Youth

Youth Programs

The Conservation Foundation’s education programs allow children to experience nature up close.  By providing opportunities to explore natural habitats, children will be able to connect to the plants and animals that live in our area. Our hope is that these early experiences with nature will inspire them to become supporters and stewards of the environment as they grow into adults and become parents themselves.

Our team of trained educators will work with you to deliver engaging, hands-on environmental education programming to your child or group.  We work with schools, scouts, summer camps, and many other youth-focused groups to provide kids with a positive outdoor experience and foster their sense of wonder that can keep them engaged with life and their surroundings as they grow.  Our school programs are aligned with Next Generation State Standards, and other programs can be adapted and designed to meet your needs.

School Programs

Scout programs

Our 60-acre McDonald Farm in Naperville is the perfect campus for a tremendous variety of impactful scouting experiences, boasting a variety of ecosystems and plenty of room to spread out for activities. Scouts can earn badges, belt loops, and more at our unique facility!  Programs last approximately 60-90 minutes. 

Mighty Acorns®

Mighty Acorns® is a stewardship-based environmental education curriculum for 3-5th graders that incorporates classroom curriculum, hands-on restoration and exploration activities, and is tied to Next Generation Science Standards, STEM and Common Core.  Our experienced naturalists provide classroom and outdoor activities during the fall, winter, and spring seasons. 

Summer camps

Keep your youngsters engaged with nature this summer at Farm Camp at the Dickson-Murst Farm or at one or more sessions of McDonald Farm Summer Camps in Naperville.  Our dedicated, trained naturalists will lead kids on hands-on adventures!

After school & summer programs

Scholarships

Paul D. Pierotti Memorial Scholarship

This scholarship fund was established in 2006 by the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County President D. “Dewey Pierotti, Jr. and his wife, Leslie, in memory of their late son Paul.  “This is a fitting tribute to Paul,” said Mr. Pierotti.  “He had a great love of the outdoors, especially for the forest preserves of DuPage County. This scholarship will enable deserving students with similar interests to pursue an education related to nature.”

 

teacher resources

Our experienced educators can provide Project Learning Tree workshops for K-12 teachers that provide a hands-on approach to learning. Project Learning Tree provides “the tools educators need to bring the environment into their classrooms and their students into the environment.” 

Children’s Outdoor Bill of Rights

Every child should have the opportunity to:

  • Climb a tree
  • Explore nature in neighborhoods and cities
  • Celebrate heritage
  • Plant a flower
  • Play in the mud or a stream
  • Learn to swim