Environmental Education Field Trips

Forsyth County Parks & Recreation is pleased to offer environmental education field trip programs for school groups. The programs are grade specific for K-5 and include hands-on learning opportunities that complement the Georgia Standards of Excellence.  Custom programs are also available for home school groups, scout groups, special needs groups and other types of groups. 








    Field Trip Descriptions

    Location: Sawnee Mountain Preserve Visitor Center, 4075 Spot Road

    The kindergarten field trip program is a two hour grade specific program. The program includes hands-on learning opportunities that complement the Georgia Standards of Excellence. Each field trip group will experience the following activity rotations:

    Animal and Plant Hike: Explore the similarities and differences in plants and animals while hiking through our beautiful forest. Students will use their senses to search for hidden animals and discover different plants. Participants will measure the size of different trees and consider how plants have parents and babies too.
    Nature Detectives: Be a scientific detective! Students will work in teams to follow mystery animal tracks and discover what left them behind. They will sleuth out how different types of living things can be similar even if they belong in different groups. Participants will test their ability to correctly match up babies with their parents in an interactive matching game.
    What’s Alive?: Discover the living and non-living components of soil. Students will dig in the dirt to investigate the components of soils and use their senses to sort different types of rocks. Students will observe how many living things are found in an area on a paved surface compared to an area around a tree. Classes learn what lives in a tree through a fun, lyrical story.
    Location: Sawnee Mountain Preserve Visitor Center, 4075 Spot Road

    The first grade field trip program is a two hour grade specific program. The program includes hands-on learning opportunities that complement the Georgia Standards of Excellence. Each field trip group will experience the following activity rotations:

    Animal Meet and Greet: Meet our live animals and learn about the major vertebrate groups. Participants will discuss the differences in appearance, diet, life cycle, and habitat between the 5 major types of vertebrates and learn what they all have in common. Students will also participate in a hands-on investigation of a common invertebrate, the earthworm.
    Plant Hike: Plants have specific needs just like animals. Students will discuss what a plant needs to survive and hike through our forest looking for the different parts of a plant.
    Habitat Hunt: Plants and animals live in places where their basic needs are met. Students will compare three different habitats and consider why different plants and animals live in each. Students will learn about the relationship that animals have with plants in a habitat while playing a fun game.
    Location: Caney Creek Preserve, 2755 Caney Road

    The second grade field trip program is a two hour grade specific program. The program includes hands-on learning opportunities that complement the Georgia Standards of Excellence. Each field trip group will experience the following activity rotations:

    Invertebrate Life Cycles: Students will observe and identify the different life cycles of invertebrates living in their own back yard. Classes that visit in the spring will sort through leaf packs that were submerged in Caney Creek and identify the organisms they find. In the fall classes will hunt for grasshoppers and other insects on the field and determine where their captured insects are in their life cycle.
    Cherokee Life: The Cherokee who once lived in North Georgia had lives very different from ours today. Students will learn more about how the Cherokee used their environment to meet their food and clothing needs and try their hand at blow dart hunting. Students will get a taste of Cherokee culture by participating in a bear dance.
    Plant Life Cycles: Learn about the life cycle of a plant and about the different methods plants use to disperse their seeds. Students will hike through the forest at Caney Creek Preserve identifying the stages in a tree life cycle while collecting seeds. Students will play an interactive game that explores the role that animals play in seed dispersal.
    Location: Sawnee Mountain Preserve Visitor Center, 4075 Spot Road

    The third grade field trip is a special themed two and a half hour program called The Bear Went over the Mountain.  The program includes hands-on learning opportunities that complement the Georgia Standards of Excellence.  Each field trip group will experience the following activity rotations:

    Ecology:
     Classes discuss what is needed in a black bear habitat and actively search for these components while hiking through our forest.  Your students will consider why black bears do not live on Sawnee Mountain and learn where they do live in Georgia. Classes will consider the impact of human development on bear habitat through an interactive story.  Your students will experience being a wildlife biologist while searching for traces of black bears and measuring black bear tracks.
    Geology: Get your hands dirty investigating the components of soil and considering how these components influence the plants and animals that live in a region.  Your students will have the opportunity to be a “bear” by foraging for food and observing how this behavior contributes to the soil. Classes examine real fossils and discuss how scientists use these clues to understand living organisms from the past.
    Biology: Your students will become experts on black bear biology while exploring interactive exhibits with black bear facts at their own pace.  Classes break into smaller scientific teams to analyze simulated bear scat from different seasons and take measurements from a bear cub after extracting it from its winter den.
    Location: Sawnee Mountain Preserve, 2500 Bettis-Tribble Gap Road

    The fourth grade field trip program is a two hour grade specific program.  The program includes hands-on learning opportunities that complement the Georgia Standards of Excellence.  Each field trip group will experience the following activity rotations:

    Indian Seats Hike: Sawnee Mountain has an interesting living history.  Students will hike to the Indian Seats overlook.  While on the trail, students will learn about the gold mining that occurred on the mountain and about the Cherokee who lived in the area before gold was discovered.  Students will also stop and consider the food chains present in the different layers of the forest along the way.
    Adaptations: Animals have adaptations to help them survive in their environment. Students will gather and analyze data in a collaborative team game that demonstrates how predators can influence prey adaptations.
    Food Chains: Creatures big and small fit into a food chain.  Students will hunt for bugs on the forest floor, try to identify their finds, and consider where they fit into the forest floor food chain.
    Location: Sawnee Mountain Preserve, 2500 Bettis-Tribble Gap Road

    The fifth grade field trip program is a two hour grade specific program.  The program includes hands-on learning opportunities that complement the Georgia Standards of Excellence.Join us for an active journey up to the Indian Seats overlook at Sawnee Mountain Preserve. As they hike students will consider the deconstruction processes that shape our mountain and specifically look for examples of how our trail system is affected by both natural processes and our human visitors.  Participants will be detectives looking for evidence of microorganisms in our forest and discuss if these organisms are filling a beneficial or detrimental role in our forest ecosystem.  Classes will discuss how the organisms in our forest are classified into different groups and consider how some of our native forest animals can harness the power of magnetism. 
    These customized two hour long programs are ideal for those who are looking for an enriching experience tailored specifically to their group’s needs. Perfect for adult groups, special needs classes, home school groups, scouting groups and more!

    Field Trip Request

    Contact Us

     Address:

    P.O. Box 2417
    Cumming, GA 30028
     Phone: 770-781-2215
     Fax: 770-781-2221
     Email: Contact Us

    Our Mission

    The mission of Forsyth County Parks and Recreation is to enhance the quality of life for all citizens of Forsyth County by providing passive and active recreational, educational and cultural programming services and to provide parks and recreational facilities that are safe, accessible and aesthetically pleasing to the entire community.