Education is at the heart of Aullwood’s mission. We provide activities that increase understanding and preservation of the planet by children and adults through education, research, and recreation. Aullwood's dedicated education staff teaches programs about birds and flight, reptiles and amphibians, maple syrup making at the farm, and many other diverse topics. We enjoy teaching about the interconnectedness of all life, and understanding our important role in the preservation and conservation of our planet. Aullwood Audubon Center and Farm conducts business according to our conservation education beliefs and values regarding stewardship, scientific study and people. We value and believe in:
- the inquiring minds of children and their innate desire to learn
- natural history learning through hands-on and field experiences
- the idea that everyone is a teacher and everyone is a learner
- enhancing lives by developing a sense of wonder and providing close contact with nature
- empowering experiences which foster appreciation, understanding, and stewardship of the Earth
- environmental education promoting lifelong behaviors which protect the natural environment
- teaching stewardship by example
- respecting and protecting the Earth's diversity
- the intrinsic value of green space, agricultural land, and wilderness
- sound scientific principles underlying quality environmental education
- the importance of understanding ecological concepts and processes
- advancing our mission by maintaining a welcoming and friendly atmosphere
- strengthening team work through respect, honesty, and open communications
School and Youth Programs
For detailed descriptions of all of our school programs, see Aullwood's 2017-2018 school program brochure. You can also pick up a paper copy at Aullwood's Nature Center or contact us at (937) 890-7360 or AskUs@aullwood.org to request a copy or get additional information. Aullwood currently offers these school programs:
- Aullwood Adventures School Program
- Birds of Prey
- Candle Dipping
- Classroom Visits
- Comparing Communities
- Farmyard Adventures
- Feathers and Flight
- From Field to Table
- Geology and Fossils
- Maple Syrup
- Nature Explorations
- Ohio: Visions of the Past
- Scales and Cold Blooded Tales
- Scouting and Home School Programs (See our Scouting Programs page)
- Self-guided Birds, Flight and the Wrights
- Self-guided Farm-matics
- Self-guided Farm Visit
- Self-guided Geology Explorations
- Self-guided Nature Center Visit
- Udder Delight
- Web of Life
Outreach programs provide exciting, entertaining and educational assemblies for elementary students. Our assemblies feature the musical and artistic talents of naturalist-teacher Chris Rowlands, a nationally recognized performer teaching children about nature through innovative programs. Chris creatively blends music, art, comedy and education to create high energy, fast paced shows which teach and inspire young people. The Environment Magazine honored Chris by awarding him its first E Award for his environmental education programs. Programs include:
- Artist in Residence: Art
- Artist in Residence: Music
- Farmin' Fever (outreach assembly)
- It's Wild Out There (outreach assembly)
Do your kids enjoy visiting Aullwood? Then they’ll love to be a part of Aullwood's Wild Wolves 4-H Club! 4-H is a youth organization where young people learn leadership, citizenship, and life skills in a fun, hands-on environment. Aullwood has two 4-H groups, Cloverbuds for children 5 - 8 years old and in 2nd grade and Wild Wolves for children 9 years old and in 3rd grade through 12th grades.
The 4-H’ers participate in many activities including a guided project, farm chores, exploring the pond, volunteering at the Farm Babies Festival, planting vegetables, and creating a float for the Air Show Parade! Meetings are held at Aullwood Farm, 9101 Frederick Pike, on Saturdays from 9:30 - 11:00 AM, monthly. Enrollment closes in February. Club membership fees are $20 for one year; there may be additional costs for project materials and T-shirts. Club size is limited! For more information, contact us at (937) 890-2968 or email AskUs@aullwood.org
Aullwood's scouting programs are certain to delight scouts of any age with rich hands-on learning experiences, can be tailored to individual group needs, and can include badge programs, service projects, and more. See our Scouting Programs page for complete information.
Aullwood can be a valuable resource for homeschool groups. Students gain a better understanding of science, natural history and agriculture through unique experiences at Aullwood. All of our programs for schools and groups for students in PreK through 12th grade are available to homeschool groups. For detailed descriptions of all of Aullwood's school programs, see our school program brochure and education catalog.
Winter Speaker Series
Every winter, Aullwood hosts a series of speaker events on a variety of topics set to inspire and enrich your understanding and appreciation of the natural world and the diverse forms of life our planet hosts. All programs begin at 2:30 PM at the Marie S. Aull Education Center, 1000 Aullwood Road, Dayon OH. Admission fees are charged for the public; Friends of Aullwood and National Audubon Society Members are admitted free. See the 2018 Winter Speaker Series flyer for the complete Winter Speaker Series schedule or keep an eye on Aullwood's Events page for program information.
Resources of the Earth and Agriculture Discovered and Shared (R.E.A.D.S.)
Aullwood READS is an innovative program linking students enrolled in an after-school program with volunteers and/or employees from area businesses and Aullwood Audubon Center and Farm. This model initiative, for twenty children in 2nd – 3rd grades, integrates reading and writing skills with hands-on experiences in nature and farming. Children who are enrolled in an after-school learning program visit Aullwood once a week for 90-minute sessions during a four-month period. Aullwood naturalists provide hands-on learning experiences for the children at Aullwood’s nature center and sustainable farm. Caring adult volunteers tutor children, helping them read books on nature or farming that relate to that day’s hands-on, outdoor activities in order to improve their reading skills and attitudes toward reading.
Summer Earth Adventures
Join us for a fun filled summer by exploring Aullwood’s natural habitats in Summer Earth Adventures classes. Summer Earth Adventures are week-long half day programs that take place in June, July and August at the Center and Farm. SEA classes offer exciting hands-on activities that enable children to discover the world of nature and farming and explore the many natural habitats at Aullwood including woodland, marsh, pond, stream, prairie and farm. Children might meet a hawk, assist with farm chores, search for water critters or watch a butterfly emerge from a chrysalis. Find out more in the Summer Earth Adventures 2018 catalog and register today as classes fille quickly!
Avian Art Contest
The Aullwood Avian Art Contest is a contest like no other! Where else can students receive money for art supplies, learn about bird biology, find out the importance of birds and why they should be protected, see birds in their habitat, receive school assemblies or field trips to a nature center, make beautiful artwork and receive great prizes? The Aullwood Avian Art Contest would not be possible without the generous support of its sponsors, Robert and Annette Marquardt. This contest is sponsored in memory of Robert’s mother Enid Marquardt, a teacher who taught for 30 years in the Dayton school system and loved birds. If you are an art teacher interested in having your school participate in the Avian Art Contest, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Aullwood's Head Start Nature / Farm Preschool
Aullwood Audubon Farm is the site of Miami Valley Child Development Centers' farm-based preschool. Contact the Miami Valley CDC for more information at 937-226-5664 or visit their web page at http://www.mvcdc.org
Scheduling a Visit
Please call (937) 890-7360 to schedule a visit. Remember that adults and children pay admission to Aullwood. Guided programs have an additional fee which members and non-members must pay. All programs are held as scheduled, rain or shine. In case of severe weather that prevents outdoor exploration, hands-on indoor activities will be conducted. Cancellations must be made 14 days in advance of the program, otherwise the school will be billed for the cancelled program.