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FAQs - Nature Awaits: 4th grade field trip

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FAQs - Nature Awaits: 4th grade field trip

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  • Generally, if your fourth grade classroom is from a Michigan public school your students will be eligible for a free field trip. Bussing reimbursement is automatic for public schools. Bussing grants for private schools may be available through a separate grant from Wheels to Woods.

  • This program is for formal classrooms of 15 or more students. We have many programs in our parks and visitor centers for homeschools.
  • This field trip opportunity is open to any fourth grade classroom in Michigan, however, the transportation grants offered through the Nature Awaits program are only available to public schools. Grants for transportation to state parks for homeschool and private school field trips may be available through the Wheels to Woods grant program.

  • Transportation grants for this program are available to public schools and will pay for bussing to select parks for field trips up to $800 per bus (expecting 60 students per bus). Invoice required.

  • While this program is geared toward fourth grade classes and their academic standards, 3rd/4th grade split or 4th/5th grade split classes may be eligible also.

  • No. Park entry fees are waived for participants in this program coming in a yellow school bus. Schools 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 youth learning in nature.

  • Teachers will be provided pre- and post-visit materials to supplement the learning done at the park. In addition, students will be given a Junior Ranger Guidebook as part of their park visit.

  • Yes. Based on park staffing, we expect that two classrooms (approximately 60 students) may visit a park at a 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.

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

  • Teachers will be able to register online. We expect registration to be available late winter 2024.

  • Once registration is available in the late winter 2024. Register as early as possible as slots will fill quickly. Registration must be completed at least 2 weeks prior to your visit.

  • We expect to have about 40 sites around the state that classrooms can visit. There will likely be several park destinations you may choose from in your area. Your transportation allowance may limit your choices to the nearest participating state parks.

  • Yes! We will be hiring and training seasonal educators to lead these school programs. More information about these positions will be available in fall 2023. Visit this summer for more information.