Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge provides a unique experience for youth of all ages to learn about wildlife in their natural habitat throughout the year. Its close proximity to the Denver metro area makes it an ideal destination for hands-on outdoor learning.

Curriculum-based Field Trips

Take your students on a field trip to a National Wildlife Refuge to view and learn about the wildlife and habitat anytime of the year. Each field trip is grade specific and correlated to Colorado Model Content Standards.

Teacher-led field trips to the Refuge are typically self-guided. The Refuge requires a ratio of 1 adult to every 10 students. There are outdoor lunch facilities available for use. For availability and scheduling, contact the Urban Park 

Ranger at 303-729-2252. 

Depending on selected dates, rangers may be available to lead a refuge introduction. Due to the high demand of our free field trip visits and limited space, all educators and group leaders are required to schedule their group's trip in advance with the Urban Park Ranger. Scheduling is available the following time: 

  • Fall, Winter and Spring: Wednesday through Friday from 9:00 am - 3:00 pm, September through May
  • Summer Camps and Groups: Wednesday through Friday from 9:00 am - 3:00 pm, June through August

K-1 Teacher-Led Guide

After completing this guide, students will be able to:

  • Identify elements of nature found on the Refuge by completing a scavenger hunt.
  • Illustrate an imaginary animal with physical adaptations (body parts) to help it survive
  • Select what plants and animals need to live and grow
  • Label the offspring of species found on the Refuge
  • Distinguish and label a picture of a bison after connecting the dots of a bison image

K-1 Teacher-Led Trail Hike 

After completing this guided hike, students will be able to:

  • Illustrate elements of nature that they see, hear, smell, and touch
  • Record Refuge flora and fauna observed on your hike
  • Analyze and distinguish wildlife signs such as tracks and scat along the trail
  • Compare what plants and animals need to grow
  • Create and design their own imaginary animal

Grades 2-3 Teacher-Led Guide

After Completing this guide, students will be able to:

  • Identify how living in groups helps prairie dogs obtain food, defend themselves, and cope with changes
  • Distinguish how different organisms live in different places
  • Infer that different organisms vary in how they look and function because they have different traits that they develop
  • Label life cycles of butterflies and flowering plants

Grades 2-3 Teacher-Led Trail Hike

After completing this guide, students will be able to:

  • Translate using Spanish to describe how many and what color plants and animals live in the prairie
  • Describe and list adaptations that help black-footed ferrets avoid predators or catch prey, and why they are endangered
  • Investigate our garden and design a plan to help pollinators
  • Create a poem by writing nature phrases starting with each letter of the word PRAIRIE
  • Discuss and connect animals and plants they need, and help to survive

Grades 4-5 Teacher-Led Guide

After completing this guide, students will be able to:

  • Recognize that societal activities have had major effects on land, ocean, atmosphere, and even outer space
  • Compare how living things have similar characteristics, but also differences that can be described and classified
  • Recognize interaction and interdependence between and among living and nonliving components of ecosystems
  • Use artistic media and expression to communicate person and objective points of view

Grades 4-5 Teacher-Led Trail Hike

After completing this guide, students will be able to:

  • Record the weather and explain how the weather can affect what plants and animals you may see
  • Distinguish which birds are here during different seasons
  • Practice translating aquatic terms to English or Spanish with a friend
  • Construct food chains in English or Spanish
  • Observe, identify, and draw plants observed along the trail
  • Draw or describe the sounds they hear and estimate where they are coming from
  • Describe and draw what a wild animal is doing

Grades 6-7 Teacher-Led Guide

After completing this guide, students will be able to:

  • Relate how changes in environmental conditions can affect the survival of individual organisms, populations, and entire species
  • Show how Earth's natural resources provide the foundation for human society's physical needs
  • Give examples how individual organisms with certain traits are more likely than others to survive and have offspring in a specific environment
  • Analyze the relationship between structure structure
    Something temporarily or permanently constructed, built, or placed; and constructed of natural or manufactured parts including, but not limited to, a building, shed, cabin, porch, bridge, walkway, stair steps, sign, landing, platform, dock, rack, fence, telecommunication device, antennae, fish cleaning table, satellite dish/mount, or well head.

    Learn more about structure
    and function in living systems at a variety of organizational levels, and recognize how living systems depend on natural selection