Welcome to the Mistletoe State Park field trip information page. If you have any questions or require more information after reading below, please contact Justin Bettross - Assistant Park Manager.
Mistletoe State Park
3725 Mistletoe Rd. Appling, GA 30802
Phone - (706) 541-0321
Email - Justin.Bettross@dnr.ga.gov
Grade Specific Programs
Kindergarten- Nature Sense
Students will rotate through four stations focused on the similarities and differences in nature.
- Students will get the chance to see mounted animals and learn about different species that live in the area.
- Get to play inside of our nature center and play a sorting game where they will get to sort different toy animals.
- Play a short scavenger hunt along our nature trail.
- Students will go on a critter hike and learn about different baby animals we have placed in the woods.
1st Grade- Basic Needs
Students will rotate through three stations focused on the basic needs of plants and animals as well as animal movements.
- Learn how the otter, hawk and snake at Mistletoe meet the same needs in different ways. Students will meet a live snake, see real mounts and touch furs and bones.
- Play a plant survival game at the Nature Center and visit the interactive displays inside.
- Explore animal movements on a hike along the Canyon Loop trail. Students will hop like frogs, fly like birds and crawl like turtles.
2nd Grade- Life Cycles
Students will visit three stations focused on plant and animal life cycles.
- Compare life cycles of mammals, birds, amphibians and insects in the amphitheater.
- Create a portable terrarium and plant a seed for home observation at the Nature Center. Then, explore the animals of Mistletoe through interactive displays.
- Observe how seasonal changes affect plant and animal life cycles on a nature hike down the Canyon Loop Trail.
3rd Grade- Georgia Wildlife and Habitats
Students will rotate through three stations illustrating Wildlife adaptations and habitats. During their visit students will:
- See examples of animal adaptations with mounted animals, furs and bones in the amphitheater.
- Explore the newly redesigned Nature Center and participate in a learning-based activity.
- Discuss plant and animal adaptations on a nature hike along the Canyon Loop Trail.
Teachers may choose between two activities.
- Georgia's Treasures: Students will see examples of the different plants and animals to identify which of the four regions of Georgia they belong.
- Animal Adaptations Scavenger Hunt: Students will use animal adaptations as clues to identify a mystery animal.
4th Grade- Birds of Prey
Students will rotate through four stations focusing on food chains featuring birds of prey. Each station will last about 40 minutes. At each station, students will:
- Identify the different families of raptors in this area and the adaptations they share. See examples of feathers, talons and mounted raptors to compare.
- Observe producers, consumers and decomposers in action on a nature hike.
- Dissect owl pellets and identify the prey inside. Discuss the value of sampling owl pellets.
- Illustrate a food chain in an activity based on predators and prey. Learn how some animals can play both roles and meet a live snake.
5th Grade- Lake Ecology
Students will rotate to four stations focused on vertebrates and invertebrates in a freshwater ecosystem. At each 40 minute station, students will:
- Sample and compare freshwater fish by seining Clarks Hill Lake, students will compare how physical features between species affect survival.
- Explore the microorganisms in the lake with a microscope activity. Students will learn how these organisms benefit the lake ecosystem.
- Discovery how the lake and the land are connected by species on a nature hike. See vertebrates and invertebrates of all sizes.
- Classify vertebrates and invertebrates during a scavenger hunt around the park.
6th Grade- The Importance of Water
Students will rotate to four stations focused on the lake and how it supports every plant and animal that lives near it. At each 40 minute station, students will:
- Take a nature hike around a portion of the lake, where they will meet several animals that survive in part to Clarks Hill Lake
- Students will get the chance to shoot archery, and learn to hunt much like the Native Americans and settlers did.
- Students will play a scavenger hunt/trivia game together. This game will focus on the different types of bodies of water found on earth.
- Students will get to watch as water samples are taken of the lake to determine how healthy it is. In addition, students will play a game where they learn how atmospheric changes affect water quality.
7th Grade- Evolution
Students will rotate to four stations focused on the evolution of the plants and animals within our ecosystem. At each 40 minute station, Students will:
- Utilize microscopes to examine phytoplankton and zooplankton. Students will learn the basics of a microscope and will get to use prepared slides first and then prepare their own slides with the plankton water.
- Students will get the chance to play a casting game where they will learn how to use a rod and reel. This game teaches students how to calculate scores, measurements, and to analyze results.
- Explore the different animals that live in Mistletoe along our nature trail, and discuss how they have evolved over time to adjust to their surroundings.
- Students will get the chance to dissect real owl pellets. From this students will gain an understanding of the food chain and how it relates to all animals.
In-School Field Trips
For a flat fee of $250.00 Mistletoe will come directly to your school and host a field trip. This option is popular in the winter, when having an outdoor field trip becomes more challenging. Mistletoe will bring all of the displays, mounts, and material required to host the program.
How to Schedule a Visit
Mistletoe State Park is open by reservation only.
Mistletoe State Park offers school programs throughout the school year, in all months. While Spring and Fall may work the best for some schools we do offer in-school field trips, where the staff of Mistletoe will come directly to your school and host a "field trip" in the gym or auditorium.
Mistletoe State Park is able to accommodate for numerous classes at one time, but due to staffing there is an additional fee for any school that brings four or more classes on one day.
Mistletoe charges $3.00 per student if the class size remains under three classes. If four or more classes come there will be an additional one dollar fee making it $4.00 per student.
For certain programs Mistletoe will charge a supply fee of one dollar per student, this applies to 4th and 7th grade programs that we offer.
Please check the calendar in order to see if the date that you want is available. All reservations must be approved. Contact Justin Bettross at (706) 541-0321 or by e-mail at Justin.Bettross@dnr.ga.gov for scheduling purposes.