Below is a list of the standard Field Trip Programs offered at Merry Lea. Each program description includes: field trip season, grade level, maximum number of students*, program overview and academic standards correlation.
We also offer custom programs. Custom programs may combine 2-3 of our standard programs or you may request a program about birds, renewable energy, wild edible plants, wetland restoration and insects. All custom programs have separate pricing.
*Please note: if bringing more than the maximum number of students listed, you will need to reserve more than one field trip date
Merry Lea cares about the safety of our guests and staff. To protect our youngest learners, we ask all participants to join Merry Lea staff in following these policies:
- All participants including children ages 3 and older are required to wear face masks for the duration of the program
- Maintain 6 feet of distance whenever possible
- Self-screen before arrival and continue rigorous handwashing
Please note these policies are subject to change at any time.
Please review our general and safety protocols for programs at Merry Lea.
Sorry, but no field trips match your parameters.
Discover how animals and plants prepare for winter by observing evidence and using all 5 senses in the forests, meadows, and wetlands at Merry Lea. Students think like a woodchuck, scamper like a squirrel, compare seeds’ characteristics and more to experience how Indiana’s wildlife is adapted to survive winter.
Students discover the diversity of life at Merry Lea first-hand by exploring multiple ecosystems on our trails. In each habitat, students identify native organisms and discuss the interconnections of mammals, insects, plants, humans, and more. Assess the importance of biodiversity by flipping logs, interpreting abiotic features, and meeting the flora and fauna of Merry Lea.
Exploring Merry Lea Sustainable Farm
Merry Lea Sustainable Farm is a unique edible ecosystem where students taste their way to an understanding of humans, farm, and habitat connections. Students delve into soil ecosystems, search for pollinators at work, and meet our animals living at the farm. Making apple cider provides students a memorable example of how food can be processed before we consume it.
Students explore seasons as spring wakes up around them! Get out on the trails and investigate adaptations, the diversity of life, and ecosystem interactions. Dip for pond creatures, play concept-reinforcing games, and experience spring in Indiana.
We know about paper, plastic, and glass, but how does nature recycle? Through interactive exploration, students visit forests, prairies, and wetlands to learn that everything in the natural world is eventually broken down into its basic parts. Get face-to-face with some wriggly recyclers, and discover why decomposition is such an important process in nature.
Dig into northeastern Indiana’s rich geological history! Students discover the impact glaciers had on this area by seeing glacial activity up close. Hike down an esker, move through layers of topsoil and glacial till to find a peat bog, explore and identify rocks in an abandoned gravel pit, and use models to understand how glaciers changed Indiana’s landscape.
Trees are Terrific!
The marvelous world of trees is diverse in function, characteristics, and uses. Students explore trees’ anatomy and physiology, life cycles, identifications, and roles within different ecosystems. Examine leaves, seeds, buds and more as students hike among the trees, compare and contrast living tree examples, and participate in trail-based activities designed to spark curiosity and learning - all about trees!
What, if anything, is wrong with our water? How did it get that way? What can be done about it now? Students address these questions using modern equipment and techniques to conduct water sampling experiments. Explore a lake ecosystem in canoes and waders to assess biological indicators, pollution, siltation, and human impacts on water quality.
Enjoy the wonders of winter! Students explore how people, plants, and animals cope with winter by using their senses in the wintery woods and meadows. Outdoors they search for signs of life and survival strategies used by native plants and animals. Indoors they warm up while engaging in fun and educational winter-themed activities.
Immerse students in a wetland ecosystem by putting on waders to dip for small animals, identifying these critters, and hiking around the wetland. Throughout each activity and game, students recognize physical and biological components of each wetland type and the important functions of wetlands.