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FAQ about Nature Awaits: Fourth grade field trips

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  • Any fourth-grade class qualifies for a free 90-minute guided field trip. Bussing reimbursement is automatic for public schools. Private schools do not qualify for the bussing grants.
  • This program is only for formal classrooms of 15 or more students. We have many nature programs in our state parks and visitor centers for homeschool students. We also have great resources you can use with your family or homeschool co-op at Nature at Home.
  • This field trip opportunity is open to any fourth grade classroom in Michigan, but the transportation grants offered through the Nature Awaits program are only available to public schools. 

  • Transportation grants for this program are available to public schools and will pay up to $1000 per bus (expecting 60 students per bus) for bussing to select state parks for field trips. Invoice required.

  • While this program is geared toward fourth grade classes and their academic standards, third/fourth grade or fourth/fifth grade split classes can register.

  • Park entry fees are waived for program participants coming on a yellow school bus. Participants using charter buses will receive a free pass at the gate. Chaperone vehicles must have a Recreation Passport.

  • Students will learn about human impacts to the environment, the importance of public lands, Michigan plants and animals, and more. These programs will be hands-on and include a physical recreation component. Research supports the beneficial impacts of kids learning in nature.

  • We have pre- and post-visit activities and resources to supplement the learning at the park. In addition, students will get a Junior Ranger Guidebook as part of their park visit. The PDF also includes standards correlations as well. 

  • Yes. Based on park staffing, we expect that two classrooms (approximately 60 students) may participate in the program at one time. A school could send four classrooms (approximately 120 students) per day, with two classrooms attending educational programs in the morning and two classrooms attending in the afternoon. Morning and afternoon sessions are two different line items in our registration system, but you can add both to your cart before checkout. You can spend more time in the park, but activities outside of the 90-minute program must be on your own.

  • Yes. Schools may bring as many chaperones as they deem necessary for a safe and productive experience. 

  • Registration must be completed at least two weeks prior to your visit.

  • Yes! We will are hiring and training seasonal educators to lead these school programs.  Visit for more information.