All About Birds – Birds are beautiful and fun to watch. Discover what makes a bird a bird, and learn how to identify birds in your backyard. Students will take part in activities to help teach them adaptations and general bird characteristics. Upper level programs may also include use of the eBird community science platform, upon request.
Animal Adaptations – Figure out how animals are able to survive by finding food, water, and shelter in a variety of habitats. Discover animal adaptations through participating in group activities and examining animal skulls, pelts, and specimens.
Changing Trees (October-November) – The Adirondacks are alive with color in the fall. This is an ideal time to learn about trees while exploring one of Up Yonda’s woodland trails. Discover why trees are an important natural resource for humans and wildlife, and why some change color in the fall. Learn how trees grow and the parts of a tree through hands-on activities. Take a hike and learn to identify common local species.
Dark Wings – Discover the creatures that rule the night – bats and owls. See the lighter side of these animals who have long been a source of fear in the dark. Ask us about the possibility of doing an owl pellet dissection during this program, small additional fee applies.
Falling into Winter (November – December) – As winter approaches, animals and plants prepare for the change in different ways. We will examine how wildlife survives the season of cold and wind. Activities will focus on migration, hibernation, and adaptations. Discover Adirondack wildlife through skulls, pelts, specimens and animal tracks. Formerly known as Ready or Not.
Maple Sugaring (March) – Discover the craft that has become a legend in the Northeast. Join us for maple sugaring basics and enjoy the process that yields sweet rewards! We’ll tap, collect, and boil the sap of Sugar Maples on the property, then we’ll cover all the steps to get from sap to syrup. This program is best conducted with your group at Up Yonda’s on-site Sugar House, but can be done virtually.
Monarch Butterflies (July-September) – Learn about this fascinating insect, its life cycle, and its annual migration. This program includes field observations and a chance to catch a wild Monarch. Nature permitting, selected participants will tag Monarchs for the Monarch Watch community science project with a Naturalist, and will learn about migration monitoring efforts.
Natural Heritage – Get hands-on with as many New York State symbols as you can! The topics covered include our New York State symbols and their meaning, as well as the natural formation of our state’s mountains, lakes and rivers. Programs at Up Yonda Farm can include the use of our TopoBox to demonstrate the formation of New York State’s diverse geographic areas.
Nature Hike – Join a Naturalist at Up Yonda Farm for an hour long hike exploring the forest, and learn about Adirondack flora and fauna. Informational content varies and is seasonally dependent, but can be tailored to suit your groups needs. Most hikes cover roughly a mile of gradual uphill terrain, and ending at Up Yonda’s scenic vista overlooking Lake George. Contact us for more information on a Nature Hike at your location. This program is great for community groups, and Scout groups.
Night Sky – The portable planetarium, StarLab, is used for this program and presentations are held indoors during the day. Learn to identify some of the constellations in our sky and hear the mythology behind them. Participants will become familiar with star patterns, their names and locations, and even how they are created. Topics include: star patterns, star names, The Solar System, constellations, Greek mythology, and Native American storytelling. Our StarLab also supports Earth Science classes with both Regents Astronomy and Plate Tectonics presentations and Life Science with the Biological Cell presentation. School programs run from sixty to ninety minutes, depending on the grade level. StarLab accommodates roughly 25(K-3rd), 20 (4th-6th) or 14-18 10th grade students.
Orienteering – In this program participants will learn the use of a basic compass (provided) and traverse a practice string trail before putting their newfound skills to work navigating to locations around Up Yonda Farm. This is a great program for those interested in learning to use a compass, navigating outdoors, and having some fun finding their way outdoors. We’ll be off trail in the fields and open woods around the fields, so bug spray and sunscreen are recommended! This program is best for ages 10 and above and can be done at your location as well. Contact the Up Yonda Farm Naturalists to see how to bring Orienteering to your school or group’s location.
Owl Pellet Dissection – Join a Naturalist in a guided dissection of an owl pellet, and gain insight into the diets and habits of owls. If you come to Up Yonda for this program, we do the clean up! Small additional fee per pellet applies, please contact us at least a month in advance before booking this program.
Pollinators (May – August) – Learn about the lives of the fascinating honeybee and other local pollinators and see how pollination results in the production of honey. If your group visits Up Yonda, watch the worker bees toil behind the glass in our observation hive, find the queen, and look for emerging young. You’ll see some of the tools of beekeeping and learn why bees are so beneficial to all of us. Upon request, programs may also include instruction on parts of a flower and a flower dissection.
Pond Life (May – September) – Discover the creatures that live in and around a freshwater pond and learn to identify them. See how insects, fish, turtles and plants depend on each other in a food chain, as we build a pond together. Participants will have a chance to get hands-on with local frogs, tadpoles, fish, and aquatic insects. You’ll find out how these animals have adapted to life underwater, and how they are all connected. This program encourages hands-on participation through net sampling of bottom sediments, and can include meeting a live turtle. Formerly known as Aquatic Adventure.
Reptiles & Amphibians – Learn about Adirondack snakes, turtles, frogs, and other native reptiles and amphibians. Identify differences between them with the help of reptile and amphibian props. Programs will include a live turtle, and if available, a few other small, native, live animals. Formerly known as Wild Things.
Snowshoeing (January – February) – This program includes instruction on the techniques of snowshoeing, and a Naturalist-led walk at Up Yonda, or at your location. The walk/hike can include instruction on animal tracks, tree identification, animal adaptations in winter, and snowshoe games! Up Yonda Farm has adult and child snowshoes available to rent. Program cost with rental is $8 per person, without rental $5 per person. This program is weather dependent; adequate snow cover is required. Contact us for information on booking groups larger than 30 people.
Watersheds – Explore the local watershed through hands-on activities, topographic maps, an Enviroscape and the TopoBox. Using the TopoBox, an augmented reality sandbox, participants will investigate how water flows on different topography by manipulating the sand to see immediate results. This program will also look at the Up Yonda Farm rain garden, pond and wetland to see how different areas affect water flow.
Woodworking – Woodworking programs at Up Yonda Farm make a great hands on outing! All our kits are pre-cut, drilled and ready to assemble using only a screwdriver. Projects include: bluebird houses, bird feeders, bat houses, walking sticks, bug boxes, and more. Woodworking can be arranged well in advance for school and group programs and does require an additional fee per kit. Please inquire about kit options when requesting the program. This program is not suitable for children under 2nd grade level. – Birdhouses and feeder kits are currently out of stock. Please inquire about our walking stick program!
I still haven’t found what I’m looking for – Contact the Up Yonda Farm Naturalists to discuss a custom or modified natural science topic for your group.