Bluff Lake Nature Center

3400 Havana Way, Denver, CO 80238

To Schedule: Contact Maggie Wilden at maggie@blufflake.org or 303-587-1437

FIELD TRIPS

Max. 70 students

Field trips last 2-2.5 hours and are offered Tuesday-Friday, starting any time between 8:30am and 10:30am. Groups are welcome to eat lunch on site at the end of their visit. Field trips for the 2019-2020 school year will be offered Sept. 3-Dec. 13 and Feb. 11-May 22.

Nature Exploration Teams (NETs)

Students take the lead in these explorations of the natural world at Bluff Lake. Visiting groups may choose between four newly updated missions, each designed to develop students' curiosity and critical thinking. To complete the mission, students will practice using the scientific method and the tools of a field scientist - such as maps, compasses, thermometers, binoculars, and wildlife field guides. The Monday before your trip, a Bluff Lake Educator will come to your classroom for a pre-trip outreach visit (30 minutes).

Missions:

  • Water Mission: Students will investigate the questions, "Which water source at Bluff Lake is the healthiest for aquatic animals?" They will look for signs of wildlife and human influence at Bluff Lake, Sand Creek, and our storm-water outfalls, then use a water monitoring kit to run their own tests of pH, dissolved oxygen, and turbidity. After the exploration hike, they will draw their own conclusions and discuss the different ways that people can protect the health of water systems.

  • Habitat Field Mission: Students will investigate the question, "Which habitat at Bluff Lake has the most biodiversity (different species of plants and animals)?" They will use binoculars and magnifying glasses to examine different species in the prairie, wetland, and riparian habitats, then record their observations and use field guides to identify the species. After the exploration hike, they will draw their own conclusions and discuss the different ways that people can protect the biodiversity of natural ecosystems.

  • Leaf Mission: Students will investigate the question, "Which part of the leaves' appearance (size, shape, or color) changes the most between different habitats?" They will use a map to guide them to different habitats around Bluff Lake, then find leaves to examine, measure, draw, and label with the help of flora field guides. After the exploration hike, they will draw their own conclusions and discuss the different ways that people can create the best conditions for a variety of plant life.

  • Prairie Dog Mission: Students will investigate the question, "Which of the different prairie dog colonies at Bluff Lake has the healthiest population?" They will visit the colonies and take their own census, looking for clues such as sightings of adult and young prairie dogs, number and placement of holes, amount of scat, nearby food sources, other animals in the area, and human influences. After the exploration hike, students will draw their own conclusions and discuss the different ways that people and prairie dogs can coexist.

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