Programs for Schools at Wachusett Meadow
Through field studies and classroom explorations, Mass Audubon school programs provide hands-on, inquiry-based experiences with science content and practices. Our educators enhance students’ scientific understanding of species and habitats; ecological concepts such as food webs, cycles, systems, adaptation, and evolution; climate change; and interrelationships between people and nature.
Mass Audubon Central encompasses two staffed wildlife sanctuaries with nature centers and 10 additional sanctuaries with trail systems across the central Massachusetts region. Historic stone walls, forests and fields, slopes, hills, flatlands, and bucolic vistas can be found across the diverse properties in the region. Our facilities include accessible trails, historic structures, sustainable buildings and infrastructure, restrooms, wildlife and rain gardens, exhibit spaces, and even snowshoe rentals in winter.
A former farmstead, Wachusett Meadow offers spectacular scenery and supports abundant wildlife throughout woodlands, wetlands, and meadows. Historic buildings and barns are still in use for educational programming and a small flock of resident sheep graze and help maintain the pastures. An extensive 13-mile trail system traverses the sanctuary’s 1,100 acres and touch upon many landscape features, including Brown Hill summit, a glacial boulder, ancient trees, and beaver ponds.
In-School and at the Sanctuary
Whether you want to bring nature into the classroom or take lessons outside, our programs for schools offer insight into New England habitats and native species and enrich natural history and science lessons while strengthening students’ connections to the environment.
Wachusett Meadow offers field trip programs for schools at the sanctuary, in-school programs led by a Mass Audubon teacher naturalist, and hybrid programs that incorporate both an in-class and in-the-field experience. Download the Central School Programs Brochure to learn more about our offerings and contact us for assistance choosing or designing the right program for your needs.
Teacher Professional Development
Mass Audubon’s Professional Development programs are designed to increase content knowledge, provide teachers with hands-on, STEM-focused learning experiences, and offer resources for teaching engaging, inquiry-based science lessons in the schoolyard or classroom. In-person and virtual workshops are available, along with consulting and site visits.
Mass Audubon works with districts and schools to engage Pre-K–Grade 12 teachers in meaningful professional development experiences that immerse teachers in the science of nature and the nature of science, furthering teacher expertise in nature-based learning, climate change, environmental literacy, environmental justice, and inquiry-based science. Our instructors are experienced educators, deeply interested in the experiences of teachers, and able to relate to the challenges of classroom teaching.
Mass Audubon offers both school-based PD programs to engage an entire grade level team or department in a deep dive on a particular topic or unit, as well as virtual and in-person public workshops throughout the year that are open to any educator. For an immersive experience, try one of our professional development Summer Institutes!