Homeschool Ecology Series

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Homeschool students are invited to join Hendricks County Park Naturalists for ecology lessons at McCloud Nature Park! These are intended to build on each other, but students may register and attend only the lessons that interest them and fit their schedules. There will be optional homework and enrichment ideas to extend the lessons at home and in the community.   

Registration opens on the 1st of the month.  Advance registration required by Sunday before the program. 

Homeschool Ecology: for ages 6-11 

$5 per student 

Homeschool students ages 6-11 will enjoy hands-on, interactive activities about ecology topicsOften, more advanced extensions will be available for students who are performing at a higher level. Older children are welcome to register, but they may want to consider registering for the afternoon session with their younger siblings. 

There are two sessions offered for this age group: morning session is for students ages 6-11, and there is an afternoon session concurrent to the older student lesson. This afternoon session is restricted to younger siblings. 

Homeschool Ecology: for ages 12-18  

$10 per student 

Homeschool students ages 12-18 will participate in in-depth ecology lessons that will be hands-on and include experiments, field studies, and discussions about related careers.

For assistance with registration or any questions about the Homeschool Ecology Series programs,  please contact the McCloud Nature Center at mccloudnp@hcparks.net or at (765) 676-5437. For weather-related concerns, call our Weather Hotline at (317) 718-6111. 


April

Spring Plants 

Friday, April 23, 1-3 p.m. 

For kids ages 12-18 and younger siblings

Approximate Program Duration:  2 Hours 

Wildflowers are blooming and tree buds are bursting to shoot out new leaves.  Homeschool students will learn to identify early spring wildflowers and some plants that try to outcompete these flowers.  Students will dissect seeds to learn how plants sprout. 

For the younger siblings: kids ages 6-11 with their parent/guardian will enjoy their own lesson on spring. 

Advance registration required by April 20.  Registration opens April 1. 

Ages 12-18: $10/child. 

Ages 6-11; $5/child. Children ages 5 and younger are free. 


May

Most (Un)Wanted 

Friday, May 21, 10 a.m. to noon

For kids ages 6-11

Approximate Program Duration:  2 Hours 

Can you track down the “Most (Un)Wanted” plants and insects at McCloud Nature Park?  Discover how plants are spread by wind, wildlife, and people through games and experiments. 

Advance registration required by May 16. Registration opens May 1. 

Ages 6-11; $5/child. Children ages 5 and younger are free. 


Invasive Species 

Friday, May 21, 1-3 p.m. 

For kids ages 12-18 and younger siblings

Approximate Program Duration:  2 Hours 

Even in protected areas such as McCloud Nature Park, park managers battle plants and insects that are from other parts of the world. These are called “invasive species” and live in our area due to accidental or planned introductions. Homeschool students ages 12-18 will consider why these species are problematic and will participate in real-world dilemma discussions.   

For younger siblings: kids ages 6-11 with their parent/guardian will participate in the afternoon session of Most (Un)Wanted. 

Advance registration required by May 16. Registration opens May 1. 

Ages 12-18: $10/child. 

Ages 6-11; $5/child. Children ages 5 and younger are free. 


August

Park Architects 

Friday, Aug. 20, 10 a.m. to noon

For kids ages 6-11

Approximate Program Duration:  2 Hours 

You are the boss, and you get to design a (miniature) park! Which features will you include to keep the wildlife and people happy? Tour McCloud Nature Park and learn about park design. 

Advance registration required by Aug. 15. Registration opens Aug. 1. 

Ages 6-11; $5/child. Children ages 5 and younger are free. 


Decision Dilemmas 

Friday, Aug. 20, 1-3 p.m. 

For kids ages 12-18 and younger siblings

Approximate Program Duration:  2 Hours 

How do property managers decide how to use public lands when there are seemingly competing uses? What would you do if you were boss? How will you try to keep your supporters happy? Students will work in groups to come up with solutions to various dilemmas that public lands face.  

For younger siblings: kids ages 6-11 with their parent/guardian will participate in the afternoon session of Park Architects. 

Advance registration required by Aug. 15. Registration opens Aug. 1. 

Ages 12-18: $10/child. 

Ages 6-11; $5/child. Children ages 5 and younger are free.