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2nd and 4th Thu | 4:00pm-5:30pm | Feb - May


Somewhere in CNP, will be emailed

Middle School Nature Discovery After School Club

This is an exclusive opportunity for your middle schooler to experience hands-on exploration, investigation and discovery in ways unavailable to those just visiting the Preserve.

Middle School Nature Discovery After School Club
Middle School Nature Discovery After School Club

Time & Location

2nd and 4th Thu | 4:00pm-5:30pm | Feb - May

Somewhere in CNP, will be emailed

About the event

We can't wait to explore the Preserve with your student(s) in this drop-off after school club for Middle Schoolers! This is an exclusive opportunity to experience hands-on exploration, investigation and discovery in ways unavailable to those just visiting the Preserve. We'll provide tools and expertise to go deep into a variety of topics. We want to grow a love of nature in your student, and train young naturalists in a casual, fun-oriented environment. These classes are always joyful and filled with wonder!

Ideally, students will attend multiple Nature Discovery sessions. Since topics and meet up locations change, each time is new and they can build on what they know. It is also OK to jump in at any point!

REGISTRATION CLOSES AT MIDNIGHT THE TUESDAY BEFORE CLASS. If you miss the deadline, you may email to determine if there is still space for your child. CLASS SHOWING FULL? We can start a wait list. Reach out. We'll do our best to accommodate!

Every parent must fill out this form for their child/children once each season of Nature Discovery prior to their first class.


6th-8th Graders


2nd and 4th Thursdays, 4:00pm-5:30pm, February - May 9

**NOTE** This is a change in the pattern of Thursdays we had last semester, but 2nd and 4th Thursdays avoid Spring Break.

  • Thursday, February 8 - Spot a Rusty Blackbird. Once common, the rusty blackbird has lost between 85 and 95 percent of its population in the past 40 years, giving it the undesirable distinction of "fastest declining North American landbird". Conestee Nature Preserve is considered a "Bird Area of Global Significance" because it provides critical winter habitat for rusty blackbirds. Let's go find some!
  • Thursday, February 22 - Salamander Egg Exploration. A popular winter discovery, we will dip net to find spotted salamander egg masses in pools, then look at them under sun-powered microscopes. We'll see their state of development this week, and again later and note differences!
  • Thursday, March 14 - Great Blue Heron Nesting/Salamander Check. Great blue heron nests have been iconic at West Bay for years, but this year will be one of change since the trees they prefer have mostly broken. What will they do? How will they adapt? We'll see, and observe their nesting habits. We'll also check on those salamander eggs if time permits!
  • Thursday, March 28 - Babies!! West. Babies and nests are everywhere this time of year. Based on known sightings, we'll go searching for some babies on the western side of the Preserve.
  • Thursday, April 11 - Babies!! East. We will take our baby hunt to the eastern side of the Preserve.
  • Thursday, April 25 - Earth Impact Day. Want to make a lasting difference at Conestee Nature Preserve? We will take on a project in honor of Earth Day.
  • Thursday, May 9 - Student's Choice! That's right. This week's theme will be decided by popular vote!


Most popular: the Semester Bundle! Register for all classes (7 sessions) for $60.00 per student.

Individual sessions are $10 per student. If you try the first week and LOVE it, you can switch to a bundle. Ask us how! In the fall, we only had Semester Bundle participants. While you can come to just one class if you choose, one is never enough!


Meetup locations will change each session. Registered participants will be emailed on the Wednesday prior to the event to let you know where we are meeting. Please add to your contact list so that the event emails do not get lost in your spam folder.

WHAT TO BRING Please bring a water bottle. Sunscreen and bug spray should be applied before class if needed. Club sessions are entirely outdoors, so dress for the weather.


We will cancel if we have less than 4 participants, so encourage your friends to sign up with you! We will notify participants by noon the day of the class if we are cancelling due to weather. Cancellations by participants must be made 1 week prior to the event for a full refund, with the exception of cancellations due to illness. If the event is cancelled by CNP or due to illness, full refunds will be issued.

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