Forest Preserve District of Will County is proud to be a part of Will
County's educational system, and we value our relationship with Will
County's educators. Please check this page often for our latest
environmental education news, updates on field trip and educational grants, information about the in-service
workshops we offer, and details about our Resource Loan
NewsField Trips and In-School Programs Now Correlated With...All 42 of the Forest Preserve District of Will County's school programs are now correlated to Common Core State Standards. Forest Preserve staff worked with the Will County Regional Office of Education's Professional Development Alliance over the course of ten months to acquire a working knowledge of the new standards and then apply them to existing school programs. Detailed program correlations are available upon request.
Forest Preserve District education programs are designed to be multidisciplinary and often include instruction in art, writing, math, social studies, physical education, and language arts. As the education community continues to transition to national learning standards, Forest Preserve education staff will also continue to move toward incorporating Common Core Learning Standards and the Next Generation of Science Standards in education programs and services.
Classroom Support Materials
The Forest Preserve District has developed 29 different classroom materials packets available to educators free of charge. Each packet contains several resources that are topic-specific. Available topics include:
|Edible Plants||Aquatic Ecosystems|
|Flower Parts/Pollination ||Local Native American Culture|
|Joliet and Marquette||Predator/Prey Relationships|
Materials packets are made up of a collection of 3-7 resources. Materials are pdf formatted and user ready. The variety of resources per materials packet includes:
To request your classroom support materials, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 815.216.0535.
- In-Class Activities
- Topic Specific Glossary
- Loan Kit Recommendations
- Student Worksheets
- Outdoor Activities for School Grounds
- Student Copy Pages
- Recommended Student Readings
Field Trip and Environmental Education
Schoolyard Habitat Action Grant
Teachers and youth group leaders may apply for up to $1,000 through this competitive grant program to develop or enhance wildlife habitat in the schoolyard or other public place. The grant is sponsored by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources and the Illinois Conservation Foundation. For more information and to apply for the grant, visit the Illinois Department of Natural Resources
Target Field Trip
As part of the
Trip Grants program, each Target store awards three grants to K-12
schools nationwide, enabling one in 25 schools throughout the U.S. to send a classroom on a field trip. Will County schools successful in receiving 2012-2013 grants include John R. Tibbott Elementary (Bolingbrook), Woodland Elementary (Joliet), and Arbury Hills Elementary (Mokena). For more information and to apply for a grant, visit the Target
Illinois Biodiversity Field
Secure funding to take your students on a field trip to study Illinois' biodiversity. In 2013, R.C. Hill Elementary School (Romeoville) was awarded $975 to take 4th-5th grade classes on a day field trip. For more information and to apply for a grant, visit the Illinois Department of Natural Resources
Environmental Education Association of Illinois Mini-Grant
The Environmental Education Association of Illinois (EEAI) mini-grant program is designed to support, enhance, and expand the implementation of environmental education throughout the state of Illinois. Mini-grant proposals are accepted each year for up to $200.
For more information and to apply for a mini-grant, visit the EEAI
Project Learning Tree GreenWorks! Grant
The Project Learning Tree (PLT) GreenWorks! grant program provides funding for service-learning projects led by students, such as school/community native plant gardens, forest improvement projects, streamside restoration plans, recycling programs, and energy conservation projects. Grants are available in two award levels: traditional GreenWorks! grants up to $1,000, and grants up to $3,000 for registered PLT GreenSchools! For more information and to apply for a grant, visit the Project Learning Tree GreenWorks!
District staff will conduct a variety of in-service trainings on
institute days, school days, or after-school hours for formal
educators. Workshops are offered free of charge to schools serving Will County residents. One
month advance notice is required. CPDU Hours are available. For
information, call 815.722.5890.
standards-based activities have been field tested in classrooms around
the nation. Topics center on basic bird biology, identification and
ecology, bird conservation, and service learning. These activities are
designed to engage students in real-world learning to understand the
importance of migratory birds and their conservation. All participants
completing the workshop will receive an Educator Training Certificate
of Completion, and the Flying WILD manual. (3-6 CPDU
an outdoor learning space at your school. Explore types of schoolyard
habitats, cross-curriculum and multiple intelligence applications, and
funding sources. Each participant will receive a binder of resources.
District staff will visit your school to plan your site. We will also
discuss how to form a team to implement your ideas and get your
principal on board. Follow-up visits will help see the project through
completion. (2-4 CPDU Hours)
the barriers to incorporating environmental education (EE) into your
curriculum. Teachers will receive an overview of what the District has
to offer to support your classroom through programs, facilities,
workshops, and materials. Teachers will learn about the EE community
and the organizations and opportunities that await educators. District
staff will also present the basics of how to teach in the outdoors and
to bring the outdoors in. (2 CPDU Hours)
have resource loan kits available to teachers across the county, and
this workshop is designed to spend time with each kit and its contents,
allowing you to explore the materials and participate in activities.
The workshop will be held both indoors and outdoors, so please dress
for the weather. (2 CPDU Hours)
Project Learning Tree
Project Learning Tree (PLT) is an award-winning, multi-disciplinary environmental education program for PreK-12 teachers. PLT is a program of the American Forest Foundation. It is one of the most widely used environmental education programs in the United States and abroad, and continues to set the standard for environmental education excellence. During the workshop, teachers will participate in several hands-on, forest-themed activities ready to take to the classroom. Every educator will receive a copy of the Project Learning Tree Activity Guide that details 96 interdisciplinary activities.
Photographs Courtesy of
Jessica Prince-Sharrar and Glenn P.
Topic-themed kits are available to teachers and home school parents provided by the Forest Preserve District and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.
These Resource Loan Kits are a collection of educational materials that include games, videos, equipment, and field guides that help students explore a specific subject. Each kit has enough supplies for 30 students and is available for a two-week loan period. There are no rental fees at this time, but lost, broken, or missing items will be paid for by rentee.
Click any of the Resource Loan Kit titles below to download a checklist of kit contents. To reserve kits and arrange pickup and drop-off, contact the Sugar Creek Administration Center at 815.727.8700.