Homeschool First Fridays

an adventure in learning

2023 First Friday Schedule

UPDATE: 2024 schedule coming soon.

First Fridays are a free learning experience for local learners, ages 6-12, who do not attend traditional schools. Lessons begin at 10 am and generally last 90 to 120 minutes. Activities are designed to be engaging, hands-dirty, and mostly outdoors. First Fridays will take place except in severe weather conditions.

Spots are limited. Participants must register in advance by emailing Chanté at Please include:

  • Guardian’s name
  • Children’s names & ages
  • Participant accommodations 
  • Program(s) you want to attend
  • Phone number
  • Email


FULL – Friday, March 3 – Paint a Wetland

What are the ingredients to make a wetland? Participants will create their own wetland incorporating a wetland’s important components. The art program consists of a shortened guided tour of the Boardwalk Trail and dedicated time to create wetlands art on canvas. Participants are given the option to write a poem or story to accompany their art piece. Participants will be given brushes, sponges, paint, and other materials to put on canvas what they experienced or learned.  

FULL – Friday, April 7 – Wetland in Bloom

Spring is on the way! This program explores the role of wetlands and watersheds in the environment and how the appearance of the wetland changes due to the seasons. Participants will join conservation staff on a guided exploration of the Boardwalk Trail with identification guides. Afterwards, participants will map the wetlands center and outline the different habitat types present from the tour.

FULL – Friday, May 5 – Bird’s Eye View

Participants will be introduced to birding through a quick lesson on how to use the provided binoculars. On a guided walk down Boardwalk Trail, participants will look and listen for local or migrating birds. With many migratory birds resting in the wetlands, participants will complete Flying Wild’s “Great Migration Challenge” to discover the many threats migratory birds experience. The discussion will focus on the roles birds play within the ecosystem as well as the positive and negative impact of human actions on birds. 


FULL – Friday, September 1 – Animal Signs Scavenger Hunt

There are various animal signs scientists can use to identify species that live in the wetland ecosystem, including animal tracks, finding fur, tree marking, and locating scat! When we find these signs, scientists can learn more about the diversity of the wildlife present in the area. Through a scavenger hunt with conservation staff, participants will be able to identify various wetland wildlife based on their signs and infer the adaptations that help them survive in the wetlands.

FULL – Friday, October 6 – Leaf Pack Exploration  

Leaf packs are clumps of leaf litter found in streams and ponds that provide habitat for aquatic insects. Conservation staff will submerge man-made leaf packs in the wetland in advance to give aquatic insects time to find and inhabit them. Participants will remove them from the water and look for aquatic creatures, keeping a count of each species. Aquatic insects are used by biologists as bioindicators to determine water quality, incorporating basic math and reasoning skills. Discussions focus on water quality, water conservation, and aquatic ecosystems.

FULL – Friday, November 3 – Bio Blitz! 

A BioBlitz is an event that focuses on finding, identifying, and recording living
organisms in a specific area over a short period of time. Participants will learn
techniques for observing and collecting plant and animal data to give a
snapshot of the biodiversity of the wetlands center. At the end of the program,
participants will have a report of the most common species & taxa in the
wetlands center and their data can serve as a baseline to compare with future
data sets. Discussions focus on biodiversity, life cycles, and community science.

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