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Hidden Pond Nature Center
[ 8511 Greeley Blvd. Springfield, Virginia 22152 ]   [ 703-451-9588 ]

Pond Netting

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.


Wetland Ecosystems
This is the most requested program topic at our park. The program utilizes the resources of the pond and wetlands near the nature center and may be tailored to several SOL learning areas. The park also offers stream study opportunities at the Pohick Creek and exploration of a local swamp. Several site-related PowerPoint presentations may be part of the program, including Web of Life which deals with the pond food chain, while Croakers introduces students to our native frogs and toads and their life histories. This program features the following study stations; netting at the pond's edge with identification, wetland walk, live animal presentation, macro and microscopic life of wetlands and center visit. This program very adequately meets the 7th grade Meaningful Watershed Educational Experience requirements as it ties in our wetlands' influence on the Chesapeake Watershed. These SOL objectives can be met with this program: K.6, K.8 B, C, 1.5, 1.7, 2.4A, 2.5, 3.4, 3.6A, 3.8B, 3.9, 3.10, 4.8A, 5.6C, 6.7, 6.9A, L.S 4, L.S 7, L.S 9, L.S 10, and L.S 11.

Ecosystems-for the 4th Grade
Hidden Pond, with its wetlands and surrounding forest, is the perfect place to cover this area of study. Based on your classes' needs, our staff can lead students in wildlife observation, identifying tracks, searching for den sites and more. If you wish to use components from other programs listed, they can easily be added. These SOL objectives can be met with this program: 4.5 and 4.8

Field, Forest and Edges-NEW
The park has a variety of trees, and woody and herbaceous plant species to help students better understand our natural world. Plant program topics range from flower parts, seeds, pollination, the role of trees, the impact of plants on habitats of other living species and the role plants play in the planet's carbon cycle. Program includes habitat study, tree/plant id, and center visit. SOL objectives that can be covered with this program are: 1.4, 1.7, 2.4B, 2.5, 2.8, 3.5, 3.7, 3.8B, 3.10, 4.4, and 4.8BD

Insects and other Invertebrates
This program Includes a slide show about the insect world, with either netting for aquatic insects at the pond or searching for them in our forest or meadow. Species that are caught will be identified,.and a center visit is included. SOL objectives met as part of this program are: K.6, K.8BC, 2.4A, 2.5, 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 will get to see these animals up close and personal. The outside portion of the program can use either our wetland areas to observe these animals in their natural habitats or our forest areas where students can check some snake survey sites or visit likely reptile locales. SOL objectives covered are: K.6, 1.5, 2.4A, 2.5, 3.4, 3.5, and 3.8B

Rocks, Minerals and Soil
Rock and mineral samples are shown with discussion about how geology has influenced human civilization and how we use earth materials in our daily lives. The outside portion of the program will range from gold panning to rock hunting or soil study. Students are given rock and mineral samples to start their own collection. SOL objectives that may be met are: 2.7B, 2.8C, 3.7, 4.8CD and 5.7

Seasonal Changes
This is a popular program which opens the eyes of younger students to changes in the world around them. This program can easily be tailored to meet some of the younger grades' SOL objectives including: K.6, K.8BC, 1.5, 2.4B, 2.5, 2.7A, 2.8BC, 3.4 and 3.8B

Wildlife Evidence
Through a PowerPoint and a hike through our forest, we will cover ways to study mammals and other wildlife by searching for the evidence they leave behind. SOL objectives that can be met are: K.6, 1.5, 2.5, 3.4, 3.5, 3.8B, 3.10, 4.8B and 5.6C

Hidden Pond Exhibits


Programs at Hidden Pond are made up of 2, 3 or 4 Learning Activities. Each Learning Activity is 30 minutes long. Program fees are based on length of the program as follows:
1 hour program: $5 per student
90 minute program: $6 per student
2 hour program: $7 per student
For schools outside of Fairfax County, a $1 fee is added per student.

Please note: Hidden Pond can cover most SOL learning objectives, if you did not see an SOL listed above, but you feel we could help you with it, contact us.

Hidden Pond Programs at your School

If you can't come to us, we can go to you. The listed programs can be adapted to your school and grounds. The fee for outreach programs is $150 for the first presentation and $100 for each additional presentation. Presentations are up to 60 minutes long and are designed for 20-30 students, however larger groups may be accommodated.

Home, Private, and Pre-school Programs

All public school programs listed can be adapted to your school needs, Hidden Pond is flexible toward meeting your teaching requirements, and can combine many of the above for an age appropriate program.

Scheduling Programs

You may call anytime to schedule school programs. Requests will be scheduled on a first-call, first-served basis. Hidden Pond makes every attempt to find dates and times to meet your request. Contact Shannon Morley at 703-451-9588.

Waivers: If your school or any student has financial difficulties in meeting our costs, please call to discuss the matter. We do not want any student to miss out on a visit to our park. We hope to see you at Hidden Pond during the coming school year.

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