Hobe Sound Nature Center
Nature Center Open Monday - Saturday, 9:00am to 3:00pm
Refuge Trail Open 7 days, Sunrise to Sunset

School Programs

The Hobe Sound Nature Center offers a wide variety of presentations to schools & organizations, both on & off site. Our programs are designed to meet Florida's Sunshine State Standards and FCAT requirements. These programs must be scheduled in advance by calling (772)546-2067 or by requesting a program online.

Donations are requested for all services.

Customized programming may be requested with sufficient time for scheduling.

For visits to the Nature Center we suggest instructors/group leaders choose one program from the list below & one Supplemental Activity or Field Experience.

All groups visit the Exhibit Hall to view exhibits & aquariums. A gift shop is available to students & teachers receive a 10% discount on most items. Benches in shaded areas or the estuary beach are available as lunch facilities.

Wildlife Around Us

Meet members of the Nature Center's WILDLIFE TEACHING TEAM, while learning about the need for habitat protection & to coexist with native wildlife. A variety of animals may be used, including raptors, crocodilians, & snakes.

What's Wild?

This hands-on activity is designed to help children distinguish between animals that are wild and animals that are tame. Wild animals can take care of themselves while tame animals depend on people for their needs. A member of our teaching animal team will make an appearance as well. Ideal for preschool- 2nd grade.

Invasive Species

From the Brazilian Pepper to the Burmese Python, Florida is home to many invasive species. Invasive species are non-native organisms that can cause harm to Florida’s fragile environment. During this interactive program, participants will learn about what types of invasive species Florida has, why they are damaging and, most importantly, how to help remove them from our state. A member from our Teaching Team will be presented as well. This program is ideal for 4th – 8th graders but can be catered to ages above this range.

Landlord of the Ancient Sand Dunes: Gopher Tortoises

Through a presentation & hands-on activity participants will learn about this keystone species with an emphasis on the important role they play in endangered Scrub habitats. Meet a member of our Teaching Team.

Alligators and Crocodiles Alive

A presentation of our native crocodilians offer insight into their ecology & habitats, with special emphasis on the important role in the South Florida environment & human/alligator interactions of today. Meet members of our Teaching Team.

Wildlife Inside and Out

This hands-on activity uses actual & replica skulls, bones, furs, hides, feathers, shells, & x-rays to introduce how an animal's skeleton & body covering affects its adaptions for survival.

Tracks & Scat....How About That!

Become familiar with common wildlife signs before venturing outdoors. Through hands-on activities participants are introduced to how animals move & how to identify common animal signs, their tracks & scat. Participants make their own replica scat to take home using modeling clay & a variety of "additives". Donation of $4.00 Per Person

Biodiversity: Exploring the Web of Life

Learn about the earth's incredible variety of species & the wealth of habitats that house all forms of life & the interconnections that tie us together. This program features a video from World Wildlife Fund's, Windows on the Wild program & game called Sizing up Species. Meet a member of our Teaching Team.

Wild Turkey Tales

This highly intelligent bird was in the running to be our national symbol before it nearly vanished from North America! Find out how our native wild turkey made a comeback & its adaptations for survival through a variety of props & audio visuals.

Florida's Vanishing Species

Through a presentation, look at the reasons for the decline of numerous locally threatened & endangered animals. There is a special discussion on the Endangered Species Act of 1973 & its implications. Confiscations are used, including shells, skins & decorative items. Meet members of our Teaching Team.

Snakes: Friend or Foe?

A presentation on the role of snakes in the environment & identification of venomous species & non-venomous found in South Florida. Live animals, skins, sheds and skeleton are used for a better understanding of these reptiles.

Manatees in Peril

A presentation through the Save the Manatee Club describes the ecology & the endangered status of the Florida Manatee. Skulls, bones & other props are used for a hands-on experience.

Winged Warriors of the Sky: Raptors

Discover the world of eagles, hawks, owls and vultures, with special emphasis on their adaptations for survival. Live birds and numerous props accompany this interactive presentation.

Winged Warriors of the Sky: Owls

Look at the world of raptors, examining closely the adaptions of owls. Students get to explore these adaptations through a hands-on activity investigating owl pellets. This is a terrific lab activity teaching about food chains, ecology & natural history. Participants will discover & take home small skeleton parts from rodents, birds, & more! Donation of $4.00 per person

Habitat For Bears

A presentation on bear biology & how you can help one of Florida's rare species, the Florida Black Bear. The Habitat for Bears Campaign is sponsored by Defenders of Wildlife & the Sierra Club. Their is special emphasis on tracks & signs & participates see a black bear skin & skull.

Bats: Myth and Reality

Through a presentation by Bat Conservation International, learn about the importance & ecology of bats, unloved and misunderstood by many. Learn why they are disappearing, hear truths rather than myths & take a close look at the different species found around the world.

Exploring the World of Insects and Spiders

Learn about the incredible world of insects & spiders & their role in the environment. This presentation utilizes hands-on actives as well as live specimens & replicas. NOTE:On site programs can include a supplementary activity of a bug collecting trip out along the trail.

The Polar Bear: Ice Bear of the North

Explore the world of this magnificent arctic predator & learn about their special adaptation & challenges they face for survival. Special emphasis on the impact of global warming on the species is included.

Take a Rainforest Journey

Through the use of hands-on activities (puppets & story board) visit a tropical rainforest. Participates experience the wonders of these vanishing habitats around the world and learn about the 'Jungle in the Pantry'. Includes a special "Rainforest Rap" from the World Wildlife Fund, confiscations, & a member of the teaching team.

Incredible Edible Bugs: Entomophagy

Insects have been eaten by many cultures for hundreds of years. This program discusses the nutritional value of insects, insects in your food, & lets you sample some for yourself! Donation of $4.00 Per Person.

Exploring the Grassflats

A popular get-wet activity for all ages! Participants wade in the grassflats of the Indian River Lagoon; using a hand or seine net, they discover what inhabits the estuary & its economic value. **Dates are limited; programs scheduled only on low tides in spring & summer **Participants must wear closed toed-shoes(water shoes/tennis shoes) & be prepared to get wet waist high.** Donation of $2.00 per person

Voices in the Night: Frogs

Learn about some local amphibians through a presentation with a special emphasis on how & why they call. Participants imitate selected calls (Frog Chorus) & discover why these calls are important for their survival. Meet members of our Teaching Team.

Sea Turtles: Struggle For Survival

A presentation on the ecology of sea turtles, their endangered status & nesting on local beaches. Turtle shells, leather goods, jewelry & other products will be shared with a message to discourage international trade of endangered species products. **Interpretive skit is available for younger audiences.**

Investigating our Feathered Friends

This program introduces students to the world of birds & their adaptions through hands-on activities & live raptors. Instruction on using binoculars & hike to look for birds & other creatures included.