Located in the heart of urbanized Seminole County, the Center is auspiciously nestled within Soldier’s Creek Park where educational opportunities have been provided to thousands of students since 1977. Within this nature sanctuary, trails meander through a variety of habitats that form the St. Johns River watershed and Spring Hammock Preserve.
Programs offered at the Center, structured as school-day field trips, serve as models in K-12 education which aim to increase habitat knowledge, create an awareness of the fragility of the environment, increase understanding of the community’s need for healthy lands, and engender feelings of protectiveness and stewardship across the community. While addressing environmental education, these programs reinforce scientific learning through hands-on, inquiry-based exploration. The outdoor learning laboratory offers a unique educational experience that allows students to encounter five of eight environmental habitats that form a complete representation of the role human life plays in the larger environment.
In a single trip students can simultaneously see habitat inter-connectedness and the uniqueness of each. The outdoor component is preceded by an introductory session in the Center’s Natural History Museum where students delight in holding a snake, seeing an alligator and meeting Otus the Eastern Screech Owl.
These experiences are aimed at third and fifth grade students. Third grade students participate in a one-day program of awareness and introductory investigations. In the fifth grade program, students explore a variety of dry and wet habitats over two days. The wet day has been fondly known for decades as the Mud Walk and is a highly anticipated field trip among students, parents, chaperones, and volunteers.
Friends Of The Environmental Studies Center
For more information about the program and volunteer opportunities, visit the Friends of the Environmental Studies Center.
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