Schools and Groups

OSMP provides an intriguing setting for learning and nature discovery. Choose from a menu of fun, interactive, standards-based nature and local history programs for grades PK-12 or create your own. We offer school field trips Tuesday-Friday, April-May and September-November. In-class programs are offered in the winter. Read through program offerings below.

We accept requests during the specified windows below. Each group may request one program per window (one per year).

Please reach out to Maggie Vest Engelman at if you have questions.

2024-2025 Program Request Windows and Confirmation Dates

Program DateRequest Window deadline
Fall Season (Sept. 1 - Nov. 30)May 31, 2024
Winter Season (Dec. 1 - March 31)Nov. 1, 2024
Spring Season (Apr. 1 - May 31)Jan. 2, 2025
Summer Season (June 1 - Aug. 31)May 1, 2025
Bug Investigation Nature Discovery

Program Descriptions

Colorado Ecosystems

Explore the ecosystem closet to your school whether it’s a wetland, forest, or prairie ecosystem. Student focus on science practices like evidence-based explanations, observations, and creating models to explore and learn about what makes that ecosystem special. The field trip brings the local biomes to life and includes ways that we can take care for these special ecosystems.

The field trip sets students up for social studies connection around the power of youth in our community through a stewardship project extension (more details below).

Locations: Chautauqua, NCAR, Sawhill Ponds, Wonderland Lake, walking location from school

Grades: 4th

Length of program: 3-4 hours

Stewardship Field Trip and Project

Extend the learning from the Colorado Ecosystems 4th grade field trip through a stewardship project. In collaboration with the class, a stewardship project can be selected from a list of potential projects from supporting an OSMP project, creating interpretative signs, or join stewardship projects happening around the city!

Locations: Classroom, walking location from school

Grade: 4th

Seasonal Change: Spring has Sprung!

Spring is bustin’ out all over! Birds are returning from the south, snow is melting, and bees are buzzing around blooming flowers. Students will explore the ways plants and animals get ready for an active season of feeding, breeding and living life to the fullest.

Locations: Sawhill Ponds, Chautauqua, South Mesa, Schoolyard or an open space trail near your school.

Grades: PK - K

Length of program: 2 hours

Seasonal Change: Winter is Coming!

The freezing temperatures and long nights of winter can be a challenge for plants and animals in the Front Range. Students will discover how living things, including people, survive and thrive in winter through strategies like migration, hibernation, or simply adapting to the cold.

Locations: Sawhill Ponds, Chautauqua, South Mesa, Schoolyard or an open space trail near your school.

Grades: PK - K

Length of program: 2 hours

Magical Life of Trees: Life in the Ponderosa Pine Forest Ecosystem

Did you know that trees live in community, just like people? How do trees share food? Nurse their sick? Warn each other of danger and call upon their insect allies for help in times of need? Through listening and observing, students will adventure into the Ponderosa Pine forest ecosystem and learn about trees, animals, birds, bugs and mushrooms, and how they depend upon each other for survival.

Grades: 1st grade

Length of program: 2-3 hours

Insects: Insect Investigations

Did you know, most animals on our planet are insects? And that we depend on them every day for our food? Without insects, many larger animals would starve. Get small and take a journey into the micro world of these tiny yet powerful and fascinating creatures.

Locations: Sawhill Ponds, Chautauqua, Bobolink, TH near school/neighborhood.

Grades: 2nd grade

Length of program: 2-3 hours

Wildlife: Wild Wildlife

Lions and Snakes and Bears, Oh My! The Front Range teams with wildlife of all shapes and sizes. Eagles and coyotes, magpies and mule deer, foxes and great horned owls all find the perfect habitat on Open Space lands. Students will learn through observation and a variety of games and activities, how these animals have adapted to make their homes here, how they depend upon each other, and how people can help them survive.

Locations: Sawhill Ponds, Flagstaff Summit, Wonderland Lake, Chautauqua, or open space trail near your school.

Grades: 3rd grade

Length of program: 3 hours

Geology: Story in the Rocks

What kinds of rocks do we have in the Front Range, and what clues do they give us about ancient environments? How do rocks cycle, building landscapes and then eroding away? And what might the Front Range look like in 40 million years? Students will take a hike back in time to ancient, vanished worlds, and find evidence from patterns in rock formations to understand how geologic action has shaped our landscape.

Locations: NCAR, Chautauqua.

Grades: 3 through 5

Length of program: 3 hours

Local History: The Story of Your Land

The history of Boulder and the history of open space lands are intertwined. Generations of stewards have shaped the story of Boulder's public lands by volunteering, voting, speaking out and stepping up. Learn how past generations, and future land stewards like yourself, ensure that Open Space will be forever wild.

Locations: Chautauqua, Flagstaff Summit, Gunbarrel Hill, Sawhill Ponds or open space trail near your school.

Grades: 3 through 5

Length of program: 3 hours

Middle and High School

OSMP naturalists are happy to work with teachers and students to create a unique experience that meet learning goals. We work with all disciplines from science, health and wellness to local history. Topics can include: Prairie Dogs and Ecosystem Health, Geology, Forest Ecosystems, Wetland Ecology, Land Management and Local History.

Customized Programs

Not finding what you are looking for? Let us know what you need. OSMP naturalists can work with you to create a program that is unique for your group. Please give us as many details as you can.

Educator Resources


E Movement Environmental Education Virtual Learning Database. Contains high quality content from environmental education program providers statewide.

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Virtual Field Trips & Videos

The Magical Lives of Trees/La Vida Mágica De Los Árboles Virtual Field Trip:

Check out Jeff & Paige at for videos about nature and science and to view upcoming events.

Hike Through History: