A field trip to Glacier National Park is often the highlight of a child’s school year. Each year, the demand for park field trips increases, and in 2016, there was a waiting list for schools to attend, especially on the east side of the park.
Curriculum covers a wide range of subjects from animals and their habitat for first- and second- graders, to forest processes and fire ecology for third- through fifth-graders. Middle and high school students can hike to Avalanche Lake or John’s Lake to learn about geology or help the park to collect and study data on “Plant Invaders” along Lower McDonald Creek. In winter, students learn about the role snow plays in our watershed. These programs directly engage students in learning about Glacier National Park and provide memories that last well into adulthood.
Glacier education field trips also provide internship opportunities for students interested in environmental education careers with the National Park Service. This project supports four interns who receive a weekly stipend, housing, uniforms and provides crucial on-the-job training for their degree requirements.
Funding for this program is used for staffing, materials and supplies, including making all curriculum materials available on the park’s website.