Turkey Creek Nature Preserve, Southern Environmental Center offering fall outdoor education programs

Birmingham Alabama
Turkey Creek – photo by Pat Byington, Bham Now

Seeking outdoor education programs this school year?

The Turkey Creek Nature Preserve (TCNP) and Southern Environmental Center (SEC) have options for students at home during the pandemic and schools looking to get the kids outside this fall.


Visit both Birmingham-Southern College programs to learn more at TCNP & SEC.

Here are the details.

Turkey Creek Nature Preserve – New Opportunities

Last week, Turkey Creek Nature Preserve announced several new opportunities to supplement your child’s education this fall! 

Home to the vermilion darter, one of the rarest fish in the world, the Preserve is offering hands-on learning opportunities that up until now were only available by reservation to large school groups. 

Starting this month, Turkey Creek is expanding their programs to provide individual students with the chance to get out and learn in the safest possible learning environment.

Every Monday and Tuesday this fall, with morning and afternoon blocks, the group will feature  four different learning opportunities. 

  1. Aquatic Ecology – Life of a Creek (3rd grade – High School)
  2. Geocaching and Land Navigation (3rd grade – High School
  3. Herpetology – A Live Animal Experience (1st Grade – High School)
  4. Naturalist Hikes- Forest Ecology and Exploration (1st Grade – High School)

Program Fees:

  • Half-Day program: $20 per student
  • Full Day Program (2 programs): $40
  • Parental/Guardian attendance: Same as student fee ($20/half day or $40/full day)*
  • They offer an early drop-off time of 8:30am and late pick-up time of 4:00pm for an additional fee.
  •  All payments must be paid in full prior to the day of programming to attend.

“If parents are looking for a stimulating, safe way to supplement their kid’s education this fall, Turkey Creek Preserve is perfect for that. Students will learn the mechanics of natural ecosystems, how they impact our everyday lives, and how to become leaders in protecting them. I’m excited to be teaching herpetology and aquatic ecology this fall, as well as leading nature hikes.” ~ Kate Cosnahan, Turkey Creek Environmental Educator

Southern Environmental Center

The Ecoscape at Birmingham Southern College. Photo from the Southern Environmental Center

For three decades the Southern Environmental Center has offered quality environmental education programs. Their premier outdoor education program is the original  Ecoscape on the campus of Birmingham-Southern College which turns 25 years old next year.

Presently, the SEC is taking reservations for individual students and groups up to 20. Along with the Ecoscape tour, they offer three additional indoor activities:

  1. The Interactive Museum 
  2. GeoDome
  3. Eco Art (which can be done outside weather permitting)
Video published before 2020.

Participants are asked to participate in 3 of the 4 activities. For more information about rates and reservations, call (205) 226-4934 or email rhazelho@bsc.edu.

Other Local Programs Environmental Education Programs

Along with the two Birmingham-Southern based programs, locally the Fresh Air Family, Cahaba River Society – CLEAN Program and the McWane Science Center are offering hands-on and virtual environmental education programs.

More importantly, do your best to get outside with kids. As my favorite environmental educators say – Leave No Child Inside!.

  • Longtime conservationist. Former Executive Director at the Alabama Environmental Council and Wild South. Publisher of the Bama Environmental News for more than 18 years. Career highlights include playing an active role in the creation of Alabama's Forever Wild program, Little River Canyon National Preserve, Dugger Mountain Wilderness, preservation of special places throughout the East through the Wilderness Society and the strengthening (making more stringent) the state of Alabama's cancer risk and mercury standards.