School Programming

Story County Conservation offers a variety of field trips and in-class programs for Pre-K through 6th grade during the school year. Outdoor field trips are offered during the months of May through September. In-class programs are offered November through April unless noted otherwise.

View a list of field trip and in-class programs here: Story County Conservation Program Guide (PDF)

If we don't have what you are looking for, let us know. We may be able to create a program or field trip for your class.

Did you enjoy the food during your Pioneer Day at McFarland Park? Download the recipes here: Pioneer Day Recipes (PDF)

Shocking Developments program


Furries program



Fees are assessed to school attendance centers scheduling environmental education programs sponsored by Story County Conservation. Two options are offered, to be decided in advance by each school attendance center:

  • $1.25 per student enrolled in the school attendance center for multiple programs; or
  • $1.25 per student per program (minimum charge of $20).

To schedule education programs contact the environmental education coordinator by calling 515-232-2516 or by emailing the education coordinator.

Environmental Education Fee Form (PDF)

Preschool and Elementary Nature Tubs

Tubs contain background information, materials, and activities, including puzzles, crafts, finger plays, poems, felt boards, snack ideas, and a bibliography. These subject tubs are offered:

  • Camouflage: types of camouflage, insect camouflage, and monarch butterflies
  • Creatures of the Night: night-time animal adaptations, bats, owls, and nocturnal insects
  • Dirt: soil, worms, insects, and seed types and formation
  • Honeybees: bee characteristics and behavior, parts of a beehive, and how honey is made
  • Pond Habitat: life in the pond, including tadpoles, frogs, insects, and ducks
  • Prairie Habitat: prairie insects, grasses, and flowers
  • Rocks & Fossils: rock types, rock formation, and fossils
  • Woods Habitat: parts of a tree, leaf shape, and woodland animals
  • Ice Age Mammals: shape recognition, ordering, alphabetizing, comparing, glaciers, survival techniques, cultures of early people, tools of paleontologists and archaeologists

Tubs can be checked out for two weeks, free of charge. They must be picked up and returned to the Conservation Center at McFarland Park, 56461 180th St., Ames, IA unless other arrangements are made.