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School Programs: Professional Development

Frelinghuysen Arboretum | Great Swamp & Pyramid Mountain | Cooper Gristmill & Fosterfields

All workshops cost $25 per participant, and include curriculum guides and 6 hours of professional development credit.  Workshops start at 9 am and end at 3 pm unless otherwise noted.  Participants should bring a bag lunch and dress to go outside regardless of weather conditions.

For PMNHA workshops, contact 973-334-3130. 
Pyramid Mountain Natural Historic Area
472 Boonton Ave.  Boonton, NJ 07005 (mailing address only)
For accurate directions, please click here.

For GSOEC workshops, contact 973-635-6629.
Great Swamp Outdoor Education Center
247 Southern Blvd. Chatham, NJ 07928

Frelinghuysen Arboretum

Creating a Schoolyard Garden

Does your school need an outdoor learning space but you don't know where to start? Whether you are starting from scratch or taking over an existing garden, this workshop helps with everything from the nuts and bolts of planning to the actual propagation of appropriate plants for your garden. Topics include an overview of different types of gardens that can be used in schools, maintenance and building a "caretaking team," and the implementation process of designing and planning your garden. This workshop also offers tips on linking the garden across the curriculum and tying it to core curriculum content standards. All participants start plants for their gardens. Appropriate for teachers of grade levels Pre-K to 12. Includes planning checklists and curriculum materials to take home. Request a course

Great Swamp & Pyramid Mountain

Exploring Environmental Issues: Municipal Solid Waste

Through this curriculum, students begin to understand waste management issues and options. The module uses hands-on experiences to show the interrelationships among waste generation, natural resource use, and disposal. The activities guide students through waste management strategies and solutions while providing the necessary tools to make informed decisions and choices on waste management issues. Appropriate for teachers of grade levels 6-12. Request a course

Flying WILD

This exciting program introduces students to bird conservation through classroom activities and school-wide bird festivals. This collection of interdisciplinary activities will enrich your science curriculum and engage students in real-world learning using one of the most readily viewed forms of wildlife: migratory birds. Request a course

Get Out!

Have you wished you could take your students outdoors to do hands-on science in your schoolyard but been afraid to try? Or have you been unsure how to use the environment around your school to enhance instruction? This workshop was designed by the Morris County Park Commission's Environmental Education staff to help you deal with just those issues. During the course of the workshop, you are exposed to a wide variety of simple, hands-on activities that relate directly to your science curriculum topics and make use of any schoolyard habitat, from urban to rural. Basic natural history background information and species identification are also be included. Appropriate for teachers of grade levels Pre-K to 8. Includes curriculum materials to take home. Request a course

Growing Up WILD

Growing up WILD is an early childhood education program for ages 3-7 that builds on children's sense of wonder about nature and invites them to explore wildlife and the world around them. Through a wide range of activities and experiences, Growing Up WILD provides an early foundation for developing positive impressions about the natural world and lifelong social and academic skills. Taught with Project Learning Tree: Environmental Experiences for Early Childhood. Request a course

Project Learning Tree

Project Learning Tree isn't just about trees! This award-winning environmental education program includes 96 interdisciplinary lessons on a wide range of topics including: energy and resources, animals and plants, water, soil, native cultures, population, pollution, transportation, recycling, land use, composting, and much more! Through cooperative learning and critical thinking, teachers and students gain an awareness and knowledge of the natural world and use the outdoors as their classroom. Request a course

Project Learning Tree: Environmental Experiences for Early Childhood

This curriculum encourages children to explore, discover, and communicate in expressive ways, and provides an introduction to environmental education at a key developmental period in children's lives. Developed with preschool educators and early childhood specialists, the guide is designed for educators who work with children ages 3 to 6. It offers over 130 experiences that engage children in outdoor play and exploration. Topics include exploring nature with five senses, meeting neighborhood trees, and experiencing trees through the seasons. Taught with Growing Up WILD. Request a course

Population Connection

This unique curriculum teaches students about the impacts our growing population have on our planet and explores how we can balance Earth's people, resources, and environment By combining math, science, social studies and environmental education, these lessons are powerful educational tools to help children better understand their world and their impact on it. Appropriate for grade levels K-8. Request a course

Project WET
  • Teachers of: K-12
  • Location: Great Swamp
  • Times: Friday, February 19 at the Great Swamp OEC; Thursday, March 17 at Pyramid Mountain NHA

Understanding and valuing water resources is crucial for all of today's students. This comprehensive set of nearly 100 interactive lessons examines water's properties, quantity and quality issues, water conservation, aquatic wildlife and ecosystems, and more through a variety of innovative, interdisciplinary activities. Request a course

Project WILD

This award winning environmental education program has been used by over 1,000,000 educators worldwide to develop students' understanding of wildlife, natural resources, and the environment. Through firsthand interaction with the natural world, interdisciplinary connections, and hands-on learning, students learn to value wildlife, make informed decisions and take positive steps to help the environment. Request a course

Project WILD Aquatic

The waters of the earth, in some form, are within walking distance from anywhere on the planet. The Project WILD Aquatic curriculum serves as an invitation to explore and understand the fascinating world of water and the aquatic habitats it supports. Through these cross-curricular activities, students learn that water is one of the basic components of habitat for people and wildlife and that aquatic species and ecosystems give humans early and clear warning about the quality of the water environment upon which we all depend. Appropriate for teachers of grade levels K to 12. Request a course

Proyecto WILD

This workshop is specially designed for bilingual, ESL, and Spanish language teachers. Combining activities from the renowned Project WILD and Project WILD Aquatic curriculums, teachers learn how to introduce their classes to environmental issues regardless of their language background. This workshop is taught in both English and Spanish, and participants are able to choose in which language they would like to receive their curriculum guide book. Request a course

WILD About Bears

This new DVD and curriculum give students a chance to better understand black bears, including their history, adaptations, life cycles, and needs. The ultimate goal of the program is to help students value black bears as an important part of our natural world and to help them to be prepared if they encounter black bears in the wild. Black bears can be found in every county in the state, and all residents should know how to coexist with them successfully and safely in New Jersey. Participants will receive a copy of the DVD plus a set of the interactive curriculum on CD-rom for students to use at home and at school. Request a course

WILD School Sites

Whether your schoolyard is one paved acre or a 100 acre forested site, this outdoor resource can provide you and your students with a unique learning experience.  This curriculum offers students and teachers the opportunity for direct, hands-on learning in their schoolyard environment as they make positive changes to benefit wildlife.  Learn how to do a step-by-step mapping and assessment of the schoolyard property, develop a habitat plan, and implement enhancement projects with students. Request a course

Wonders of Wetlands
  • Teachers of: K-12
  • Location: Great Swamp
  • Times: Saturday, April 30 at the Great Swamp OEC

WOW! provides a resourceful and creative collection of wetland activities, information, and ideas. Participants will receive over 50 hands-on multidisciplinary activities, background information on wetlands, ideas for student action plans, and a wetlands resource guide. Request a course

Cooper Gristmill & Fosterfields

Living History!

At this workshop, teachers of all grade levels discover how to use living history not only to stimulate students' interest but also to provide content that meets the Core Curriculum Content Standards. We incorporate primary sources and introduce first-hand experiences that show history as it truly happened. Using the resources of our historic sites, teachers learn how to use role-playing, hands-on activities, and primary sources to engage the students' in learning about life as it was in earlier times and to help develop decision-making, problem-solving, and critical thinking skills. Participants receive curriculum materials that can be used in their classrooms to help make history come alive for the students! Request a course