School and Field Trip Programs

Field Trips to the Center

Our field trip programs are grounded in interdisciplinary outdoor science, connected directly to academic standards and best practices. Each program is custom-built to the age, grade, and subject area of the visiting group, and is taught by our experienced team of teacher-naturalists. And they are a lot of fun! We offer field trips to the Center and select off-site locations year-round. Our most popular program options include:


Freshwater Macroinvertebrates: introduction to freshwater macros and their unique life cycles, followed by collection and identification of macros in one of our three ponds (only available when the ponds are not frozen)

Birding: introduction to birding and binocular use, followed by birding around the Center and local bird identification 

Yellowstone River Walk: general nature walk to the Yellowstone River

Nature Walk with Scavenger Hunt: general nature walk around one of our ponds or to the Yellowstone River, includes an age appropriate nature-themed scavenger hunt

Tracking: introduction to tracking and identification of local tracks, including a tracking nature walk

Animal Structures: learn how animals have different physical adaptations that aid in their survival and interact with animal artifacts and mounts (best for grades 3+ with an adapted version for younger grades)

Canoeing: canoe safety and instruction, canoeing on one of our three ponds while exploring their unique riparian habitat

Insects: introduction to insects (body parts, common insects), life cycles, collect and ID insects using nets and jars

Native Plant Walk: learn about native plants of the area and their traditional uses through sensory observation and a nature walk

Fort Building: hands-on, team-building activity that includes a walk to Norm’s Island and a chance to build forts with logs


For more program options and information on pricing and schedule availability, please email our school program coordinator, Alina Garner, or call 406-294-5099

Audubon Naturalists in the Schools (ANTS)

As our largest and longest-running program, ANTS provides year-long, field-trip-based programming to elementary school students in Billings and the surrounding area. In the 2019-2020 school year, more than 80 individual classes are enrolled, including every 4th-grade class in Billings Public Schools as well as classes from nine other districts. Grade-specific and standards-aligned, ANTS is an interdisciplinary science and Indian Education for All program, combining content and pedagogical approach in a way that is responsive to land and culture. Most of our ANTS classrooms are 3rd, 4th, or 5th grade. The program has been featured at a number of professional conferences in Montana and the region as a model of connecting classrooms with nature.

Learn more about the ANTS 4th Grade Program here

Learn more about the ANTS 5th Grade Program here

For inquiries about the ANTS program, please email our school program coordinator, Alina Garner, or call 406-294-5099

*Due to new regulations some schools are facing with COVID-19, we are offering alternative ANTS models for classes with field trip and visitor restrictions. Please contact Alina Garner for more information.


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