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 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 2019-2020 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
- 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 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)
Come take advantage of the natural resources at Aullwood through our girl scout badge programs. Our badge programs take place at the nature center or farm and offer fun, hands-on learning experiences. Badge programs at our nature center include a hike through our diverse variety of ecosystems, meeting our nature center animals, and other fun activities! Programs at our farm include walking around the farm meeting and learning about our animals, and exploring our gardens! Scouts are sure to have a blast as they learn from our educators and interns, and explore the outdoors!
Badge programs are offered on Saturdays from 10-11:30 AM. The fee is $6 per scout and $7 per attending adult. Siblings of scouts over the age of five can also participate for $6. These fees are paid upon your arrival. There is a maximum of 16 kid participants and a $50 minimum fee. For reasons other than extreme weather, there is a $25 cancellation fee. All programs include a hike or outdoor exploration and we will plan to go outside unless there’s pouring rain, thunder/lightning, or extreme snow. We offer the following badge programs:
- Daisy: 3 Cheers for Animals and Flower Garden
- Brownie: Hiker, Bugs, Senses, Pets
- Junior: Gardener, Flowers, Animal Habitats
- Cadette: Trees
To get started planning your programs, please call (937) 890-2968 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Please have three dates or months in mind, so we can check our schedule and get back to you with our availability. We look forward to working with your troop!
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. Keep an eye on Aullwood's Events page for information on this series as it becomes available.
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. 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 2019 catalog and register today as classes file 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 email@example.com.
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.