Students conduct a science investigation on the shores of Quantico Creek in Prince William Forest
Prince William Forest

School & Group Environmental Science

Discover Your Outdoor Classroom
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Location
Prince William Forest
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Grades
4-12
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Cost
$225

Our overnight environmental science programs in Prince William Forest Park offer students the opportunity to engage in inclusive, hands-on learning experiences in the DC Metro Area’s largest green space. Students explore a Piedmont forest ecosystem while challenging themselves physically, building meaningful relationships and discovering a caring relationship with the natural world. We collaborate with each school or group to ensure their program experience meets their educational goals.

Our

Program

Sample Day & Activities

Morning: Gather in the historic dining hall for breakfast, pack backpacks and prepare for a day in the forest.

Instructional Day: Spend the day in small learning groups led by a professional NatureBridge educator. Students engage in collaborative, authentic scientific learning experiences in a safe and supportive environment. These experiences are designed to support curriculum standards and students’ social and emotional development.

  • Conduct a reptile and amphibian study. Observe salamanders, turtles and frogs in their natural habitats.
  • Explore a nearby creek and participate in a stream bio-monitoring project while learning about watersheds and water use.
  • Investigate the physical processes that affect the landscape and the forest ecosystem. Topics include erosion, weathering, rock types and soil composition.
  • Learn about nocturnal animals and astronomy on a night hike.

Afternoon/Early Evening: Return to campus to relax or play in the ball field while school chaperones supervise. A buffet-style dinner in the dining hall gives everyone a chance to share their trail stories.

Evening: NatureBridge educators will facilitate evening programs chosen by the school’s Group Coordinator. Options include an evening hike, nature art, herpetology and a closing campfire (s’mores may be provided by the school). Students then return to the cabins and get ready for bed.

A student balances on a rock in Quantico Creek

Areas of Study

Life Science & Ecology: Learn about the diversity of life in the piedmont forest by investigating the wide range of flora and fauna that live in terrestrial and aquatic habitats.

Watershed Studies: Explore Quantico Creek and its tributaries while learning more about the Chesapeake Bay watershed, the water cycle, stream hydrology and riparian ecology.

Earth Science & Geology: Investigate the long geological history of the piedmont forest while observing several of the processes that have shaped the forest over time, including: erosion; rocks and soil; and climate.

Our Educators

NatureBridge environmental science educators bring our programs to life. Our skilled and passionate educators provide inclusive and culturally responsive programming that challenges students to step out of their comfort zones and connect to themselves and one another. Our staff have a Bachelor’s Degree or equivalent work and training experience, cleared background checks and are certified to manage risk in the field. 

The energy and passion our educators have for engaging with youth and the natural world is a vital element of our success.

Outcomes

Connect to SCIENCE + NATURE +  SELF AND OTHERS: Students experience personal growth, build interpersonal skills, gain science knowledge, strengthen critical thinking skills and learn to act as environmental stewards. NatureBridge strives to create an impactful and lasting educational program for every student.

Everybody should have the experience of learning through the lens of a nature adventure. Students were engaged in productive talk, experimenting and curiosity. It's amazing how much learning takes place when students are immersed in the actual environment.
Tondra Odom, Teacher at Savoy Elementary School
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Our

Campus

Lodging

Our campus at  Cabin Camp 1 is made up of several cabins, a dining hall and craft lodges which can be used as indoor teaching spaces. The cabins are divided into four Loops which each have their own bath house with sinks, toilets and showers. The Cabin Camp was the site of a Depression-era summer camp for inner-city Washington, D.C. youth and has a very rustic feel that allows students to feel fully immersed in the forest environment.

A cabin in Prince William Forest.

Dining

The kitchen staff at our campus have worked at several Park Service locations and are excited to provide healthy, delicious food to our participants. Breakfast and dinner are served buffet-style in the dining hall. Lunch is served on the trail during the hiking day. Most dietary restrictions, including vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free and dairy-free, can be accommodated with advance notice. All participants are asked to bring their own lunch on arrival day.

dining hall at cabin camp 1 at Prince William Forest Park
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Rates and Availability

Rates

Rates (9/1/19-7/1/20) Students Teacher/Chaperones
3 days/2 nights $225 $175

Tuition for a NatureBridge in Prince William Forest includes:

  • Customized instruction for groups of approximately 100 students
  • On-site lodging in historic cabins
  • Nutritious meals provided in our dining hall and field lunches (except arrival day lunch)
  • Educational evening programs for each night of stay

Tuition does not include transportation to and from Prince William Forest Park.

DOEE MWEE Program

For 5th grade students in District of Columbia Public Schools and Public Charter Schools, the 3-day, 2-night Meaningful Watershed Education Experience (MWEE) program is FREE through a partnership with the District Department of Energy and the Environment (DOEE). Details available at ddoe.dc.gov/service/overnight-meaningful-watershed-educational-experience

Scholarships and Fundraising Ideas

Need-based scholarships are available. Click here to view the Scholarship Application and contact us at princewilliamforest@naturebridge.org with any questions. Additional fundraising ideas can be found here.

A generous grant from the District Department of the Environment allows Washington D.C. public schools to bring their fifth graders to Prince William Forest Park for free. Learn more.

Availability

Three-day programs are available in the Spring and Fall. Our maximum capacity is 100 based on available space. Please contact us for availability at princewilliamforest@naturebridge.org.

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Prepare for Your Trip

Students, Families and Chaperones

Teachers and Group Coordinators

Visit your planning page

Gear up at the NatureBridge Store
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Where to

Find Us

Cabin Camp 1
Pleasant Rd
Manassas, VA 20112

703-634-9041
princewilliamforest@naturebridge.org

Start planning your trip to NatureBridge today!