Riverbend Environmental Education Center 40.068264° N -75.28324° W

Description

Riverbend Environmental Education Center sits on a 30-acre preserve in Gladwyne, Pennsylvania. We teach environmental principles to children in Southeastern Pennsylvania through a direct connection with nature, inspiring respect for our natural world, and action as aware, responsible and caring citizens. All of our programs focus on engaging children in the practices of science, including asking questions, making observations, and collecting data.

Some of our programs take place at neighboring preserves located within a short drive of Riverbend's main campus.

Our programs typically begin at 10AM, but we are happy to be flexible to meet our schools' needs. If you would like your program to begin earlier or later, please let us know!

Please note- The price for a typical Riverbend field trip is $750 for up to 50 students. The cost is $12 for each additional student up to 72 students. Certain field trip programs are priced differently; please check the program description for pricing. For larger or smaller groups contact Suzanne Safran ssafran@riverbendeec.org.

Riverbend on the Road programs start at $300 per visit.


Lunch Notes

Riverbend has picnic tables for students to use during their trip. If you plan to eat lunch at Riverbend, please bring lunches that do not need to be refrigerated. We are a carry-in/carry-out facility so please plan to take your trash with you!

Bathroom Notes

Two single-stall restrooms are available in the main barn at Riverbend, as well as a single stall bathroom near the meadow and supplemental porta-potties near the stream.

Cancellation Policy

As an outdoor education facility, Riverbend closely monitors weather conditions. Student safety is our top priority.
Riverbend programs run rain or shine. However, in the event of unsafe weather conditions, Riverbend staff will determine if a program can safely operate and notify schools of cancellations by 7:30 on the morning of the program. In the event that a program is cancelled due to weather, we will work with schools to reschedule within the same calendar year.
All other cancellation/reschedule requests must be received in writing at least 3 weeks before the originally scheduled program date. Riverbend cannot provide refunds for cancelled programs.

Info

1950 Spring Mill Road
Gladwyne, PA 19035

+1 610-527-5234

Sun
Closed
Mon
9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Tues
9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Wed
9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Thur
9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Fri
9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Sat
Closed

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Subjects
Science, Art, Biology, Ecosystems, Conservation, Sustainability, Team Building, Earth's Systems, Weather And Climate, Engineering, Life Sciences, Animals, Adaptation, The Water Cycle, Water Testing, Agriculture, Climate
Activities
Field Trip, School Based Program
Grades
3, 4, 5, 1, 2, K, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, Preschool
Cost
Accommodations
Outdoor Lunch Space

Learning Experiences

Field Trip

Habitat Exploration

What do all living things need to survive? Students will explore some of Riverbend’s habitats to find the answers to these and other questions about local wildlife. Habitats to explore: pond, stream, meadow, or forest.
Students will practice science skills including drawing, observations, and group discussion.

WANT TO CUSTOMIZE THIS TRIP? Riverbend field trips typically include four stations. You can select one of these stations to substitute in your Habitats field trip. Once you register, you will have the option to customize your program.

ANIMAL ENCOUNTER (all ages) - Meet one of Riverbend's animal ambassadors.
AQUAPONICS GREENHOUSE TOUR (all ages) - Learn how we are using fish waste to grow food.
NATURE JOURNALING (Grades 2-12)- Learn how to effectively use a nature journal to improve observation skills.
INVASIVE SPECIES (Grades 2-12) - What are they? What's the problem? Learn to identify some of the invasive plants in the Philadelphia region and then help Riverbend remove them from the preserve.
GEOLOGY (Grades 2-12) - Learn how erosion and weathering can shape an environment by exploring rock and soil weathering in the stream.
BIRDING & BINOCULARS (Grades 3-12) - Learn the basics of binocular use and then put them to use spotting and identifying local birds.

Subjects Covered

science, biology, ecosystems, life sciences, animals

Grades
1, 2, k, preschool
Capacity
75 stu.
Activity

field trip

Duration
150 min.
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Ecosystem Interactions

An ecosystem is a community of living (biotic) things interacting with the nonliving (abiotic) things in their environment. Bring this lesson to life by exploring the interrelationship of living and nonliving things at Riverbend’s forest, stream, meadow and/or pond!

Science skills include observations, collecting data, creating models, discussion with peers.

WANT TO CUSTOMIZE THIS TRIP?
Riverbend field trips typically include four stations. You can select one of these stations to substitute in your ecosystems field trip. Once you register, you will have the option to customize your program.

ANIMAL ENCOUNTER (all ages) - Meet one of Riverbend's animal ambassadors.
AQUAPONICS GREENHOUSE TOUR (all ages) - Learn how we are using fish waste to grow food.
NATURE JOURNALING (Grades 2-12)- Learn how to effectively use a nature journal to improve observation skills.
INVASIVE SPECIES (Grades 2-12) - What are they? What's the problem? Learn to identify some of the invasive plants in the Philadelphia region and then help Riverbend remove them from the preserve.
GEOLOGY (Grades 2-12) - Learn how erosion and weathering can shape an environment by exploring rock and soil weathering in the stream.
BIRDING & BINOCULARS (Grades 3-12) - Learn the basics of binocular use and then put them to use spotting and identifying local birds.

Subjects Covered

science, ecosystems, earth's systems, adaptation, conservation

Grades
3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
Capacity
75 stu.
Activity

field trip

Duration
150 min.
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Water on the Move - Watersheds

Earth has been called the "water planet" because 2/3 of its surface is covered in water. All living things need water to survive and life exists everywhere there is water. This program focuses on the movement of water in a watershed (or drainage basin) and helps students understand what a watershed is by looking at the land at Riverbend and thinking about how water flows. Students will learn about pervious and impervious surfaces and how human impacts on the environment change water flow and quality. They will also explore some of the wildlife that depend on clean water for survival. Students will conduct a stream investigation, sample water, and hike a watershed trail to learn how water connects us all on the water planet.

WANT TO CUSTOMIZE THIS TRIP?
Riverbend field trips typically include four stations. You can select one of these stations to substitute in your Watersheds field trip. Once you register, you will have the option to customize your program.

ANIMAL ENCOUNTER (all ages) - Meet one of Riverbend's animal ambassadors.
AQUAPONICS GREENHOUSE TOUR (all ages) - Learn how we are using fish waste to grow food.
NATURE JOURNALING (Grades 2-12)- Learn how to effectively use a nature journal to improve observation skills.
INVASIVE SPECIES (Grades 2-12) - What are they? What's the problem? Learn to identify some of the invasive plants in the Philadelphia region and then help Riverbend remove them from the preserve.
GEOLOGY (Grades 2-12) - Learn how erosion and weathering can shape an environment by exploring rock and soil weathering in the stream.
BIRDING & BINOCULARS (Grades 3-12) - Learn the basics of binocular use and then put them to use spotting and identifying local birds.

Subjects Covered

science, ecosystems, the water cycle, water testing

Grades
3, 4, 5
Capacity
75 stu.
Activity

field trip

Duration
150 min.
Book Now

The Future of Farming-Winter FT

Where does your food come from? If you answered the supermarket, this program is for you! There was a time when humans lived off the natural resources available to them. They settled near waterways, foraged for plants and hunted animals. Then came agriculture. Agriculture allowed humans to develop permanent settlements with reliable food sources. This program looks at the history and current state of agriculture in the United States and looks at some sustainable growing solutions for the future. Students will tour the Riverbend Aquaponics Greenhouse and see how fish waste is used to grow vegetables. Students will discuss the food web which includes humans, and then plant their own vegetable seeds to take back to school and watch grow into food they can eat!

Subjects Covered

science, agriculture

Grades
3, 4, 5
Capacity
50 stu.
Activity

field trip

Duration
120 min.
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Plants, Pollinators, and Aquaponics-Winter FT

Plants need sun and water to grow, but many also need pollinators to help them reproduce! In this hands-on program students will learn how plants grow and the important role of pollinators in transporting pollen from flower to flower so that fruit can grow and spread seeds. Students will explore the many phases of plant growth in Riverbend’s Aquaponics greenhouse and learn all about this environmentally friendly farming method (which uses fish waste as a nutrient source for plants). Students also have the option of planting seeds that they will take back to school with them to be planted in a pollinator garden in the spring!

Subjects Covered

science, sustainability

Grades
1, 2, k
Capacity
50 stu.
Activity

field trip

Duration
90 min.
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A Winter Walk in the Woods

What trees live at Riverbend? Practice observation and categorization skills in our field trip all about winter tree ID. Students will receive nature journals, record observations, and become familiar with plant terminology to get to know the trees of Riverbend.

Subjects Covered

science, art

Grades
3, 4, 5
Capacity
50 stu.
Activity

field trip

Duration
120 min.
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Exploring Winter

Students will rotate through three stations: an outdoor winter hike, a tour of our APX greenhouse, and one custom station (see below).

ANIMAL ENCOUNTER (all ages) - Meet one of Riverbend's animal ambassadors.
NATURE JOURNALING (Grades 2-12)- Learn how to effectively use a nature journal to improve observation skills.
BIRDING & BINOCULARS (Grades 3-12) - Learn the basics of binocular use and then put them to use spotting and identifying local birds.

Subjects Covered

science

Grades
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, k
Capacity
50 stu.
Activity

field trip

Duration
90 min.
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Riverbend's Service Learning Field Trip

This extended field trip experience has been designed for middle school and high school students. Students spend the morning doing a traditional educational field trip that includes outdoor exploration, an introduction to naturalist skills and a tour of our Aquaponics Greenhouse. Then students break for lunch and meet with Riverbend's Director of Conservation to get the service learning assignments. The service projects will vary depending on the time of the year and the needs of the preserve. This field trip runs from 9am-2pm, but can be customized to suit the needs of your group. The cost for this trip is $1250 for up to 50 students and $20 per additional student up to 72 students.

Subjects Covered

science, biology, ecosystems, conservation, sustainability

Grades
6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
Capacity
72 stu.
Activity

field trip

Duration
300 min.
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Riverbend's Amazing Race

Challenge your students with a team building race that happens all over Riverbend's 30 acre preserve. In small teams, students will compete to find and finish six challenges that are led by our educators. Challenges involve grade appropriate science concepts such as water quality testing, aquatic macroinvertebrate surveys, cycles of matter, aquaponics, and plant identification.

Due to the staffing requirements of this program, this unique experience is $21/student for up to 50 students, additional students up to our capacity are $15/student. Use our Amazing Race to review science concepts or start your year with a collaborative, hands on experience to get students excited to learn.

Subjects Covered

science, ecosystems, team building

Grades
6, 7, 8
Capacity
72 stu., Max 6 chap., Min 2 chap.
Activity

field trip

Duration
180 min.
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Environmental Challenges

Students will work in teams to investigate real environmental challenges happening at Riverbend and prepare a solution for one of the problems to present to their peers. Challenges include soil erosion, invasive species, and water runoff. During the program students will use science skills such as evaluating evidence, modeling phenomena, and peer discussion. This program is designed for students in grades 6 and up.

Subjects Covered

science, ecosystems, earth's systems, weather and climate, engineering

Grades
6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
Capacity
75 stu.
Activity

field trip

Duration
150 min.
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School Based Program

Riverbend on the Road

Riverbend educators will visit your school, daycare center, preserve, library or community center with a nature-based program that supports your curriculum and learning goals. Our programs are designed to deliver engaging experiences while deepening students’ curiosity for and connection to the natural world. For a full list of program descriptions, visit our web site. Programs are $300 and $50 for each additional program the same day. There is a $30 travel fee for schools located more than 10 miles from Riverbend. We travel a maximum of 25 miles from Riverbend.

Subjects Covered

science, biology, ecosystems, earth's systems, animals

Grades
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, k, preschool
Capacity
30 stu.
Activity

school based program

Duration
40 min.
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