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Educational Resources


Broaden your horizons—teacher workshops, program previews, in-service training and other adult education opportunities are available for a variety of subjects. These unique learning opportunities address both Illinois State Learning Standards and Teacher Performance Standards. Check our calendar for upcoming programs.

Field Trips

Teachers know the value of a good excursion. School field trips give students the opportunity for authentic experiences—getting children out of the classroom and into the world to learn, discover and apply what they know. We bring both nature and history alive year-round with award winning programs and facilities. Our professional educators work hard to make every field trip a rich experience. Spaces fill up fast! Learn more »


Grants are available to help defray the cost of our programs. Our Gateways Grant program helps to defray the cost of these programs for Lake County public schools with limited financial resources, providing a program fee waiver and partial bus transportation reimbursement. In addition, numerous outside organizations provide grants that can be applied to our programs. Learn more »

Lake Education Assistance Program

This Illinois Environmental Protection Agency program provides funding of up to $500 for school and other nonprofit organization participation in lake or watershed related educational field trips, equipment and activities. Learn more »

Target Field Trip Grants

Each year, Target awards 5,000 grants of up to $800 each for field trips. Learn more »

Illinois Biodiversity Field Trip Grants

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources awards grants yearly to schools to assist students in visiting natural resources sites to learn about nature and conservation. Learn more »

Educator Loan Boxes

Check out an educator loan box and bring a fresh, interactive science lesson to the classroom. Each loan box comes complete with hands-on group learning activities, educational items, and reference materials. Illinois Science Standards are supported, making it easy to incorporate each box into an educator’s curriculum.

Five different themes are available: Birds, Mammals, Insects, Ecosystems, and Plants, Seeds and Trees. As a bonus, the first 10 teachers who reserve any of our loan boxes in 2020 will receive a complimentary bird feeder for their classroom, donated by the Panacea Products Corporation. Learn more »

With a two-week loan period, teachers and students have ample time to explore and repeat activities in each loan box. Activities are geared toward K–5 classrooms, but some items may be helpful to older classrooms. Loan boxes are available to classroom teachers and nonformal educators.


Rental fee: $20 residents/$40 nonresidents

Damage deposit: $25

Late return fee: $10/day

Call 847-968-3321 to book a box. Pick-up and return are available at Ryerson Woods in Riverwoods, or at our General Offices in Libertyville.

Science Explorers in Nature

Science Explorers in Nature inspires middle school students from underserved communities to embrace science and advanced education opportunities. Each year, 36 students participate in this free four-week program. Students conduct hands-on scientific experiments, explore Lake County’s biodiversity and participate in team learning activities. Learn more »

Leave No Child Inside

This Chicago Wilderness initiative aims to connect kids with nature and the outdoors. Learn more »

Fort Sheridan | Middle School Curriculum

Fort Sheridan's rich military history and unique natural resources provide an ideal backdrop for studying topics relevant in today's social studies, science and language arts classrooms. You can download lesson plans and supporting photo cards below, or request a complete educator's kit, available for free to instructors of middle school-level students. Call 847-968-3321 or email us for details.

Teacher Professional Development

Our educators offer a Teacher Open House in the fall and trainings throughout the year. Learn about programs and educational resources for your class, and take part in teacher training sessions with our education staff. Up to two Teaching Training Hours available. Check our calendar for open house date or subscribe to our "Education Programs" email list for updates.

Documents and Forms

Follow the links below to download release and grant forms, and pre and post program activities. 

Waiver/Release Forms

Environmental Education Resources

Museum Education Resource



Virtual Program Animal Habitats Badge

May 31, 2020 (10:00 AM - 10:45 AM)
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Event's details
Time:10:00 AM - 10:45 AM

Visit a forest preserve virtually and visit with five of the education animals that call Lake County home. We will learn about where they can be found, what covers their body and how it fits into the food chain. Then we will learn about an endangered habitat and what we can do to help it out.

Virtual Program Fur, Feathers and Ferns

May 31, 2020 (11:15 AM - 11:45 AM)
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Event's details
Time:11:15 AM - 11:45 AM

Visit a forest preserve virtually and learn about the site and habitat of the area. Then we will talk about one animal that has become extinct and see one animal that is currently endangered.

Virtual Program Hiker Badge

May 31, 2020 (12:15 PM - 12:45 PM)
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Event's details
Time:12:15 PM - 12:45 PM

Visit a forest preserve virtually and learn how to read a trail map and choose a route that works for your group. We will also discuss how to pick the right gear for your hike and see an animal common to Lake County.

Virtual Program Earth Rocks

May 31, 2020 (01:15 PM - 01:45 PM)
Learn more »
Event's details
Time:01:15 PM - 01:45 PM

Visit a forest preserve virtually and learn what geology is and why it is important. Then join me as we identify five rocks commonly found in Lake County.
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    Lake County Nature Blog

    Connect with seasonal nature observations on our Nature Blog »

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    Lake County Nature Cam

    See into the lives of local wildlife with the Nature Cam.

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