The following programs are offered to school groups from September through November. Signup begins in June.
Sand Dunes (3rd grade - adult)
Get set to discover the fascinating world of sand dunes at Ludington State Park! Ludington is home to one of the largest areas of freshwater sand dunes. Your students will learn firsthand how the dunes were formed, the diversity of environments in the dunes, and why the dunes are protected. See some of the unusual plant and animal life that call the dunes home.
Great Lakes (4th grade - adult)
Come out to Ludington State Park and discover how Lake Michigan, one of our Great Lakes, plays an important part in our lives. WE search out geological evidence to show us how these magnificent lakes were formed. We will look at the changing lake levels and our impact on the lakes. Students will leave with a better understanding of lake ecology.
Autumn Changes (1st- 3rd grades)
It happens every fall. Animals and plants are busy preparing for the upcoming winter.
We will head out on an adventure hike to search out what seasonal changes are occurring in Ludington State Park. Students will discover numerous changes along the Sable River Trail. Birds, mammals, fish, reptiles, and plants will be our observation topics during our walk.
Michigan Rocks (4th grade - adult)
Michigan Rocks is a fun program that gets students to think about what a stone or rock means to them when they are outdoors. That rock they pick up or look at in their schoolyard or anywhere else holds a wealth of information. It is a science lesson and history lesson wrapped in this hard natural form.
Rocks tell us stories just like science and history books tell stories. Students will learn how to unlock these stories by observing and feeling rocks. They'll discover that our Great Lakes State has not always looked as it does today. This program can be done either in the park or as an outreach program in the classroom.
Park History (3rd grade - adult)
Ludington State Park has a rich history dating back to the Ice Age. In this program, students are shown locations and artifacts that tell the story of what this park was like before it was a state park. From those who built and lived in the logging village called Hamlin, up to the thime where the men of the Civilian Conservation Corps Camp built this park during the Great Depression. The story unfold in front of the students during this historic walk back in time.
Lighthouse in the Dunes (3rd - 12th grades)
For almost 150 years, the lighthouse has warned ships of this dangerous sand dune coastline. This program ties together the sand dune ecology on which this lighthouse sets, and the lighthouse's role in Michigan's maritime history.
The park interpreter will meet students upon arrival and lead them on a guided sand dunes walk on their way to the lighthouse. The walking distance to the lighthouse is approximately two miles. Students will discover the fascinating world of sand dunes, how they are formed, the diversity of environments within the dunes, plants and animals that make the dunes their home, and why the dunes are protected.
Students are shown equipment used in lighthouse operations and given a tour through the lighthouse. Everyone gets to climb the 130 steps to the top of one of the tallest light towers on Lake Michigan.
We will cover the sciences (geology, biology, botany, ecology) and Michigan maritime history. The lighthouse and trail are not wheelchair A.D.A. accessible.
Park Ecology (7th grade - adult)
Students learn firsthand the ecology of Ludington State Park during an extensive guided walk. The dunes, river, forest and lake ecology are areas of observation throughout the walk. Students see and learn how the tree diseases both past and present are dramatically changing the forest and its habitats. We look at the aquatic invasive species and see how they continue to affect the lakes and river in the park. Human imprint on the resources--and how we best protect these resources--are subjects observed and discussed throughout the program. This program is designed for older students interested in biological studies.