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Education and safety

A park interpreter teaches a class on snowshoe making

Education and safety

Our outdoor skills, education and recreational safety programs provide opportunities for people of all ages and abilities to develop their outdoor skills and knowledge of Michigan's natural resources, and to promote safe, responsible and ethical use of the outdoors.

We also offer educators a wide range of opportunities to bring natural resources experience and knowledge to the classroom.

A CO teaches a recreational safety class

Safety certification and hunter education

Many activities such as hunting, boating, snowmobiling and ORV riding require certification through a safety education course for some, or all, participants. Find classes, reprint certificates, learn requirements and more.

interpreter at Gillette Sand Dune Visitor Center

Visitor centers in parks and hatcheries

Hosting fun and educational nature exhibits with access to nearby trails. For those that seek a more engaging educational experience, each center has interpreters offering a variety of programs that they will lead for school and other groups.

Learn about Michigan species

Massasauga rattlesnake in the weeds.

Reptiles and amphibians

Learn about Michigan's snakes, frogs, turtles and more.

Hands hold up a brown trout over a river

Michigan fishes

Michigan is home to a wide variety of fish species.


Michigan mammals

Information about cougars, moose, wolves and more.

Programs and resources for educators

An owl sits on a signpost reading Virtual pointing to a sign reading Nature at School

Live virtual lessons

We bring science to you from some of Michigan's most amazing places with lessons relevant to your students. These 30-minute virtual lessons will come into your classroom, or student homes, at no cost to you.

Nature Awaits branding graphic with white text, a leaf, a tree and a paw print

Nature Awaits

A joint effort by the governor’s office and the DNR to bring children outdoors to experience Michigan’s state parks. Starting fall of 2024, all fourth grade classrooms will be eligible for a FREE field trip to select state parks!

Two children holding up a bag with salmon in water waiting to be released into the river behind them

Salmon in the Classroom

Students third grade and up can care for salmon in their classroom from fall until releasing them in spring. Follow the lifecycle of salmon starting from eggs. Please note, this is a school-year-long commitment.

Nature programs and outdoor skills

An explorer guide talks to kids gathered around a picnic table at a beach in a state park

Nature programs in parks

Free seasonal outdoor education programs in over 40 state parks. From mammals to birds, dunes to wetlands and more, learn about the resources in the parks you visit.

An instructor teaches people proper ice fishing techniques at an OSA Hard Water clinic

Outdoor Skills Academy

These classes offer expert instruction, gear and hands-on learning for a range of outdoor activities. Classes offered for a fee, and are for ages 16-plus (10-plus with an adult).

A group of women all wearing bright pink shirts attend a lecture inside classroom

Becoming an Outdoors Woman

Workshops are geared towards women ages 18-plus and provide opportunities in shooting and hunting, fishing, and eco-sports such as kayaking, camping or orienteering.