What to Wear
Our programs run rain or shine, so students should arrive with clothing that will keep them happy and successful throughout the day. If possible, each student should have the following:
Sturdy, closed-toe shoes
Raincoat (please discourage students from bringing umbrellas)
Lunch (if your group will be eating at the park)
You should arrive with your students already divided into the number of groups indicated on your field trip confirmation documents and reminder emails. Typically the number of groups are equal to the total students attending divided by 10 and rounded up. Please number or color-code groups for easy identification on field trip day.
Groups should be arranged in a way that will help all students be successful in a hands-on learning environment. If you have concerns about specific student’s ability to participate in the field trip, please don’t hesitate to contact the Field Trip Coordinator prior to your trip; we do our best to accommodate students with differing physical, behavioral, or academic needs.
You should plan on having at least one adult chaperone per group (with a requested maximum of two per group). Many teachers appreciate being separate from the assigned chaperones so they can travel between groups, enjoy watching their students learn, and be available in case any issues arise; feel free to do this if your ratio allows. Groups in need of extra support may have additional chaperones assigned as necessary. We will provide letters describing the role of a chaperone for you to distribute before your trip, or you can click the link to access that information now. Please provide large, clearly printed name tags for each of your students and chaperones, preferably with their group number or color identified on the front.
Safety and Stewardship
Before your scheduled field trip, you will receive a copy of our Expectations for Success. Please find time to share these ideas with your class before they arrive to ensure the safety of your students as well as the Tryon Creek ecosystem.
You will also receive a copy of Our Unique Urban Forest that provides additional information about our park and our program. This would be an excellent thing to send home with your permission slips so all families have a chance to get to know our park.
Nature Guides will be equipped with basic first aid supplies (Band-Aids, gauze pads, lost tooth containers, gloves, and disposal bags) to distribute to students and chaperones as needed. Please note that our guides cannot administer first-aid to students; we simply provide supplies to deal with minor medical issues as they come up.
If you have students with relevant medical issues (severe allergies, seizure disorders, mobility differences, etc.) please let the Field Trip Coordinator know before you arrive so we can help to ensure their health and safety throughout the day.
Lunch and Snacks
We have a large covered open-air shelter (Jackson Shelter) with benches that is available for you and your class to eat lunch in the park. If you are staying for a 4-hour program, there will be a lunch break after the morning segment, approximately 2-hours into the trip. If you are just coming for a 2-hour program you may choose whether or not you would like to create time to eat lunch in the park outside of your scheduled field trip hours. We are always happy to store lunch boxes, water bottles, etc. during their program as long as they are easily contained in tubs or boxes.
Because the woods can be a hungry place and our lunch breaks are often scheduled outside of the times students would normally eat at school, it may be wise to either have a quick snack in class before coming to the park or plan to arrive 10-15 minutes early so students can eat before the program. Please note that we do not encourage snacks during the field trip, as it can be distracting to the students’ ability to learn successfully. That being said, if you have questions or concerns about this policy, feel free to contact the Field Trip Coordinator to discuss options.
Getting to the park
Your start-time should be scheduled to give you plenty of time to gather students, coordinate with chaperones, and travel to the park through unpredictable traffic. Because we cannot extend program times to accommodate late arrivals, it is wise to allow yourself an extra 5 to 10 minutes to get students on the bus and to the park.
We will begin each field trip in the Jackson Shelter, located down the path to the right as you walk towards the Nature Center. Feel free to gather in that space until your scheduled start-time if you arrive at the park early, otherwise the Field Trip Coordinator will meet you in the parking lot to welcome your class and give some instructions before you unload.