For Teachers


Naturalist led program

More than 10,000 people attend educational and recreational programs sponsored by the BCCB each year. Scheduled programs are offered to a variety of groups, including schools, civic clubs, and youth groups. The Fontana Interpretive Nature Center is the main facility for the environmental education program, but our interpretive naturalists may also travel to you or other parks within the county.

To schedule a program for your group contact Sondra or Angie at 319-636-2617 or e-mail them at fontanapark@iowatelecom.net. Before you call or e-mail, please have the following information ready:

  • First and second (possibly third) selections for program dates
  • Name or description of program(s) you would like to schedule:
  • Number of groups you will be scheduling for (groups size is class size or smaller):
  • Number of people per group:
  • Arrival and departure times for your group (be sure and check with the bus garage) or a schedule of specials, recess, and lunch if the programs are to be presented at your site:
  • Plans for lunch - will you be eating here or returning to school; how long is your lunch; what is your normal lunch time?
  • After scheduling a visit, we will send you a confirmation that includes all the details discussed.

We work for you! As always we are willing to schedule programs on any topic that is needed. Please use this list as a guide and not as a complete list of offerings:

BUG OFF: 1 to 2 hours
1st & up--Science, (Art)
Over half the animals on Earth are insects. Learn about insects, where and how they live, and why they are so important to us.

*Bats R Us: 45 to 90 min.
K & up--Science, English, Math
Students will discover the amazing adaptations of bats through hands-on activities, and learn what they can do to protect these important creatures.

OUTDOOR GENERAL STORE: 1 to 3 hours
2nd & up--Social Studies and Science
Find out how Native Americans and pioneers used many of the plants and animals of the woods, wetlands, and prairies to eat, dress, and make things from soap to rope. Try your hand at some outdoor skills.

*WATER, WATER EVERYWHERE: 1 to 2 hours
2nd & up--Science, Social Studies, and Math
Although three quarters of the Earth’s surface is covered with water, we have made much of it unusable. Games and activities force children to make choices and help them visualize the consequences.

*TREES ARE TERRIFIC: 1 to 2 hours
2nd & up--Science, Math, and Social Studies
How do individual trees grow, adapt, and reproduce. We will look at tree parts and adaptations and see the story told through tree rings.

*MEASURING MOTHER NATURE: 45 to 90 min
2nd & up--Math and Science
How tall is that tree? How do the antlers of deer determine records? How many bears can live it that forest? How steep is that hill? Math skills applied to real life situations. Activities vary by skill level.

CREATURES FROM THE LAKE: 1-2 hours
CREEK CRITTERS: 45 min to 1.5 hours
4th & up--Science, Math, and Social Studies
The habitats in the creek and lake are much different that on land. How are aquatic plants and animals suited to life in the water and how do they influence one another? (Old shoes recommended).

*HERE TODAY, GONE TOMORROW: 1 to 2 hours
4th & up--Science, Social Studies, English, and Math
Extinction is a natural process, so what’s the big deal with endangered species? Why are species in trouble? Can and should we do anything to help them?

DIGGING INTO DIRT: 1.25 to 2 hours
4th & up--Science, Math, and Social Studies
Soil is more than just dirt. How is it made? What is in it? Why and how should we protect it?

Nutrition Naturally: 45 to 90 min.
3rd & up--Health, science, and math
Students will explore the fat, protein, and fiber needs of several native animals, and then use these clues to determine the identities of several "mystery" animals.

ORIENTEERING: 1 to 3 hours
5th & up--Math, and Science
Learn the parts of the compass and how to use one. Create shapes with simple math skills. More advanced classes follow a course.

SURVIVAL: 1.5 to 3 hours
5th & up--Science, Social Studies, and Health
Basic survival skills and rules will be taught. Mental preparedness, making shelters and fires, survival kits, and finding safe food and water will be taught through participation.

*POPULATION: WHAT’S IT ADD UP TO?: 1 to 2 hrs
5th & up--Science, Social Studies, and Math
Spaceship Earth now has more than 6 billion people on it. Is there a limit to how many more will fit? Explore why population is at the heart of many social and science concerns.

NATURE AT NIGHT: 1 to 3 hours
5th & up--Science, Math, and Language Arts
Extend the learning experience to the nighttime hours. Focus can be on nocturnal animals, astronomy, or sensory activities. Parents are welcome as well.

*SNAKES ALIVE: .5 to 1.5 hours
All ages--Science
Learning more about these often hated reptiles can remove some untruths and fears. Discover the role of the snake and the unique way it lives. (May include live animals).

*BIRDS OF A FEATHER: 1 to 3 hours
All ages--Science, (Art)
Look at what makes a bird. Beaks, wings, feet and other features help identify birds and determine their lifestyle. (May include live animals).

*WHO’S HUNTING WHOM?: 45 min to 2 hours
All ages--Science and Math
Whether as large as a whale or as small as an ant, find out how predators are adapted for surviving. Food web and pyramid concepts included. (May include live animals).

*REDUCE, REUSE, RECYCLE: 45 min to 2 hours
All ages--Science, Social Studies, and Math
Learn about ways we can protect and conserve our resources by making changes at the store, home, work, and school. “Shop” ecologically, recycle paper, or check out a “garbage pizza.”

*EARTH FRIENDLY CRAFT: 30 min to 2 hours
All ages --Art, Science, and Social Studies
Make crafts using natural and “throw away” items. Birdfeeders, recycled paper, mobiles, T-shirts and more.

CONSERVATION PROJECT: 1 to ?? Hours
All ages--Various projects are available for individuals and groups throughout the year. Projects include habitat improvement, garden work, wildlife inventories, and others. All projects include program introduction.


FOR YOUNGER STUDENTS

MEMORY SCAVENGER HUNT: 45 min
Pre-K: 1st--Observation, classification, sensory skills: Helping youngsters become more aware of the unique area in which they walk, we have them look for 6-10 items they are presented at the beginning of the walk. What these things are and why they are important completes the walk. Schedule Now!

“SENSE”-ATIONAL HIKE: 30 to 60 min
Pre-K: 1st--Sensory skills, connections: Use all of your senses to become more fully connected with the area through which you walk. How would animals use these senses? Schedule Now!

ALPHABET HIKE: 45 min to 1 hr
K: 1st--Language Arts and Science
As we walk there are things all around us. The group tries to find things starting with as many letters as possible. Schedule Now!

ANIMAL REAL ESTATE: 45 to 90 min
1st: 3rd--Science and Math What do animals need in their home or habitat? Once we know what they need, we will explore the park for different places an animal could live. Detective skills will help us figure out why they live there. Schedule Now!

*PROGRAMS MARKED WITH AN ASTERISK CAN BE PRESENTED INDOORS