Trailside Nature Center School Programming

Trailside Nature Center School Programming

3251 Brookline Avenue, Cincinnati, Ohio 45220 (Burnet Woods/Clifton). Naturalist Michael George, 513.751.3679 or michael.george@cincinnati-oh.gov 


Season Available: Fall, Spring Grade Level: K – 6

They’re creepy, crawly and all together fascinating! Discover the exciting world of a bug’s life, as we look at the most successful group of animals on the planet. From the depths of Burnet Woods to the butterfly gardens of Trailside Nature Center, this program offers a unique opportunity to examine metamorphosis, life cycles and the unique roles they play in our day-to-day lives.


Season Available: Fall, Winter, Spring Grade Level: 1 – 4, 5 – 8, 9 – 12

Experience the oldest planetarium west of the Allegheny Mountains. Discover stars, constellations, galaxies and more. Learn the stories behind Orion, the Big and Little Dippers and many others. Includes Native American, African, Greek and Roman legends. Children participate in hands-on activities revolving around planets, moon phases and constructing star charts for nighttime viewing.


Season Available: Fall, Spring Grade Level: 1 – 6

This exciting program functions as a primer on plant life. Children will learn about the structure, function and reproduction of local trees and wildflowers as they explore the wooded hillsides of this urban forest. Through the use of hands-on activities, children are exposed to the process of photosynthesis, seasonal changes, seed dispersal and more.


Season Available: Fall, Winter, Spring Grade Level: 1 – 6

This program introduces children to our local habitats, their composition and how plants and animals have adapted to live within them. Through a combination of exploration, fun-filled activities and live animal demonstrations, children gain a greater understanding of the world around them.


Season Available: Fall, Winter, Spring Grade Level: 2 – 6

A lively series of demonstrations introduces children to how air, water and heat produce Earth’s weather.  Engaging activities bring the water cycle to life. On the hike, we look for the effects of weathering and erosion and explore how animals cope with the changing seasons.


Season Available: Fall, Spring Grade Level: 2 – 6

Children explore ways to Reduce, Reuse and Recycle our natural resources through hands-on and interactive activities. Fun and active techniques are employed to engage children in the recycling of solid waste, nature’s recycling methods and composting.


Season Available: Fall, Winter, Spring Grade Level: 2 – 8

The Burnet Woods Lake serves as our outdoor laboratory as we explore the plants and animals that comprise this unique ecosystem. Hands-on activities engage children in analyzing water quality, investigating aquatic food chains, the water cycle and more. Problem solving skills are used to assess the health of the lake and address pollution issues.


Season Available: F, S Grade Level: 9 – 12

Have a bus and need a tour guide? A Cincinnati Park Board Naturalist can bring your next field trip to life with exciting visits to destinations throughout the city. Tours include: Memorial Pioneer Cemetery and the founding of Cincinnati; Along The Waterfront, the Rise of the Queen City; Inclines and Overlooks, and Escaping the Basin. Or explore the exciting history behind the city’s older parks and diverse neighborhoods. Tours can be customized to meet your educational needs.

The programs listed below are available year-round at most Nature Centers. Their content and presentation styles can be modified for children of all ages:


Nature reinvents itself with each changing season. These hikes and programs explore and explain the changes and phenomena associated with the particular season of your visit. Included are these favorite topics: Why leaves change color and fall in autumn; How animals prepare for or survive winter; spring flowers; pollination, and bird migration.


Learning to identify and appreciate local wildlife opens doors to understanding the natural world and how humans and wildlife interact. Most programs use a combination of taxidermy mounts and small live animals (snake, turtle, toad). The emphasis can vary to suit your needs and objectives.


Planning a unit on birds, mammals, reptiles, insects, trees, or wildflowers? A Naturalist program can bring it to “life” with taxidermy or mounted specimens, slides, lore and information, and hands-on exploration in a park or other natural area.


How do plants and animals become endangered? What animals are endangered in Ohio? What are people doing about it? A Naturalist talk with hands-on games and activities answers these and other questions.