ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION PROGRAMS

Center for Wildlife's mission extends to educating our community about wildlife ecology, human impacts on wildlife and critical ecosystems, and stewardship in a region facing intense pressure from development and population growth.

 

Our education and outreach programs offer an opportunity for Project WILD educators, live animal ambassadors, hands-on materials, and displays to foster the natural connection between people and wildlife, inspiring the conservationist within. 

Center for Wildlife’s exciting team of live, non-releasable wildlife “ambassadors” trained for presentation to audiences (including owls, hawks, falcons, Virginia opossum, big brown bat, turtles and snakes), and our Environmental Educators offer a unique opportunity to bring lessons to life and see local wildlife up close and personal.

All of our educational programs are now offered virtually so that you can learn about our wild world from the comfort of your own home, classroom or office!

Check out our educational program offerings below.

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To book a program, click on the "book now" button,

or call our Education and Outreach team at 207.361.1400 ext. 105

We look forward to hearing from you!

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Scavengers: Nature's Cleanup Crew

When it comes to food, most animals think that fresh is best, but not so with our wild scavengers. Often seen as gross and mean, our scavengers play an incredibly important role in the breakdown of dead plants and animals, and leave their habitat cleaner and more beautiful than they found it. Our educators and non-releasable scavenger ambassadors will bust many of the most common myths and misconceptions about these beautiful, misunderstood wild friends.

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Nature As My Muse

Throughout the history of humans, we have derived inspiration from nature.  Through art, biomimicry, technology, sound, and behavior, we find beauty and health in our surroundings.  This cross-curricular program brings a brief Powerpoint presentation outlining a bit of history of just some of the ways we have been inspired by nature into arts and science classrooms.  Following the Powerpoint presentation, participants are able to meet some of our non-releasable Animal Ambassadors up close and in person and be inspired by them to create their own works of art and share some of the knowledge they have gained during the presentation to be able to share with their community.  This program lends itself to any medium of art from sculpting to photography, field sketching to oils, crayons to acrylics and more.  Let nature be your muse!

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Raptors, Reptiles & Mammals

Focusing on animals that live in Maine, we will provide an in-depth introduction to the unique differences between raptors, reptiles, and mammals.  Do snakes have fur?  Do rabbits have scales?  Are birds "cold-blooded"?  Why do opossums have pouches?  How do each of these animal groups adapt to our changing seasons?  Using our amazing non-releasable animal ambassadors and interactive displays, the answers to these and other questions will be revealed.  This hour long program will connect the audience with these beautiful ambassadors of their species as well as provide their natural and personal histories and empower audience members to  help to steward the environment that we all share.  

*Please note that our mammals cannot travel off-site due to COVID-19 but can be visited here at the Center.

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Maine Birds of Prey

What is the difference between a hawk and a falcon?  Do we have vultures in Maine?  What is our smallest owl? What is our largest hawk?  Where do they live?  Using our amazing live non-releasable bird ambassadors, posters, and hands-on materials, we will discuss the kinds of birds of prey found in Maine, their habitats, habits, place in the food chain, and why we need to protect them. This hour long program will connect the audience with these beautiful ambassadors of their species as well as provide their natural and personal histories and empower audience members to  help to steward the environment that we all share.

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Seasonal Wildlife Adaptations

Native wildlife have amazing adaptations they use to survive extreme cold, heat, wind and other elements. With assistance from our live, non-releasable raptor, reptile and mammal ambassadors, we will examine the special tools for surviving the New England seasons such as an owl’s feathered talons or hibernation and migration. Educators will focus on seasonal wildlife and their adaptations as well as tips on spotting and helping local wildlife.

*Please note that our mammals cannot travel off-site due to COVID-19 but can be visited here at the Center.

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Nature's Nightshift: Nocturnal Animals

A wonderful introduction to Maine’s creatures of the night.  How does a bat find thousands of tiny mosquitoes in the dark?  Why would an opossum choose to lumber around at night?  How does a porcupine defend himself against a predator? How can an owl see its way through the forest?  Wild animals continue their hard work, even as we sleep.  Using live animals and hands-on materials we will answer these questions and find out how nocturnal mammals utilize all of their senses to find food and shelter at night.  Our beautiful live non-releasable animal ambassadors will also demonstrate some unique adaptations these animals have to be observed up close.

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Owls: Silent Hunters of the Night

Our beautiful non-releasable owl ambassadors show off their adaptations for night hunting.  Learn about the variety of New England species, their habitats, diets, calls, and tips on how to spot them in the wild.  Educators will also focus on their importance in balancing prey populations, current challenges, and how to help. Using our amazing non-releasable animal ambassadors and interactive displays, the phenomenal adaptations of owls will be explored and discovered.  This hour long program will connect the audience with these beautiful ambassadors of their species as well as provide their natural and personal histories and empower audience members to  help to steward the environment that we all share.  

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Wells Reserve Field Trip: Wild Friends in Wild Places

Meet wildlife ambassadors and educators from the Center for Wildlife at Wells Reserve! Students will learn about native wildlife and their behaviors, characteristics, and life needs. Then, students will venture outdoors on a guided walk by Wells Reserve docent naturalists, with nature journals to explore the habitats of the Wells Reserve while searching for animal homes and signs.

This program is specifically for grades K-2, and is limited to groups of up to 30 students. The field trip lasts 2 to 3 hours and is offered by appointment on Wednesdays. Reservations must be made through Wells Reserve (207) 646-1555, ext 110. 

Grant funded scholarships are available for this program only. Click here for a financial aid application.

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Custom Programs

If you don't see a program that fits your needs, our Education and Outreach team would be happy to build a custom program for you! We can customize material for any age or audience incorporating wildlife, ecology, conservation, biology, seasonal adaptations, physiology, and more! Popular themes include Springtime Vernal Pools, Raptor Migration, Bird Biology, and many other concepts.  We also offer training for local Animal Control Officers and Veterinarian practices.

For those looking for a modified or shorter program, we are now offering a shorter modified version of our programs.  These programs have our educators presenting for a half hour with two ambassadors with 15 minutes at the end allowing the participants to explore our bio parts and touch table. These programs lend themselves well to connecting and educating for preschools and younger ages.  We look forward to presenting for you!

For more information, please contact education@thecenterforwildlife.org