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School Field Trips and Outreach Programs


Riverbend Park
[ 8700 Potomac Hills Street ] [ Great Falls, VA 22066 ] [ 703-759-9018 ]

Field Trip Reservation Requests

Fieldtrips

Make learning fun and fulfilling. Our experiential learning school programs cover the SOL curricula you require for a field trip, while involving the students in a hands-on interactive learning experience you can’t get anywhere else.

Riverbend Park interpretive naturalists will make science and history programs fun and engaging for students.  Reservation requests may be submitted online at least two weeks prior to program date requested.  If you have less than two weeks before desired date, please call the park directly at 703-759-9018.  You will receive a confirmation email once we have scheduled your visit.   

Payment is due upon arrival. Payment options are cash, checks (payable to FCPA/Riverbend Park), Visa or Mastercard.

Maximum Daily Capacity
Elementary programs: 3 classes/90students
Groups that are larger than this may be accommodated by scheduling visits over multiple days.

Fairfax County Public Schools:
PreK-K: Students and chaperones $5 ea.
1st -6th: Students and chaperones $6 ea.
Teachers - FREE

Other schools:
Students and chaperones - $7 each
Teachers - FREE

Extras:
Themed Goody Bags - $4 each
Thirty minute wagon ride - $2/person

 

Field Trip Tips

Please keep the following in mind to help make your trip a success.

  • Payment is due on the day of your visit with check made payable to “Fairfax County Park Authority- Riverbend Park” or with Visa or MasterCard. 
  • Dress for the weather.  All of our field trips include a hike outside as well as stations held outdoors. 
  • Please consider water bottles for students to carry during hot days.
  • Riverbend Park is managed as a preserve to maintain the diverse Potomac Gorge habitat. Remind students, chaperones and staff to respect plants, animals and parkland.  Stay on marked trails and do not pick plants or remove anything, living or otherwise, from the park.
  • Please be on time.  Late arrival may mean programs are shortened or canceled because of other park programming and operational needs.

Souvenir Goodie Bags

Souvenir field trip goodie bags are available upon request.  Each bag is $4 and includes:

  • Riverbend Park pencil
  • Riverbend Park magnet
  • A themed book
  • A themed souvenir (e.g. a rock for Earth Explorers, an arrowhead for Indians of the Potomac)

Lunch Facilities

Planning to enjoy lunch after the program? Riverbend has picnic areas available.  In the case of rain, there may be space available at our picnic shelter.  Call the park if you would like further information.

Directions and Parking

Riverbend Park may be reached by taking Beltway Exit 44 (Georgetown Pike Rt. 193) west 4.5 miles to right on Riverbend Rd. to right on Jeffery Rd. Proceed approximately 1 mile to the park's main entrance (Potomac Hills St.) on the right or 1.5 miles on Jeffery Rd to the Nature Center entrance and parking area on the left.

  • Nature Center, 8814 Jeffery Road
  • Visitor Center, 8700 Potomac Hills Street

1st-6th Grade Programs: 1.5 hrs

ExpandGrades 1-4: Homely Habitats

Availability Calendar

What does every plant and animal need to survive? Hands-on activities in different habitat types will help us discover what resources animals are using and why the animals depend on them for survival. SOL/Program of Studies: 1.4, 1.5, 1.7, 1.8, 2.4, 2.5, 2.7, 2.8, 3.4, 3.5, 3.6, 3.7, 3.8, 3.10, 4.1, 4.4, 4.5, 4.8

ExpandGrades 1-3: Sense-ational Seasons

Availability Calendar Join us on a one mile hike throughout the park to discover the seasons. We will explore the forest and river to discover physical and behavioral adaptations of animals and plants. Use all of our senses to search for wildlife and find all that nature has to offer. Available for all seasons. SOL/Program of Studies: 1.1, 1.4, 1.5, 1.6, 1.7, 1.8, 2.4, 2.5, 2.7, 2.8, 3.4, 3.5, 3.6, 3.8, 3.10

ExpandGrades 1-3: Delightful Decomposers

Availability Calendar Look at life under a log. Hike the forest in search of decomposers, such as turkey tail, shelf fungus, worms, termites and more! Through trail activities find out why decomposers, such as fungus, are important to maintain a healthy ecosystem. SOL/Program of Studies: 1.4(a,b,c), 1.7(a), 2.5(a), 2.8(c), 3.10(a) 1

ExpandGrades 2 & 3: Life Cycles

Availability Calendar Find patterns in everyday life as we discover and explore animal and plant life cycles. Learn how everything changes as it grows and discover some surprising animals and their offspring. A hike in the park and hands-on activities provides a fun and active way to learn more about the fascinating life cycles around us. SOL/Program of Studies: 3.5, 3.6

ExpandGrades 2 & 4: Indians of the Potomac

Availability Calendar Gather ‘round the totem pole, touch the dugout canoe, view an Indian warrior in full dress and see local artifacts. Find out how the Algonquian Indians adapted to their climate and environment to secure food, clothing and shelter. Learn about their daily lives through activities. Take a short hike along the Potomac River, a heavily used American Indian travel way. SOL/Program of Studies: VS.2

ExpandGrades 2-6: Rain on My Watershed

Availability Calendar What happens when it rains? Find out with this action packed program by building an enormous land mass with mountains, waterfalls and lakes, and then we’ll make it rain. Find out how each of us fits into the Potomac River watershed. Become part of the water cycle, make erosion happen, and take a hike along the Potomac River. SOL/Program of Studies: 2.3, 2.5, 3.7, 3.9, 4.1, 4.8, 5.7, 6.5

ExpandGrades 3-5: Earth Explorers

Availability Calendar Igneous, metamorphic, or sedimentary? Hands-on activities include identifying rocks and minerals, exploring plate tectonics, and building a volcano. Hike along the Potomac in search of the ancient ocean floor and explore soil types. SOL/Program of Studies: 3.3, 4.8, 5.6, 5.7

ExpandGrades 3, 4 &6: Soil, the Black Box

Availability Calendar Open the black box and explore the wonderful underground! Hands on experiments and activities will illustrate the importance of soil in our ecosystem. Compare soils and learn how to tell their composition. Hike along the Potomac to see the connection between soil and our watershed. SOL/Program of Studies: 3.7, 3.8, 3.9, 3.10

ExpandGrade 3: Eat or Be Eaten

Availability Calendar Join us as we investigate food chains and learn more about the exciting world of producers, consumers and decomposers as well as predator-prey relationships. We will explore both aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems to discover how different populations share and compete for re- sources. SOL/Program of Studies: 3.5, 3.6

ExpandGrades 3 & 6: Invisible Giants

Availability Calendar Microbes are all around us and are an essential part of our ecosystem. Students will be led through interactive activities that will broaden their understanding of ecological relationships (e.g. consumers/producers and symbiosis), nutrient cycling and eutrophication of our watershed. Microbes are not invisible once you learn to spot their handy work! SOL/Program of Studies: 3.7, 6.7, LS 6

Pre-School – Kindergarten Programs: 45 min

ExpandSense-ational Seasons Walk or Wagon Ride

Availability Calendar Experience the sounds, colors and textures of the different seasons on this ¼ mile forest discovery walk or wagon ride. Through fun activities and games we will explore nature and learn how the animals use their senses throughout the year. SOL/Program of Studies: K.1, K.2, K.4

ExpandAll about Ants*

Availability Calendar Explore the world of these amazing insects. Become part of an ant colony. Learn about their life cycle and their fascinating social lives. SOL/Program of Studies: K.6

ExpandPowhatan and Pocahontas

Availability Calendar Through a short walk, hands-on activities, and handling tools and other everyday items (artifact reproductions), learn what your life would have been like as an American Indian child living here a long time ago. Social Studies Prog. of Studies: SOLs – K.1, K.2

ExpandAnimals on the Move

Availability Calendar Nature never rests, even when Old Man Winter comes around. Learn about migration, hibernation, and active winter animals, through interactive activities, stories and songs.

ExpandTiny Creatures

Availability Calendar Explore the micro-world of insects and other invertebrates in this program. Learn how they grow, eat, hunt, and adapt to the world around them. On an outdoor hike we will see what small creatures we can find. SOL/Program of Studies: K.6, K7

ExpandAnimals Abound

Availability Calendar Join us for games, stories and hikes that will lead us in learning about life cycles, habitats and adaptions of the animal of your choice. Stu- dents will have the opportunity to feed and touch one of the parks resident animals. Available topics include: snake, turtle or frog and toad. SOL/Program of Studies: K.2, K.6

Outreach Requests

No money for busses? We’ll bring the program to you! Outreach programs are available November-March.  Other program topics may be available by request.  Reservation requests may be submitted online  at least two weeks prior to program date requested.  If you have less than two weeks before desired date, please call the park directly at 703-759-9018.  You will receive a confirmation email once we have scheduled your visit.  

Outreach
Fairfax County:
$150 for the 1st class
$125 for each additional class
Other areas:
$200 for the 1st class
$175 for each additional class

Outreach Programs

Pre-K to K: All about Ants* – Explore the world of these amazing insects. Become part of an ant colony. Learn about their life cycle and their fascinating social lives. SOL/Program of Studies: K.6

Pre-K to K: Animals on the Move* – Nature never rests, even when Old Man Winter comes around. Learn about migration, hibernation, and active winter animals, through interactive activities, stories and songs.

Pre-K to K: Tiny Creatures* - Explore the micro-world of insects and other invertebrates in this program. Learn how they grow, eat, hunt, and adapt to the world around them. On an outdoor hike we will see what small creatures we can find. SOL/Program of Studies: K.6, K7

Pre-K to K: Animals Abound* - Join us for games, stories and hikes that will lead us in learning about life cycles, habitats and adaptions of the animal of your choice. Stu- dents will have the opportunity to feed and touch one of the parks resident animals. Available topics include: snake, turtle or frog and toad. SOL/Program of Studies: K.2, K.6

Grades 1-4: Homely Habitats –What does every plant and animal need to survive? Hands-on activities in different habitat types will help us discover what resources animals are using and why the animals depend on them for survival. SOL/Program of Studies: 1.4, 1.5, 1.7, 1.8, 2.4, 2.5, 2.7, 2.8, 3.4, 3.5, 3.6, 3.7, 3.8, 3.10, 4.1, 4.4, 4.5, 4.8

Grades 2 & 4: Indians of the Potomac– Gather ‘round the totem pole, touch the dugout canoe, view an Indian warrior in full dress and see local artifacts. Find out how the Algonquian Indians adapted to their climate and environment to secure food, clothing and shelter. Learn about their daily lives through activities. Take a short hike along the Potomac River, a heavily used American Indian travel way. SOL/Program of Studies: VS.2

Grades 2-6: Rain on My Watershed – What happens when it rains? Find out with this action packed program by building an enormous land mass with mountains, waterfalls and lakes, and then we’ll make it rain. Find out how each of us fits into the Potomac River watershed. Become part of the water cycle, make erosion happen, and take a hike along the Potomac River. SOL/Program of Studies: 2.3, 2.5, 3.7, 3.9, 4.1, 4.8, 5.7, 6.5

Grades 3-5: Earth Explorers – Igneous, metamorphic, or sedimentary? Hands-on activities include identifying rocks and minerals, exploring plate tectonics, and building a volcano. Hike along the Potomac in search of the ancient ocean floor and explore soil types. SOL/Program of Studies: 3.3, 4.8, 5.6, 5.7

Grades 3, 4 &6: Soil, the Black Box—Open the black box and explore the wonderful underground! Hands on experiments and activities will illustrate the importance of soil in our ecosystem. Compare soils and learn how to tell their composition. Hike along the Potomac to see the connection between soil and our watershed. SOL/Program of Studies: 3.7, 3.8, 3.9, 3.10

Grade 3: Eat or Be Eaten — Join us as we investigate food chains and learn more about the exciting world of producers, consumers and decomposers as well as predator-prey relationships. We will explore both aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems to discover how different populations share and compete for re- sources. SOL/Program of Studies: 3.5, 3.6

Grades 3 & 6: Invisible Giants—Microbes are all around us and are an essential part of our ecosystem. Students will be led through interactive activities that will broaden their understanding of ecological relationships (e.g. consumers/producers and symbiosis), nutrient cycling and eutrophication of our watershed. Microbes are not invisible once you learn to spot their handy work! SOL/Program of Studies: 3.7, 6.7, LS 6


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