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Environmental Education

Field Trip Curriculum
Program Options Guide

The Lutherlyn Environmental Education Program (LEEP) customizes each field trip.

The Program Options contain activities that are currently available and a brief description of each. All activities are hands-on. The duration of each activity is listed to facilitate scheduling. Grade levels are also listed, but activities are adapted for each particular grade level. For example, a 9th grade class learning about the forest will study it at a different level than a 4th grade class.

If you are interested in concepts that are not listed under these options, please contact the LEEP staff and we will work with you to design appropriate activities.

Please note: Each activity is followed by a listing of which Pennsylvania Department of Education Academic Standards the activity can be applied to. At this point, the activities have been cross-referenced to the academic standards for Environment & Ecology (4.x.x), History (8.x.x), Science & Technology (3.x.x), Mathematics (2.x.x) and Reading, Writing, Speaking & Listening (1.x.x). These standards are available from the Pennsylvania Department of Education on the Web at

Click on any category to see the detailed descriptions of each activity. ...or



  • Animal Tracking


    Bird Observation Hike

    Creating Habitats

    Habitat and Wildlife

    Insect Investigation

    Pond Study
    (see Water section)

    Predator/Prey Relationships

    Stream Investigation
    (see Water section)

  • Creative Expression

    Display and Discovery Room

    Grab Bag

    Journal Writing

    Sensory Exploration

  • Ecosystem Investigation

    Forest Comparison

    Marsh Investigation

    Healthy Forest

    Pond Study
    (see Water section)

    Stream Investigation
    (see Water section)

  • Geology Hike

    Soil Study

    Water Cycle
    (see Water section)

    Weather Study

  • Archaeology

    Early Settlers and the Venango Trail

    Frontier Life

    The Historic Semiconon Valley

    Life Skills of the Woodland Tribes

    Edible and Medicinal Plants
    (See description in Plants section)


    Nonverbal Communication


    Trapping and Tracking

  • Campfire


    Night Sounds Hike

    Night Sensory Hike

  • Compasses

    Group Building (Challenge Course)


    Survival Challenge

    Survival Skills

  • Edible and Medicinal Plants

    Tree Identification

    Tree Parts and Functions

    Maple Sugaring
    (See Special Programs section)


    The programs listed below are complete field trip experiences. The activities in each program are the same for each field trip. Although a portion of these programs may be integrated with the Programs Options listed previously, these are primarily stand-alone programs. These programs are seasonal in nature and can only be scheduled at certain times of the year. Please note the seasons specified in the information below.

    Duration: 5 hours – several days
    Grade Level: 4th - Adult

    In this ultimate hands-on field trip experience, students delve into the exciting world of archaeology and really "get their hands dirty". Students learn the basics of setting up an actual archaeological dig and how to carefully excavate a site. Western Pennsylvania history comes alive as students unearth artifacts, clean what they have found, and try to identify these clues to the past. The current dig site has been the site of human activity for hundreds of years. There is evidence of Native American, as well as pioneer, activity. In order to preserve the integrity of this archaeological site, group size may be limited. For an extended Archaeology experience, this may be done as a multi-day/overnight field trip. The seasons for this program are April-May and August – November.

    Maple Sugaring
    Duration: 3 ½ - 5 hours
    Grade Level: K -Adult

    This field trip experience allows students to learn about biology and an aspect of pioneer and Native American cultures. Maple Sugaring is a high interest, hands-on program divided into four separate activities. Students begin by learning about tree parts and their functions, learning where the sap comes from, and how the sugar got into the sap in the first place. In the second activity, students are taught the basics of winter tree identification. Following this identification lesson, students locate maple trees and measure their circumference to determine if the trees are "tappable." Groups of students then drill holes in the trees, tap in the spiles, and hang the buckets. The final activity involves collecting sap from many maple trees and taking it to the Sugar Shack, where a sugar maker is making maple syrup. The boiling process is demonstrated at the Sugar Shack and students get to taste the finished product. These four activities are interwoven with Native American stories and explorations of pioneer and Native American sugaring techniques. Older students delve deeper into tree physiology and the calculations of sap flow. For an additional fee, students may have a pancake and maple syrup lunch. The Maple Sugaring experience may also be done as an overnight field trip, giving the students more time to participate in the sugaring process. Maple Sugaring season runs from the beginning of February through the middle of March.

  • Creating Habitats
    (see Animals section)

    How Many Trees?

    Integrated Pest Management

    Re-Cycling/Completing the Loop

    Terra Dei Homestead Tour

    Trash Stash

    World Population Simulation

  • Abandoned Mine Seep

    Food Chain/Food Web

    Marsh Investigation(see Ecosystem section)

    Microscopic Life

    Pond Study

    Stream Flow Calculation

    Stream Investigation

    Water Cycle/Watersheds

    Water Quality Testing