A Prairie Science Class teacher leads her 4th graders on the trail to write haikus and sketch.

"The objective is to teach the student to see the land, to understand what he sees, and enjoy what he understands."  -- Aldo Leopold


The Fergus Falls Wetland Management District offers quality environmental education opportunities for students and teachers through the Prairie Wetlands Learning Center.   

  • Preschool through 5th grade class visits at the Prairie Wetlands Learning Center with outdoor, seasonal curriculum (21 lessons) supporting Minnesota academic standards in science and language arts.  

    • Most lessons are structured as inquiry-based scientific investigations using the outdoors as our classroom.  Some are mini-lessons.  

    • We also offer visits for 6th-12th grades, home school families, as well as residential experiences for 5th grade and older.  View a detailed listing.  

    • You may opt for self-guided visits if desired, using our equipment and materials or bringing your own.  Otherwise, visits are led by our education staff with a minimum of 10 students in attendance.  (If you arrive with fewer than 10 students, you may lead your own experience or cancel.)

  • The Prairie Science Class, an award-winning, internationally recognized partnership with Fergus Falls Public Schools.

  • The Compass to Nature, our innovative approach to using the outdoors as a classroom.

    • Thanks to our Prairie Science Class partnership, together we developed an innovative approach to teaching in the outdoor classroom.  We call it The Compass to Nature, and we want to share it with you!  

    • You can view and download The Compass to Nature booklet.

    • The Compass to Nature is free for anyone to use.  It works for children.  It works for adults.  It works anywhere, any time of year.  

    • Just as a navigational compass enables us to guide our way outside, the four points of the Compass to Nature provide unfailing direction for all who seek to lead others in the development of a connected, caring relationship with the world we live in.  The four cardinal Compass points are Place, Phenology, Naturalists, and Journals, unified by the magnetic Sense of Wonder.

  • Professional development opportunities for educators, such as workshops, webinars, and in-service training.

    • June 26-29, 2023, Teaching in the Outdoor Classroom Workshop.  Monday, 8:00 am - 4:30 pm, Tuesday and Wednesday, 9:00 am - 3:30 pm, and Thursday, 7:00 am - 11:00 am.  Acquire skills for teaching outside, anywhere, any time of year, any age.  Held concurrently with the Summer Explorers Biology Camp so you can observe professionals in action with children outside.  Receive a certificate for 23 hours of continuing education credits.  $40 cost.  Register will take place through the Friends of the Prairie Wetlands Learning Center starting in 2023, date to be announced.
  • A wealth of resources to enhance your class visits and to advance the fields of education and environmental education. 

    • These resources are gradually being added to our new web site.  

Contact us via email or call 218-998-4480 for more information.