Environmental Education

The OEC has access to some of the most beautiful and unique wilderness spots in the region. This pristine and fragile environment demands constant care and attention. We are committed to aiding participants in understanding their relationship to both the natural world and the human environment within it.

FLOC offers an array of activities and lessons that engage students in exploring our 350+ acres in our beautiful forest near the Appalachian Trail Designed to take advantage of the various unique attributes, our curriculum includes 5 separate streams, lakes and ponds, a pollinator garden, a gorgeous view at crescent rock, woodland shelters, and a cookout over an open fire, just to name a few!

We supply the resources your students will need to investigate, explore, and develop a sense of wonder. The lesson plans and materials will help teachers navigate through Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and the Common Core State Standards (CCSS).

In addition to lessons and resources available to teachers, we employ environmentalist to further explore the trees, animals, soil and water.

FLOC Outdoor Education Centers Curriculum

Wetland Ecology

This hands-on unit will leave students with a sense of appreciation for the delicate balance of wetland environments. An OEC environmentalist will lead your group to a nearby water source, where your students will have the opportunity to test water quality and health of the overall ecosystem by evaluating characteristics such as biodiversity, pH and dissolved oxygen levels.

The OEC has a wide array of lesson plans that teachers can utilize to discuss such issues as the riparian area, life cycle of animals found in the water and the importance that the fragile ecosystems play in our environment.

We are constantly updating and creating new lesson plans to meet the needs of our schools and meet the state curriculum.

Wildlife & Forest Ecology

Plant ID

The OEC has an abundance of plants to identify. As students walk through miles of trails, they ID plants along the way. In addition, we have many hands on activities, such as plant dramas, plant ID trail, and the unnatural trail to teach students the dangers of human waste and the impacts it has on the natural environment.

Forest Ecosystem

With 350 acres of land and over 20 miles of trail, FLOC has a robust lesson plan designed to teach students how to identify trees, plants and forage for food. Under the supervision of a trained naturalist FLOC staff help students to realize the vital importance of the forest and trees in our daily lives. With a wide array of lesson plans, FLOC can incorporate games, art and music into a fun lesson plan geared to the needs of the students.

Pollinator Garden

Thanks in large part to several grants through Chesapeake Bay Trust, Feed a Bee Project, Monarch Alliance a

nd generous gifts from our Board of Directors, FLOC opened our pollinator garden to over 1,000 visitors during the summer of 2018. The garden features a small pond, sitting area, many species of flowers and a Monarch

Waystation. Students get to explore the garden with a master gardener. They learn about the migratory path of the Monarch Butterfly, identify various species of plants and learn about bees and other pollinators.

Wildlife Ecology

The unit will introduce students to the diversity of animals and insects that are native to our local environment through hands-on activities and hikes throughout the OEC property. This is a fun, unique and creative curriculum that focuses on habitat identification, animal tracking, and even scat classification.

Animal Adaptation

This hands on unit teaches students the importance of the life cycle through a game called predator and prey. Students will also learn about carnivores, herbivores and omnivores, and how each play a vital role in keeping animal population controlled so that more wildlife can thrive. Students get to identify animal skulls, foot prints and learn about natural habitat for native animals at the OEC.

Honey Bee Exploration 

Thanks in large part to a grant received through The Whole Kids Foundation and Feed a Bee Project, we have started offering an opportunity to explore Honey Bees through an observational hive and 5 separate outdoor hives. This unit allows students to see the inner workings of a bee hive. They learn the importance of bees to our ecosystem and how we can protect these vulnerable and valuable species.

Survival

Students get the chance to make their own survival kit, learn how to make primitive fires, and make shelters using fallen branches. These activities help understand how humans use to live off the land and help students understand how they are capable of surviving like their ancestors.

Additional Information

Please download our brochure or booklet explaining in more detail our Environmental Education units.

If you would like to discuss the curriculum, arrange a meeting, a presentation or to discuss fundraising ideas for your students please contact David Hartness at dhartness@floc.org.

If you do not see a program like the one you have in mind, please let us know. We have an array of prepared educational programs and can tailor them to your group’s needs. Please contact us today to find out how.