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Lake Ecology

LakeEcologyGrades 6–12
Illinois Science Standards »

Students take on the role of Limnologists and study abiotic and biotic factors to determine water quality. Paddle our 34-foot canoe and use specialized tools to collect water samples and do chemical tests. Study watersheds and their impact on water quality while taking a one-mile walk around the lake. Students use the information gathered to formulate a solution to a lake water quality issue. Collect, identify and categorize the animal life in the lake to form a complete picture of overall water quality.

Forest Preserve education staff realize the excitement and anticipation students and teachers feel when joining us for a floating classroom program, but there are circumstances when it is unsafe to include the canoe portion of the program. In the event that canoe use is not possible, staff is prepared with additional activities to present a complete education program.

Waiver and Release forms are required for all students attending this program. Download the waiver »


Floating classroom programs are primarily held at Independence Grove in Libertyville, but are also offered on Sterling Lake at Van Patten Woods in Wadsworth on May 6, 7, 9, and 10, 2019. This program is typically offered September–early October, and late April–May.


$218 ($290 nonresident) 4.5 hours, 45 students, 6 adults/group max

New This Year

If the full 4.5 hour program is not the right fit for your group, contact our staff at 847-968-3321 to discuss a customized, shortened Lake Ecology field trip to meet your specific curriculum needs and time constraints. 


Reservations are taken by phone at 847-968-3321. Make reservations now—plan early to help ensure you get a schedule that meets your needs. Learn more »