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School programs

School programs


Interpreter-led programs require 2.5-3 hours to complete. Classes are limited to 35-40 participants including parent chaperones. For some dates, it is possible to bring two classrooms of students at the same time. Availability is dependent on staffing levels.

Introduction to Michigan's Sand Dunes

The primary interpreter-led program, this program includes indoor and outdoor time and may be customized to suit the individual needs of your classroom. Our guided programs promote awareness of Michigan's vast natural resources and an understanding of ecological processes and give students a quality, hands-on experience in the sand dunes. We place an emphasis on the values of public lands such as state parks and promote the role of students as resource stewards.

Additional interpretive programs

  • Autumn in the Dunes (fall, grades 1-5).
  • Michigan Mammals (fall and winter, grades 3-5, on-site or outreach).
  • Pond Study (April 1- May 10, grades 2-5).


This is available to those groups that require flexibility and a shorter time frame. If you choose this option, you are responsible for your own instruction. We provide the following: a welcome by visitor center staff, DVD presentation of choice, resources such as magnets upon request and support/suggestions when planning your park visit. Groups are limited to 100 including your parent chaperones. For groups larger than 100, we suggest that you reserve more than one time slot and rotate your groups through the building.


Preschool and kindergarten classes may register for a self-guided visit. If you have specific classroom objectives that we may be able to assist with, please let us know. We can, on some dates, provide a classroom animal experience or guide a portion of your outdoor exploration on the trail.


Reservations are taken on a first-come, first-served basis during the designated sign-up window for each season. We start accepting phone calls at 8 a.m. on the first day. The sign-up window changes each year but generally is as follows:

  • FALL – first week in September.
  • WINTER – third week of November.
  • SPRING – last full week in January.

Custom programs and classroom visits are also available. For more information, contact the park interpreter at 231-798-3573 or by email at