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The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission

Meadowside Nature Center – Group Programs

Meadowside Nature Center offers weekday programs for school groups, scouts, and other organized groups. *All group programs are available in Spanish upon request.

Discovering Wildlife

Exploring Habitats
Plants and animals need food, water, shelter, and space. Students will investigate the four elements of a good habitat. Find out how human beings affect and are affected by natural habitats. Learn what we can do to protect the homes of our wildlife neighbors. Explore several outdoor habitats and look for signs of the animals that live there.
Grade Level: Preschool – 2nd 

Meets the following NGSS Performance Expectations:

K: ESS3-1, LS1-1

1st Grade: LS1-1

2nd Grade: LS4-1

Adaptations and Energy Flow: It Came From Above (Birds of Prey)
What makes birds of prey such successful hunters? Learn about food webs and the adaptations of these magnificent predators. Discover what they teach us about the world they inhabit. Learn about their feeding habits through an owl pellet dissection activity.
Grade Level: 4th – 12th

Meets the following NGSS Performance Expectations:

3rd Grade: LS3-1, LS4-4

4th Grade: LS1-1, LS1-2, ESS2-1

5th Grade: ESS3-1

MS: LS2-1, LS2-2

HS: LS2-6, LS2-8, LS4-6

Physical Science

Meets the following NGSS Performance Expectations:

K: ESS3-1

Weather and Climate

It’s Getting Hot out There
Investigate the impacts of rising temperatures on the people and wildlife of our area. Using infrared thermometers outside, students will see firsthand how groundcover influences temperature. They’ll also learn what principles guide their findings and how the Urban Heat Island effect can be mitigated.  *This program can be conducted at your school or the nature center; travel fee of $50 may apply*
Grade Level: 7th – 9th

Meets the following NGSS Performance Expectations:

MS: ESS2-5, ESS2-6, ESS3-3, ESS3-4, ESS3-5

HS: ESS2-2, ESS2-4, ESS3-3, ESS3-4, ESS3-5, ESS3-6

Registration Information

What is the cost? 

$6 per student for an hour-long program. Some programs have a supplemental materials and/or activity fee.

To support Montgomery County Schools in meeting the Maryland Environmental Literacy Graduation Requirement, environmental programs for all K-12 Montgomery County students are FREE! Supplemental materials and/or activity fee may still apply.

  • Program requests are accepted up to a year in advance.
  • Have several program dates and times in mind when calling for reservations in case your first choice is unavailable.
  • Programs are available Tuesday through Friday.
  • Program times start on the half hour beginning at 9:30 a.m.
  • A $60 non-refundable deposit for all preschools and out-of-county groups is due for each program three weeks prior to the date you reserve.

Tips for a Successful Trip

  • We suggest a 5:1 student-to-adult chaperone ratio.
  • Chaperones are responsible for supervision and appropriate behavior of all students in their group.
  • Easy-to-read name tags are highly recommended.
  • Please be prompt! Late arrivals will result in shortened programs.
  • Dress appropriately for your program. We suggest outdoor clothing and appropriate shoes for hiking.
  • Do you have lunch plans? We do not allow food or drink inside the nature center. Ask about our first-come, first-served picnic pavilion.


Call Meadowside Nature Center at 301-258-4030 Tuesday through Friday from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.