CHILDREN’S FIELD TRIPS – Oregon Ridge Park’s forest, streams and meadows are nature’s classrooms for children from Baltimore City, Baltimore County and other public schools along with private schools, home school groups and summer camps. The Oregon Ridge Nature Center staff and volunteers serve approximately 3,000 students each year. Each scheduled group enjoys a 2-hour ‘field trip’ to Oregon Ridge that enhances their science curriculum.
Some of the children have said they never before walked in a forest!
For each field trip, a park naturalist introduces the subject chosen for the class with a talk, slideshow and/or live specimens. Trained volunteer trail guides then lead a hike with hands-on activities that have been designed especially for the subject. Educators can choose from the following outdoor experiences; Animals and their Habitats, Creek to Stream to Bay, Native Americans, Insects and their Kin, Maple Sugaring, Rocks Rock!, Predator and Prey and Reptiles and Amphibians or they can request a program subject that aligns with a nature related subject they are studying at the time.
SUMMER CAMPS – Each year as many as 160 children attend our various summer camps. Children ages 4-12 select one of five different camps. Each camp has a nature inspired theme that utilizes the natural areas of the Park. These camps include the following: Little Acorns, Young Naturalist, Wild in Nature, Oregon Ridge Expedition and Aquatic Explorers.
SCOUT PROGRAMS – The Nature Center has developed Cub Scout and Girl Scout nature related badge, belt loop and pin workshops that take place within the Park. These programs include topics ranging from trees to fishing. Many Scout Troops also use the park for troop-led activities or even a place to complete an Eagle Scout project.
Bioblitz, BCPS – In the Baltimore County Outdoor Science program (BCPS), every 5th grader participates in a Bioblitz, which is a field experience at a Baltimore County park – a program started in 2017. Students observe, identify, analyze and document “every living thing within a specified search area,” and then they compare the biodiversity in the park to that in their schoolyard.” Oregon Ridge hosts approximately 1,500 BCPS students during several weeks each year for this program: https://dci.bcps.org/cms/One.aspx?portalId=9047042&pageId=31826212
Stream Health Assessment, BCPS – Grades 8 and 9 Earth Systems students and high school students in AP Environmental Science measure biological and chemical indicators of the health of the freshwater ecosystem. Lead teacher, Joe Davis, said “At Oregon Ridge Park students from the central part of the County do a stream health assessment that was developed with Maryland DNR”. Mr. Davis teaches students to care for the sensitive habitat while they collect data.
OUTREACH Programs – Our outreach programs provide hands-on, engaging nature education at schools, recreation centers, day care facilities, summer camps and more. This program is offered year-round but is especially busy in the summer, when the Oregon Ridge Nature Center Council sponsors a seasonal Outreach Specialist trained in taking our programs into our community.
This is our chance to encourage Baltimore County to conserve the ecosystems at the Oregon Ridge Park, so we may continue to provide nature’s classrooms for people of all ages. Please take a moment and email the master plan consultant and County leadership below to express your support for conserving our Park lands.
Oregon Ridge Nature Center offers many public educational programs for people of all ages. Please visit our website for more information and to register: