Putting the Field in Field Trip
In addition to serving Apple Ridge campers, The Environmental Education Center offers Science and Nature field trips to over 40 paying schools throughout the SW Virginia region. Field studies investigate the ecology of our biological communities and the wildlife habitats found at Apple Ridge Farm. Since its inception in November of 1995, over 30,000 students from 51 schools have attended the center located on the Copper Hill camp location. See below for our field study activities.
Aquatic Ecology (K-12)
Through this general overview we will collect a wide diversity of aquatic animals – like macroscopic invertebrates, salamanders, tadpoles, and fish – from our pond and/or stream. We will study life cycles, adaptations, camouflage, habitat, movement, growth, food webs and more.
Forest Ecology (K-12)
In this general overview students will discover first hand about the habitats and communities of the forest. We cover a wide variety of concepts appropriate for the grade level including: producers, consumers, decomposers, predator-prey relationships, food webs, life cycles, camouflage, and interdependency.
Audacious Adaptations (3-12)
This is an in-depth exploration of the behavioral and physical adaptations of plants and animals in both the woods and the water. We’ll play games to show the importance of adaptaions for survival and look at live animals as well as bones to see adaptations at work.
Skull Studies (3-12) (Field Trip or In-School)
Here we examine our extensive skull collection of native Appalachian animals. We learn how to decipher from the bones what each animal ate and if it was a prey or predator. By looking at the physical adaptations of skulls and other parts of the body we can discover many things about where and how an animal lived.
Conservation of Natural Resources (K-12)
(Field Trip or In-School)
Let’s explore the influence of human activity on ecosystems. We will learn the differences in renewable and nonrenewable resources and about the management of these resources. Through interactive activities we’ll explore how to conserve and protect our precious natural resources.
Wondrous Watersheds (3-12)
Life would not exist without water. Let’s study the water cycle and how it connects all life on this planet. We’ll look at our local watershed, what threatens it and how we can protect it. We will also discover what critters live in our local aquatic habitats and how water pollution affects them.
Power Plants! (4-8)
Study the only organisms on Earth that can make their own food! Learn about the characteristics, adaptations, life cycles, and importance of plants in the wild and in our own lives.