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Environmental Education

We apologize but Saluda Shoals Park's education programs are completely booked for the 2023-2024 school year. If you are interested in reserving an Environmental Education program for Fall 2024/Spring 2025, please complete the online registration request form below.

Online Registration Form

Help your students discover their place in nature and nature's place within themselves. At Saluda Shoals Park, our Rangers are enthusiastic teachers guiding young learners as they discover the beauty, wonder, and intricacies of the natural world. So, whether you're looking for a lesson on life science, physical science or earth science, our 400-acre classroom and qualified staff can spark the spirit of discovery in students and teachers alike. Come experience the wonder of nature where we put science in the hands of students!

Our programs are inquiry-based and developed to address and meet the new South Carolina and National Science Standards. Programs may include some or all of the following components: a field study, interactive hike, STEM activities, low ropes/challenge course elements, and themed games. 

  • $60 program minimum
  • Seasonal changes to our habitats might affect the field studies listed resulting in possible program and field study modifications. All programs will still meet standards and be fun!  
  • Teachers and chaperones attend at no additional cost. 
  • One teacher must be with each class.
  • Additional chaperones are welcome.
  • A 1:10 ratio per class is required.
  • Each program is designed for up to 25 children.
  • Program capacity is up to 150 students per day. Staff can run three programs at one time with two rotations to accommodate larger groups of students or a whole grade level. 

Scheduling Your Environmental Education Program 

  • Advanced reservations are required! Reservations are accepted in the order they are received.
  • For more information, call 803-213-2055, M–Th, between 8:30 a.m.–5:00 p.m.
  • To schedule a program, please complete the Program Request Form and email it to   
  • April and May are peak months so schedule early! 

Online Registration Form


Homeschool Adventure Learning

Join park rangers for this monthly environmental education program designed for homeschool students! New topics each month! Preregistration required.

  • Ages 5–7 or Ages 8–12
  • $6/per student  

Preschool Environmental Education Program

This one-hour program for preschool institution/childcare centers includes a sensory story, interactive hike, science lab, and a themed game. Program choices are Terrific Turtles or Brilliant Birds. 

  • Ages 2–4
  • $4/per student   

Special Needs Environmental Education Program

This one-hour program, Sensing Our Wild Habitats, includes sensory exploration stations, an ADA accessible hike, fish traps, live specimen interactions, and Leo's Landing shelter for lunch. 

  • Ages K–12
  • $4/per student 

Custom Programs

Custom programs are available for school or education groups. For more information, call 803-213-2055.

  • Ages K–12
  • $40/fee plus per student price 

SC Science Standard Based K-12 School Programs

These 1.5 hour programs include a field study, interactive hike, STEM activities and themed games. Topics are based on grade and standards. Teachers and chaperones attend at no additional cost. A 1:10 ratio per class is required and one teacher must be with each class.

Elementary School Programs

Programs include a field study, interactive hike, STEM activities and themed games. 

  • 1.5 hour program
  • $6/per student
  • Nature Investigators Activity Boxes- $40 flat rate rental for use during program
  • Program Extension - $2/additional per student
GradeTitleStandardsField Study
KindergartenWild Ways of the WoodpeckerK-LS1-1, K-ESS2-2, K-ESS3-1, K-ESS3-3Bug nets and forest bug traps
1st GradeGrowing Up in the Meadow Habitat1-LS1-1, 1-LS1-2, 1-LS3-1Bug nets and meadow/aquatic crate traps
2nd GradeDragons in the Sky and Dragons in the Water2-LS2-1, 2-LS2-2, 2-LS4-1Net dipping and aquatic crate traps
3rd GradeTraits of Survival3-LS1-1, 3-LS2-1, 3-LS3-1, 3-LS3-2, 3-LS4-2, 3-LS4-3Net dipping and fish traps
4th GradeWetland Habitat Exploration4-LS1-1, 4-LS1-2Net dipping
5th GradeLife and Decomposing in the Riparian Forest5-PS3-1, 5-LS1-1, 5-LS2-1Cover boards and pit traps

Middle School Programs

Programs include a field study, low ropes/challenge course elements, STEM activities, and themed games.

  • 1.5 hour program
  • $8/per student
  • Nature Investigators Activity Boxes- $40 flat rate rental for use during program
  • Program Extension- $2 additional per student
GradeTitleStandardsField Study
6th GradeWeather, Water, Watersheds6-ESS2-2, 6-ESS2-4, 6-ESS3-2Net dipping and aquatic crate traps
7th  GradeBass, Bears, and Ecosystem Balance7-LS2-1, 7-LS2-2, 7-LS2-3, 7-LS2-4Net dipping and fish traps
8th GradeDay in the Life of the Riparian Hawk8-LS1-4, 8-LS1-5, 8-LS4-4Net dipping and cover boards

High School Programs

  • 1.5 hour program
  • This is a green jobs introduction class. Students will become a forest and wetland ecologist for a day.
Forest/Wetland EcologistB-LS2-1, B-LS2-2, B-LS2-6, B-LS2-7, B-LS4-2Includes land-based forest health ecology studies$6/per student 

Trout Release Day Program

This program is coordinated with SC DNR Trout in the Classroom program and covers the importance of Riparian Habitats on the Survival of Trout. 

  • 1.5 hour program
  • Grades K-12
  • $6/per student

Outreach - School Yard Investigators: A Nature Mystery

This 45-minute program includes school yard field study, STEM activities, and science-based mystery game.

  • Grades K-5
  • Up to 25 students per class
  • $100/per class plus travel fee (Travel fee = round-trip mileage : 0-15 miles at $15, 16-30 miles at $30, 31- 45 miles at $45)
  • Schedule of multiple classes will be coordinated with park ranger and teacher to be as efficient as possible

Virtual Education Program - Are You Smarter than a Park Ranger? 

This 30–45-minute program includes a meet and greet with a park ranger and biofact quiz game. For up to 25 students. 

  • Ages K–12
  • $30/30 min.; $45/45 min. 

Guided Nature Walks

This one-hour program includes a park ranger guided walk through Saluda Shoals Park's many habitats and trails. Students learn about the unique plants and animals that call the park home. Educational content can be adjusted to any age level. The park also offers a "no walk" version of this program that includes an hour of biofacts. 

  • Ages K–12
  • Up to 25 students per class
  • $50/per class

Native Plant Database

Retired Saluda Shoals Park environmental education director Jeanette Wells has spent many years and countless hours cataloging plant species at Saluda Shoals Park. She has developed a comprehensive database of native plants complete with photos and detailed information. With help from the Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center, this database has been published.

Jeanette will continue to update and add to the information and welcomes photographs of plants in the park to add to the database. Photos can be emailed to and the photographer will be given credit for photos on the database.  

To view and learn more about native plants species at Saluda Shoals Park, please visit the link below.

Native Plant Species of Saluda Shoals Park