Field Trips - Stephen C. Foster State Park

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Ranger-Led Programs

To book a field trip, for more information or to schedule a ranger-led program please call 912-637-5274.


Predatory Plants (4th Grade)

45 minute boat tour of the swamp

Children leave civilization and cellphones behind in this immersive boat tour of the Okefenokee. We review the water cycle through the lens of the swamp and examine plants that are both consumers and producers like swollen bladderwort and hooded pitcher plants. We’ll also take time to appreciate whatever wildlife turns up; these typically include alligators, wading birds, and turtles.

  • Program length: 45 minutes
  • Program cost: $5 / student
  • GSE: S4E3, S4L1

Swamp Cycles (6th and 7th Grade)

45 minute boat tour of the swamp

Students leave civilization and cellphones behind in this immersive boat tour of the Okefenokee. We review the water cycle in more detail; students will understand natural processes like evapotranspiration and human endeavors to alter the natural flow of water. We look up close at peat, swamp gas (methane), and peat mats to understand their role in droughts and wildfires. We’ll also take time to appreciate whatever wildlife turns up; these typically include alligators, wading birds, and turtles.

  • Program length: 45 minutes
  • Program cost: $5 / student
  • GSE: S6E3, S6E4, S7L4

Okefenokee History (8th Grade)

1.5 hour boat tour of swamp and hike on Billy’s Island

Students leave civilization and cellphones behind in this immersive boat tour of the Okefenokee. We learn about Georgia history through the lens of the Swamp. We discuss Native American history, the Second Seminole War, and examine a Weeden Island Culture mound. Students will see evidence of the logging efforts in the swamp and understand the importance of the Okefenokee Swamp becoming a National Wildlife Refuge.

  • Program length: 1.5 hours
  • Program cost: $10 / student
  • GSE: SS8H1, SS8H4, SS8G1

Herpetology Hike (High School)

1 hour hike through two nature trails

Students join a Ranger to explore the amphibians and reptiles of the Okefenokee. We examine frog hotels along the trail- these provide shelter from the heat and predators throughout the day. Students will learn to identify several snakes. We discuss their importance in the swamp ecosystem and how to stay safe when we encounter them.

  • Program length: 1 hour
  • Program cost: $5 / student
  • GSE: SZ2, SZ3, SZ4

Swamp Science (High School)

1 hour boat tour of swamp

Students join a Ranger on a boat tour of the swamp to discuss environmental processes in a wetland ecosystem and human impact on natural resources. We look at plants and peat in terms of biogeochemical cycles. We’ll also take time to admire any wildlife that appears.

  • Program length: 1 hour
  • Program cost: $5 / student
  • GSE: SEV1, SEV2, SEV4

Ranger-Led FAQ:

Q: What comes included with the program cost?
A: Programs include the boat ride as well as the use of picnic shelters and trails.

Q: Do you offer a discount to Title 1 schools?
A: Title 1 schools receive a $1 discount per child.

Q: How do these programs relate to what I am teaching?
A: Each of these programs were designed to align specifically around the grade-specific standards outlined by Georgia’s Standards of Excellence.

Q: How many people can fit on the tour boats?
A: Our larger boat can hold 18 and the smaller boat can hold 14.

Q: Is there a cost or limit for chaperones?
A: There is no limit for the number of chaperones that can come to the park. Due to limited space on our boats, only two chaperones can accompany each group. Any chaperone who drives a personal vehicle must have a ParkPass tag displayed in their vehicle. Cost for a ParkPass is $5 per vehicle.

Q: How early in advance do I need to book our program?
A: We require at least a one month notice to book any ranger-led programs. In order to book your ranger-led program either call the Trading Post at 912.637.5274.


Ranger-Led Additional Information

  • Educators and group leaders will be responsible for the behavior of their students at all times.
  • Groups larger than 4 classes will need to be broken up amongst multiple days.
  • Please be on time for your scheduled program. If running late, call to let us know. We try to keep to schedule so that you may return to school on time.
  • Occasionally, we have groups scheduled back-to-back and late arrivals may either shorten or possibly forfeit their program.
  • Please check in with us one week ahead of your program about the weather forecast. We can go out rain or shine, as long as there isn’t thunder or lightning.

Outreach Programs

If you can’t make the trip to the park, we will bring a little piece of the park to you. Outreach programs can be scheduled within a 60-mile radius of the park. The cost is $50.00 per program for a group (maximum 30 students). Programs are 60 minutes in length. The following outreach programs are available. Please call 912.627.5274 for more information or to schedule an outreach program.

Mobile Swamp

For outreach programs, please reach out to us about the Georgia Standards you’re covering and we will tailor the program to your needs. We typically bring a tub of swamp water along with some carnivorous plants for your students to examine up close. We can also bring some mammal skulls, mounted birds, turtle shells, and snake skins. Our programs typically include an informational PPT based on the science or social studies GSEs for your grade. Upon request, we can bring PH strips for students to learn about the swamp’s water cycle and acidity levels.


Self-Guided Explorations

Stephen C. Foster State Park is the perfect destination for a self guided exploration! Educators and group leaders can take participants on 3 different trails to explore the flora and fauna of the swamp. You can also lead your students on a trip to our boardwalk where you are guaranteed to see a number of wild species on every trip, animals you can see include wading birds, barred owls, hawks, kites, woodpeckers, fish, alligators, turtles, and more!


Other Information

For any questions, visit the Visitor Center or call us at 912.637.5274.