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Hidden Pond Nature Center

[ 8511 Greeley Blvd. ] [ Springfield, VA 22152 ] [ 703-451-9588 ]

Pond Netting


School Programs are full for the season.  Please check back in August for our School Year 2015-2016 offerings.


Located in West Springfield, Hidden Pond Nature Center and Park feature a pond, streams, and vernal pools surrounded by a mixed hardwood forest. The nature center has an exhibit area featuring native aquatic reptile, amphibian, and invertebrate species that can be found in Fairfax County. The center also features a classroom for the indoor parts of our interpretive programs. Hidden Pond has ample picnic area for groups wishing to have lunch or snack on site. Listed below are our programs for grades K-7. Any program can be tailored to meet the Science Standards of Learning categories listed. Some of our programs may be brought to your school, subject to staff availability. If you have any questions please call 703-451-9588.


Download Science Education at Hidden Pond Nature Center

Wetland Ecosystems
Hidden Pond’s most requested program utilizes the pond and wetlands to teach several science SOL topics for many grade levels. Students gain memorable experience from several study stations including netting at the pond’s edge with identification, wetland exploration hike, live animal adaptations presentation, and a macro and microscopic life of wetlands nature center visit. Several educational slideshows are also offered with the program, featuring local Virginia flora and fauna, including Web of Life which deals with the pond food chain, and Croakers which introduces students to native frogs and toads and their life histories. Stream study of the Pohick Creek and exploration of the peeper swamp are also offered This program meets the 7th grade Meaningful Watershed Educational Experience requirements as it ties in our wetlands' influence on the Chesapeake Watershed. SOLs: K.5, K.6, K.7, K.9 b,c, 1.4, 1.5, 1.7, 2.4A, 2.5 a-c , 2.8 c,d, 3.4, 3.5, 3.6a, 3.8B, 3.9, 3.10, 4.5 a, d, 4.9 a,b,c, 5.5c, 6.7c,d, 6.9a, L.S 4, L.S 7, L.S 8, 9, L.S 10, and L.S 11 b-e

Seasonal Changes
Students relate changes in the seasons and the weather to their direct observations of the natural world. Learning activities include guided woodland exploration and live animal adaptations presentation. SOLs: K.6, K.7, K.9, 1.5, 1.6, 1.7, 2.4, 2.5a,b, 2.7a, 2.8c, 3.4, 3.8, 3.10a

Field, Forest and Edges Plant Study
Students learn more about the life cycles and life processes of their local trees, woody and herbaceous plant species. Topics range from reproduction, pollination, seeds , and seed dispersal to the role of trees and the impacts of plants on other species and the carbon cycle. This program includes habitat study, plant and tree id, group design a plant activity, and live animal presentation on the role of plants in the lives of wildlife. SOLs: 1.4, 1.7, 2.4B, 2.5 a-c, 2.8, 3.5, 3.7a, 3.8c, 3.10, 4.4, 4.5a, 4.9b, LS.11 b-e

4th Grade Ecosystems
Hidden Pond’s wetlands and woodlands are the perfect place to build an understanding of ecosystems. Naturalist educators support your unit of study by leading students in wildlife observation, animal tracking, searching for den sites and more. This program may include pond exploration, animal presentations, interactive slideshows, or any other learning activities listed. SOLs: 4.5, 4.9

Rocks, Minerals and Soil
Students have an interactive discussion with rock and mineral samples, learn how earth materials are used in daily life, and how geology has influenced human civilization. Outdoor learning activities range from gold panning to rock hunting or soil study. Students are given rock and mineral samples to start their own collection. SOLs: 2.7b, 2.8d, 3.7, 4.9c,d, and 5.7

Insects and other Invertebrates
Students get to know invertebrates up close and personal as they view an interactive slide show and then catch them in either the pond, stream, forest or meadow. Students may also search for invertebrates inside rotting logs by request. Animals caught will be identified and released. SOLs: K.6, K.7a,c,d, 1.5, 1.7a, 2.4a, 2.5, 2.7a, 3.4, 3.5, and 3.8b

Reptiles and Amphibians
Hidden Pond Nature Center has one of the largest collections of live exhibits in Fairfax County. Students discover the wonders of animal adaptations as they interact with these members of their local Virginia wildlife. Students search for these animals in their natural habitats as they explore the wetlands or forest areas, check some survey sites, or visit likely reptile locales. SOLs: K.6, K.7a, 1.5, 2.4a, 2.5, 3.4, 3.5, and 3.8B

Wildlife Evidence
The forests are alive, even as animals hide from us. Naturalists teach students what signs and tracks to look for, and students practice their observation skills and draw conclusions as they hike through the forest and other wild habitats. SOLs: K.6, 1.5, 2.5, 3.4, 3.5, 3.8B, 3.10, 4.8B and 5.6c

Hidden Pond Exhibits

Scheduling a Program

Field Trip Program Fees:

Program fees are based on the length of the program. Programs consist of 30-minute learning activities that are designed for groups of up to 25 students at a time. Each scheduled program may accommodate a maximum of 125 students. Please note that the minimum group size is 12 students. If you have fewer than 12 students, we ask that you pay the program fee for 12.

1 hour program: $5 per student
90 minute program: $6 per student
2 hour program: $7 per student

A fee of $1 per student is added for schools outside of Fairfax County. Program fee is due on the day of the program. To schedule a program, email or call Michelle Alexander at 703-451-9588.

Outreach Program Fees:

First presentation: $150
Each additional presentation: $100

For outreach programs requiring more than 2 instructors, a $50 fee is added for each 30-minute learning activity.

Outreach Programs

Hidden Pond Nature Center offers outreach programs to bring curriculum-based science lessons into your classroom. Presentations and interactive learning activities support units of study for all grade levels. Programs offered at Hidden Pond may be adapted to your classroom or outdoor space. Presentations are 30-60 minutes long and designed for individual classes of up to 25 students.

Animal Adaptations
Live Virginia animals visit your classroom to teach students how their physical traits and behavioral instincts help them survive in the wild. SOLs: K.6, K.7a, 1.5, 2.4a, 2.5, 3.4, 3.5, and 3.8B

Schoolyard Hike
Naturalists lead students in a hands-on study of their science topic in the outdoor space of their school. SOLs: K.6, K.7, K.9, 1.5, 1.6, 1.7, 2.4, 2.5a,b, 2.7a, 2.8c, 3.4, 3.8, 3.10a

The Adventurous Seed
Students discover the parts of a seed, and methods of seed travel by dissecting a lima bean and inspecting different types of fruits. SOLs: K7, K9b

Seeds of Success
Fourth Graders demonstrate their understanding of plant life processes and adaptations as they work in groups to make a model plant out of recycled materials. SOLs:SOLs: 4.4

Project Wild, Flying Wild, Project Wet
Students learn about the ecological concepts of biodiversity, predator/prey relationships, carrying capacity, survival strategies, symbiotic relationships, bioaccumulation, and others as they “become” wild animals during interactive games, predict outcomes and analyze results. Time frames are flexible. SOLs: LS.6c,d, LS.7, LS.8, LS.9b,c, LS.10b, LS.11b,c,d,e,LS.13a,c,BIO.7b,c,d, BIO.8

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