling palms also reinforce that the refuge is an endlessly changing, fascinating, natural laboratory. Teachers are also welcome to learn more about north Florida's ecosystems through teacher workshops, including the internationally recognized environmental education program, Project Learning Tree.

EE-1Off-site education is an untapped opportunity to reach schools that can't visit the refuge. If a class or school cannot come to the refuge we have staff or trained volunteers that can come to the classroom and present a 30-45 minute program to your students. To schedule any of our programs please call 850-925-6121 or 

To learn more about our programs click on the link for the education brochure.
PDF of Program Brochure

Environmental Education Programs Offered by
St. Marks NWR

  • Introduction to the Refuge
  • Butterfly Encounter
  • Adaptable Animals
  • Insect Safari
  • Eco-Links
  • Coastal Explorer
  • Freshwater Ecosystems
  • Earth Scientist
  • Orienteering
  • Coastal Habitats/Tower Pond Trail
  • Digital Photograph
  • Feathered Friends
  • Reptiles and Amphibians
  • Magnificent Mammals
  • Endangered Species
  • Living with Fire
  • Tree-rific Trees
  • Whooping Cranes
  • Self Guiding Tours

Classes may come to the refuge for self guided tours and check out our equipment. These field trips must be scheduled in advance. For more information call 850-925-6121 or email

Trained volunteers help with the learning stations and more are needed to strengthen the program. If you are interested in becoming an educational volunteer, please call Volunteer Coordinator David Moody at 850-925-6121 or email

Last Updated: Sep 07, 2015
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