Our Traveling Learning Labs

Can’t bring your group to Mohonk Preserve?  Have the Preserve programming come to you!  

Bring the wonders of nature to your location through Mohonk Preserves engaging environmental education outreach programs. All programs are led by professional educators and are aligned to Common Core, NYS Learning and Next Generation Science Standards and can be tailored to your audiences needs. Whether you’re a scout group, community center, school, or library, we have education programming for you! 

Mohonk Preserve Outreach programming is a great choice for school and community groups looking for nature‐oriented, hands‐on programs in the Hudson Valley area. From Pre‐K to adult, we tailor each program to suit your needs, providing diverse learning and outdoor opportunities for all ages, needs, and backgrounds.  

We book a variety of outreach programs for: 

  • Schools 
  • Libraries 
  • Daycares 
  • Community centers  
  • Scout groups 

And more!  

Photo by Violet Avenue Elementary Staff

Program Descriptions

60-Minute Programs

Hands-On Archaeology

60-Minute Outreach Program
Would your students enjoy handling authentic native tools … seeing an array of arrowheads with new eyes … exploring how stone, clay, and bone were used to do everyday jobs thousands of years ago … and never again looking at the ground in the same way? Then bring the excitement of archaeological discovery into your school with this unique opportunity! This program brings artifacts from the Hudson Valley region into your classroom where students touch, investigate, and discover experientially.

Dynamic, small group activities enhance student learning through engagement with the materials of daily Iroquois and Algonquin life, including the chronology of projectile points, identification of tools and their function, reconstruction of artifacts, and an introduction to pestles, awls, hammerstones, spear points, pottery, and more.

Photo by Ashawna Abbott
Creates Alive!

60-Minute Outreach Program
Through a hands-on investigation with local aquatic life, students interact with, identify, classify, and observe how these creatures live and interact in their underwater environment. Students investigate the concept of niche as they meet aquatic insects, mollusks, amphipods, annelids, zooplankton and their predators as they explore how clean water plays a vital role in our environment and in our health.

Three student look at a pond creature inside a specimen jar
Photo by Linda Moriarty
Insect Investigation

60-Minute Outreach Program
Dive into the fascinating world of insects. Participants will have the chance to get up close and personal with various insects, from pollinators to predators. They’ll explore the diverse roles insects play in our ecosystems and explore various methods of insect collection outside, meeting their local creatures! Participants will also create seedballs to take home, contributing to the restoration of local pollinator habitats.

Photo by Susan Lehrer
Animal Classification: Mammals, Birds, Reptiles, Insects and Amphibians

60-Minute Outreach Program
Our planet is home to amazing creatures! Spend an hour learning about some of the creatures that call New York home. Students will learn about the differences between mammals, birds, reptiles, insects and amphibians. This interactive lesson will incorporate animal artifacts, and live animals. Program is suitable for students in grades K through 3.

Photo by Jeffrey D. Haines
The Hidden World of Seeds

60-Minute Outreach Program
Seeds come in all different shapes and sizes, but they all serve the same purpose. Inside those packages are new plants waiting to grow! Learn what seeds need to grow, how the seed protects the plant inside, and how they travel and disperse.

Photo by Lauren Borer
The Incredible Carbon Journey

60-Minute Outreach Program
Through a hands-on experience, participants collect beads representing their carbon molecules as they traverse the biosphere, lithosphere, atmosphere, and hydrosphere. Along the way, they discover where carbon gets stuck and gain insights into how human activities have impacted this essential cycle. This interactive program not only educates on the intricacies of the carbon journey but also fosters a deeper understanding of our environmental responsibilities.

Photo by Lauren Borer

Two-Week Outreach Programs

Ideal for school settings, our two-week programs provide you with resources and curriculum guides to incorporate environmental education into your classroom. Each program includes two visits from a Mohonk Preserve educator to kickstart and conclude your experience.

Photo by Marlboro Elementary Staff
Pond Keepers

Two-Week Outreach Program
Bring the wonder of a pond into your classroom with the Pond Keepers program. Students will learn how a variety of creatures adapt to life in a pond during this in-depth study. A Preserve educator will set up an aquarium, stocked with local pond life, that will stay in your classroom for two weeks.

The Preserve provides:

  • Teacher training prior to the program;
  • Two classroom visits from a Preserve educator to introduce and wrap up the program; A curriculum packed with activities;
  • A digital camera to create projects that record what the students have learned and observed;
  • A pond habitat poster, creature flash cards, and other resource materials.
Photo by Education Staff
Photo by Marlboro Elementary Staff
Hudson Valley Climate and Species Change

Two-Week Outreach Program
Actively engage your students as they apply STEM skills to the study of climate and species changes on a local level. With a focus on observable, measurable data and with more than 100 years of weather data from the Mohonk Preserve’s Daniel Smiley Research Center, students graph and conduct a trend analysis of long- and short-term data, study a tree’s record of climate, and research indicator species. By comparing historic and current weather and species observation records, students develop an understanding of our changing local and global climate and what steps can be taken to reduce or reverse those impacts.

Students will be introduced to the weather data collection at the Daniel Smiley Research Center through videos. Then through interactive activities and instructional videos students will explore phenology, collect local weather data, analyze Mohonk Lake ice data, and conduct research on a local indicator species.

The Preserve provides:

  • Teacher training prior to the program;
  • Two classroom visits from a Preserve educator to introduce and wrap up the program;
  • A curriculum packed with activities; program gear for all curriculum activities
Photo by Jane Vecchione
Hudson Valley Climate Change Graph


One Hour Programs:
Hands-on Archaeology, Insect Investigation, Animal Classification: Mammals, Birds, Reptiles, Insects and Amphibians, Creatures Alive!, The Hidden World of Seeds, The Incredible Carbon Journey 

  • $150 for first class
  • $80 for each additional class on the same day in the same school

Two-Week Extended Programs:
Pond Keepers and Hudson Valley Climate and Species Change

  • $225 per class
  • $245 per class for Pond Keepers

To request scholarship assistance contact Ashawna Abbott, Education Outreach Coordinator, at aabbott@mohonkpreserve.org.

Please note: A $50 surcharge will be added for schools within our service area that are beyond a 20-mile radius from Mohonk Preserve.

Accessibility & Student Accommodations

The Preserve’s award-winning NatureAccess® program provides universally designed lessons wherever possible. Our experienced education staff has expertise in pre-K – 18 education, special education and outdoor education and is adept at meeting a broad range of needs and learning styles. Programs are universally designed wherever possible.

Scheduling a Program

Outreach programs are offered on weekdays only. Scheduling operates on a first-come, first-served basis. For more scheduling and scholarship information, please contact Ashawna Abbott, Education Outreach Coordinator at aabbott@mohonkpreserve.org.

Support Environmental Education on the Ridge!

  • Become a member today. Strengthen your commitment to nature in our community.
  • Attend a Public Program. Our diverse programs and events offer something for everyone.
  • Volunteer your time and energy as a volunteer educator, interpretive guide or trailhead ambassador.
  • Donate. With your help we can provide quality outdoor education for people of all ages and abilities.

Banner photo provided by education staff