Environmental Education Programs
CFW’s mission extends to educating our community (particularly children) about wildlife ecology, human impacts on wildlife and critical ecosystems, and stewardship in a region facing intense pressure from development and population growth. Our programs offer an opportunity for Project WILD educators, live animal ambassadors, hands-on materials, and displays to foster the natural connection between people and wildlife, inspiring the conservationist within.
CFW’s team of 16 species of live, non-releasable wildlife “ambassadors” trained for presentation to audiences (including owls, hawks, falcons, Virginia opossum, North American porcupine, big brown bat, turtles and snakes) present over 175 programs to schools, libraries, garden clubs, senior centers, state parks, and more throughout the year.
Come learn about the Center for Wildlife’s history and mission, the field of
wildlife rehabilitation, and meet some of our permanent residents. Because
of our sensitivity to those animals being rehabilitated, groups are limited to 4
adults, and we will not view areas with patients under care. Cost: $50.
Please note: this program is weather dependent - contact
us for more information.
For groups larger than 4 people, we can present any of our programs listed below except for “Animal
Adaptations: An Interactive Lab”. Onsite programs also include a tour of
our outdoor raptor enclosure, which houses 9 of our permanent raptors. We
also have a variety of habitats on our property and are happy to customize a
program and discussion to fit your educational needs! Cost: $125.
Available April 15 - November 15.
*Thanks to grant funding from the Quimby Family Foundation, Davis Conservation Foundation, Maine Community Foundation, and Constellation Energy, we can now hold public programs under our education pavilion, away from the healing patients in the clinic. For a list of upcoming events and programs, click here!
Each of our educational programs can be tailored to fit any organization's needs. The material, length of time, and pricing will be adapted to fit age, unit of study, audience, type of event, etc. We offer 9 different themed programs but are very happy to build a customized program according to unit of study (ie: seasonal adaptations, wildlife diseases, conservation, etc). Also please note, our calendar fills up quickly! For best availability please contact us 3-4 weeks before your desired visit. Thank you!
Please contact Emily to inquire or arrange a customized educational program.
**Our April 2013 calendar is full, and we are now booking into mid-May, we look forward to working with you on selecting a date and program!
*Educators click here for pre- and post-visit lesson plans and stewardship challenges!
*New: Build A Program
If you don't see a program that fits your needs below, we would be happy to build a program for you! We can customize material for any age or audience incorporating wildlife, ecology, conservation, biology, seasonal adaptations, physiology, and more! Popular themes include Springtime Vernal Pools, Raptor Migration, Bird Biology, and many other concepts.
*New: "Wild Friends in Wild Places" Field Trip at Wells Reserve
Specifically for grades K-2, groups up to 30 students. Meet wildlife ambassadors and educators from the Center for Wildlife at Wells Reserve! Students will learn about native wildlife and their behaviors, characteristics, and life needs. Then, students will venture outdoors on a guided walk by Wells Reserve docent naturalists, with nature journals to explore the habitats of the Wells Reserve while searching for animal homes and signs. This field trip lasts 2 to 3 hours and is offered by appointment on Wednesdays. Reservations must be made through Wells Reserve (207) 646-1555, ext 110.
Grant funded scholarships are availabe for this program only. Click here for a financial aid application.
Owls: Silent Hunters
of the Night
Our beautiful owl ambassadors show off their adaptations for night hunting. Learn about the variety of New England species, their habitats, diets, calls, and tips on how to spot them in the wild. Educators will also focus on their importance in balancing prey populations, current challenges, and how to help.
Reptiles: Adaptations and Tools
With assistance from live raptors and reptiles, we
will examine how these animals use special "tools" and adaptations for
survival, such as the hawk's talons, the turtle's shell, and the snake's
tongue. What kind of equipment do they need to hunt and hide? Are they
nocturnal, diurnal, or crepuscular? Carnivores, herbivores, or
omnivores? Are they really ruthless killers or delicate ecosystem
balancers? Raptors and Reptiles will answer these questions and more.
Adaptations: An Interactive Lab
||Raptors, reptiles, and mammals catch prey,
stay warm, and raise young all without the clothing or houses like
humans have, how do they do that? Students will learn about the
special tools and adaptations that animals have that make them different
from us and from each other. They will also get an introduction to the
different families of birds and how to recognize them. We combine
live animals and an interactive lab to illustrate this as well as to
build basic scientific observational skills.
Maine Birds of
What is the difference between a hawk and a
falcon? Do we have vultures in Maine? What is our smallest
owl? What is our largest hawk? Where do they live? Using
live birds, posters, and hands-on materials, we will discuss the kinds
of birds of prey found in Maine, their habitats, habits, place in the
food chain, and why we need to protect them.
Reptiles and Mammals, oh my!
Focusing on animals that live in Maine, we
will provide an in-depth introduction to the unique differences between
raptors, reptiles, and mammals. Do snakes have fur? Do
rabbits have scales? Are birds "cold-blooded"? Why do
opossums have pouches? How do each of these animal groups adapt to
our changing seasons? Using live animals and interactive displays,
the answers to these and other questions will be revealed.
A wonderful introduction to Maine’s creatures
of the night. How does a bat find thousands of tiny mosquitoes in
the dark? Why would a bear choose to lumber around at night?
How does a porcupine defend himself against a predator? Using live
animals and hands-on materials we will answer these questions and find
out how nocturnal mammals utilize all of their senses to find food and
shelter at night. Our live animals will also demonstrate some
unique adaptations these animals have.
How does an animal become endangered?
Do we have endangered species in Maine? What can we do to prevent
animals from becoming endangered? With assistance from our live raptors
and reptiles we will answer these questions and more. One of our
wildlife ambassadors will help us to tell the story of a species that
was critically endangered but through awareness and conservation is on
the road to recovery. This program is designed to raise awareness
of our effects on wildlife and inspire the conservationist within.
|We are all
Connected: Animals, Plants,
Do gray squirrels really help to build our
forests? Can the motor oil from my car really end up in a wetland?
Can we thank warblers and other birds for eating those pesky ticks?
Live animals, hands-on materials, and an interactive display will answer
these questions and show us that everything is indeed connected.
Students will learn about the food web, habitats, and ecosystems as well
as our role in this delicate balance.
Bats! Friends in
||Who is the only flying mammal that uses sonar
technology similar to a submarine, eats 1000 mosquitoes in one hour, and whose
cousins help to plant and pollinate the Tropical Rainforest? Maine’s big
brown bat! There are over 986 species of bats in the world, each helping
to balance the ecosystem in which they live. Learn about our native bat
species and many others in our bat program. Using live animals, stunning
visuals from Bat Conservation International, hands-on materials, and puppets, we
will learn about these gentle creatures. Discover their natural history,
importance to the ecosystem and planet, current challenges that they face, and
tangible actions that we can take to protect these allies in the night.