Featuring stunning beauty and unique habitats, Turkey Creek Nature Preserve offers a wide range of educational programs that stimulate students’ minds and invigorate their senses. For participants, the opportunity for discovery is virtually limitless within Turkey Creek Nature Preserve’s 466-acres.
Every year we host thousands of students from all over the region in a wide range of studies in science, history, social sciences, and outdoor pursuits. We work very closely with educators to cater our programs to best fit their classroom curriculum, while meeting STEM and Alabama College and Career Ready Standards.
- $10 per participant per program (minimum charge of $150).
- We prefer a maximum class size of 40 participants, however, if your group is larger we can make accommodations by either additional charges or splitting up your group. Please contact us to learn more.
- All fees are due the day of the class.
- Please provide a 48-hour notice prior to cancellation
- All programs cancelled with less than 48 hour notice or without rescheduling will be charged a $50 cancellation fee
- Programs are held rain or shine. During inclement weather, an engaging, hands-on program utilizing the Center’s extensive natural history collection and environmental education activities will be conducted indoors.
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The Life of a Creek: Stream Ecology Field Study
(Environmental Science, Biology, Life Science)
Turkey Creek is truly one of Alabama’s natural wonders. Home to three endangered fish, the creek also faces many hazards from pollution, sedimentation, and encroachment. Students will learn how macro-invertebrates found in the creek are long-term indicators regarding the “health” of Turkey Creek. Students will be involved in collecting macro-invertebrates and identifying each by order and sensitivity group. By analyzing the collected population, students will determine the creek’s richness and diversity, indicating the health of a creek.
(Life Science, Biology, Environmental Science, Zoology, Conservation)
Did you know that a single snake can consume over 20,000 mice in it’s lifetime? Or that a salamander can breath through it’s skin? Alabama is home to some of the most diverse Reptiles and Amphibians (also known as herpetofauna) in the world, however, due to misconceptions about this group, we are facing tragic worldwide declines in herpetofauna populations. Come and discover for yourself, how herpetologists are working to conserve our native “herps” and why they are such an important part of the world we live in. This program includes an introductory lesson to Herpetology and live animal demonstrations in our Nature Center.
Turkey Creek Water Quality Monitoring
(Geography, Life Science, Chemistry, Environmental Science)
Take a tour of the Turkey Creek watershed and discover why it is one of the most critically endangered waterways in the country. Students will gain insight into how scientist study watersheds, how they are affected by non-point source pollution, land-uses found in a watershed , and sustainable growth practices communities can employ. After gaining an understanding of how we assess the overall health of aquatic ecosystems, students will head into Turkey Creek to perform basic chemical testing in order to understand why temperature, pH, dissolved oxygen, alkalinity, hardness, and turbidity can affect the biotic components of a watershed.
Land Stewards 101
(Earth Science, Life Science, Environmental Science, Alabama History)
Students become field scientists for a day as they investigate. After learning some basic plant and tree identification skills, students draw and answer questions about a forest ecosystem. Students utilize measurement, identification, and observation skills as they assess a forest ecosystem at the Preserve. Students put their new found knowledge and respect into action by developing a restoration project such as seed collecting, invasive plant removal, or planting of native plants.
Earth Cache at the Creek: High-tech Exploration of Turkey Creek Nature Preserve
(Geography, History, Biology, Environmental Science)
Turkey Creek Nature Preserve is full of historical and natural wonders. Students will use GPS technology and maps to locate one of the Earth Cache boxes located in the preserve, which contain interesting information about the regarding Turkey Creek’s unique geology, history, animals, and plants.
Connecting Ecological Footprint to History: A Living History Program
(American History, Environmental Science)
For this course, students explore the environmental, economic, political, and cultural factors that shaped how people lived here during different time periods, and the economic, geographical, political, and cultural factors shaping their lives through:
• comparing the past and present and evaluating consequences of past events
• understanding how change happens
• understanding human modifications to the environment and the resulting environmental policy issues
• showing the connections between historical events and larger environmental, social, economic, and political trends
• understanding how changes in technology, political decisions, and other historical events shaped structural and natural systems and contributed to our current way of living
Additional Turkey Creek Activities
(Call for more details or to combine with another course)
Fly Fishing and Traditional Fishing Classes