Ellanor C. Lawrence Park

CONTACT INFORMATION: Walney Visitor Center Open hours: Mon & Wed-Fri 9-5 p.m., Saturday-Sunday 12-5 p.m. Closed Tuesdays. The park's trails, picnic tables and grounds are open dawn to dusk.
703-631-0013 TTY 711
5040 Walney Road
Chantilly, Virginia
John Shafer
Manager

Department Resources

Related Resources

Ellanor C. Lawrence Park Field Trips

Step-by-Step Instructions on How to Book Field Trips

 

Request a Reservation

Field Trips for Schools, Homeschool Groups, and Family Groups

Please use the “Request a Reservation” button above to check field trip availability and make your reservation request. You will receive a confirmation email once your request is processed. If you need help checking availabilities, making your reservation, or if you need to request a date less than two weeks in advance, please contact us by phone at 703-631-0013 or email at Karen.Monroe@FairfaxCounty.gov.

Ellanor C. Lawrence Park is well suited to reinforce students’ knowledge of Virginia history and natural resources.  Its 650 acres feature historic structures, evidence of past land use, and diverse natural habitats. Students can see firsthand the relationships among plants, animals and their environments and human impacts on the natural world. The Walney Visitor Center features a live animal display and exhibits about the parkland’s history. 

 
Unless otherwise noted, field trips meet at the Walney Visitor Center, 5040 Walney Road, Chantilly, Va., 20151.

Although SOL correlations are noted in the program descriptions, most programs can be tailored to meet the needs of pre-school through sixth grades with advance notice.  Please discuss your field trip goals with a naturalist when you reserve a program date.  Note that programs fill quickly and that students may be divided into smaller groups.

Programs are available Monday through Friday mornings from September until June.  If staff is available, programs may be scheduled on select afternoons. 
Fees
Fairfax County Schools
1 hour programs - $6 each for students and chaperones
1.5 hour programs - $8 each for students and chaperones
2 hour programs - $10 each for students and chaperones

Out-of-County Schools
1 hour programs - $7 each for students and chaperones
1.5 hour programs - $9 each for students and chaperones
2 hour programs - $11 each for students and chaperones

Payment in full is due on the day of your visit.  Visa, MasterCard, or checks payable to “Fairfax County Park Authority” are accepted at Walney Visitor Center.

 

Pre-K and Kindergarten

Explore the life cycles and habitats of Reptiles and Amphibians. Then meet reptiles and amphibians that reside at the Walney Visitor Center in a hands-on exploration.

SOLs addressed include Science K.7, 1.5, 2.4, 2.5, 3.4, 3.5, 4.2, and 4.3.
1 hour

Students explore the characteristics of the current season by using their senses to make observations on this fun and interactive trail walk.

SOLs addressed include Science K.5, 1.7, and 2.7.
1 hour

Kindergarten/First Grade

Act in a play to learn about our smallest friends. Explore the life cycle of ants as you role-play. Observe ants in the wild and identify the physical characteristics of ants.

SOLs addressed include Science K.6, K.7, and 1.5.
1 hour

Students investigate the physical and biological characteristics of a pond habitat through hands-on collection and release of aquatic insects and other pond dwellers. Naturalists discuss the interdependency of life at the pond, habitat characteristics, and how human actions affect water quality and aquatic habitat life. This program meets at Walney Pond.

SOLs addressed include Science K.7, 1.8, 2.4, 2.5, 3.4, 3.5, and 3.8.
1 hour

Explore the life cycles and habitats of Reptiles and Amphibians. Then meet reptiles and amphibians that reside at the Walney Visitor Center in a hands-on exploration.

SOLs addressed include Science K.7, 1.5, 2.4, 2.5, 3.4, 3.5, 4.2, and 4.3.
1 hour

First/Second Grade

Students investigate the physical and biological characteristics of a pond habitat through hands-on collection and release of aquatic insects and other pond dwellers. Naturalists lead observation and discussion of the interdependency of life at the pond, habitat characteristics, and how human actions affect water quality and life in aquatic habitats. This program meets at Walney Pond.

SOLs addressed include Science K.7, 1.8, 2.4, 2.5, 3.4, 3.5, and 3.8.
1 hour

Explore the life cycles and habitats of Reptiles and Amphibians. Then meet reptiles and amphibians that reside at the Walney Visitor Center in a hands-on exploration.

SOLs addressed include Science K.7, 1.5, 2.4, 2.5, 3.4, 3.5, 4.2, and 4.3.
1 hour

Students learn the basics of tree biology, identification and the important roles trees, both dead and alive, play in the environment through an interactive game, discussions and a trail walk. Depending on the season, naturalists guide students in tree identification by examining and comparing leaves, barks, twigs and/or seeds.

SOLs addressed include Science 1.4 and 2.4.
1 hour

Second/Third Grade

Students explore what life may have been like for Eastern Woodland Indians and the relationship they had with the land that is now Fairfax County. Students rotate among three stations to learn about Native American culture, skills and jobs practiced in this area, and the use and stewardship of natural resources. Activities include listening to a story from Native American lore around the campfire, corn grinding, a corn dart game, and a trail hike in search of native plants and animals. Naturalists talk about the material evidence these peoples and those who came before them left behind.

SOLs addressed include HSS 2.3 and VS.2.
1.5 hours

Students investigate the physical and biological characteristics of a pond habitat through hands-on collection and release of aquatic insects and other pond dwellers. Naturalists discuss the interdependency of life at the pond, habitat characteristics and how human actions affect water quality and the life in aquatic habitats. This program meets at Walney Pond.

SOLs addressed include Science K.7, 1.8, 2.4, 2.5, 3.4, 3.5, and 3.8.
1 hour

Explore the life cycles and habitats of Reptiles and Amphibians. Then meet reptiles and amphibians that reside at the Walney Visitor Center in a hands-on exploration.

SOLs addressed include Science K.7, 1.5, 2.4, 2.5, 3.4, 3.5, 4.2, and 4.3.
1 hour

Students discover the part they play in soil and water conservation by exploring a water droplet journey; taking a short trail hike to investigate living soil, see how the decomposition process creates new soil, and observe the impact of erosion on a forest; and experimenting with the infiltration rates of different soil types by creating their own soil mixture.

SOLs addressed include Science 2.3, 3.6, 3.7, and 3.8.
1.5 hours

Third/Fourth Grade

Students explore what life may have been like for Eastern Woodland Indians and the relationship they had with the land that is now Fairfax County. Students rotate among three stations to learn about Native American culture, skills and jobs practiced in this area, and the use and stewardship of natural resources. Activities include listening to a story from Native American lore around the campfire, corn grinding, a corn dart game, and a trail hike in search of native plants and animals. Naturalists talk about the material evidence these peoples and those who came before them left behind.

SOLs addressed include HSS 2.3 and VS.2.
1.5 hours

What determines, in part, which animals call Ellanor C. Lawrence Park their home? Students use critical thinking and observation to answer this question on a guided trail hike. They compare the habitat needs of an assigned animal species with what they identify as suitable food, water, shelter and safe places to raise young in the park.

SOLs addressed include Science 3.4, 3.5, and 4.3.
1 hour

Explore the life cycles and habitats of Reptiles and Amphibians. Then meet reptiles and amphibians that reside at the Walney Visitor Center in a hands-on exploration.

SOLs addressed include Science K.7, 1.5, 2.4, 2.5, 3.4, 3.5, 4.2, and 4.3.
1 hour

Explore local watersheds to gain an understanding of the importance of water as a natural resource for all life. Students will determine water quality and compare different aquatic habitats through hands on investigation such as collection and release of benthic macro invertebrates and other aquatic creatures. Naturalist led discussion will include the interdependency of life and the flow of energy in water ecosystems in addition to the effect of human activity on water quality. This program meets at Walney Pond.

SOLs addressed include Science 1.8, 2.4, 2.5, 3.5, 3.7, 4.3, 4.8 and 6.8.
1.5 hours

Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Grade

Students explore what life may have been like for Eastern Woodland Indians and the relationship they had with the land that is now Fairfax County. Students rotate among three stations to learn about Native American culture, skills and jobs practiced in this area, and the use and stewardship of natural resources. Activities include listening to a story from Native American lore around the campfire, corn grinding, a corn dart game, and a trail hike in search of native plants and animals. Naturalists talk about the material evidence these peoples and those who came before them left behind.

SOLs addressed include HSS 2.3 and VS.2.
1.5 hours

Explore the life cycles and habitats of Reptiles and Amphibians. Then meet reptiles and amphibians that reside at the Walney Visitor Center in a hands-on exploration.

SOLs addressed include Science K.7, 1.5, 2.4, 2.5, 3.4, 3.5, 4.2, and 4.3.
1 hour

Explore local watersheds to gain an understanding of the importance of water as a natural resource for all life. Students will determine water quality and compare different aquatic habitats through hands on investigation such as collection and release of benthic macro invertebrates and other aquatic creatures. Naturalist led discussion will include the interdependency of life and the flow of energy in water ecosystems in addition to the effect of human activity on water quality. This program meets at Walney Pond.

SOLs addressed include Science 1.8, 2.4, 2.5, 3.5, 3.7, 4.3, 4.8 and 6.8.
1.5 hours

Naturalist speaks to a group of children in a field

 

Planning Your Visit

Please keep the following in mind to make your trip a success.
  • Chaperone ratio at least 1:10.
  • There is a 15 attendee required minimum.  Programs may be scheduled for less than 15 students, but the minimum 15-person fee will be assessed.  This applies also to absentees. 
  • The programs are outside. Dress for the weather. Programs are conducted rain or shine.
  • Wear long pants and sturdy shoes appropriate for outdoor activities. No sandals.
  • Wear boldly printed nametags so naturalists can use names during programs.
  • 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.
 
After the program, with proper adult supervision, classes are welcome to visit the Walney Visitor Center, which features exhibits on park history, live animal displays, a sales area, restrooms and a water fountain. 

You can bring a picnic lunch.  Because of limited trash pickup and wildlife scavenging, please bring your own trash bags and take your trash out with you. 
If you picnic at the park, please bring hand sanitizer to minimize a long bathroom wait for hand washing.

Field trip souvenirs are available. Please let staff know if you want souvenirs when making your reservation.
  • Pencils - 25 cents plus tax
  • Arrowheads - 75 cents plus tax
  • ECLP Sticker - $2.15 plus tax
  • ECLP Site Patch - $2.50 plus tax

We value your input so that we can make our programs the best they can be. Please complete and return the program evaluations you’ll receive after the program or send an email to Karen.Monroe@fairfaxcounty.gov .
Fairfax Virtual Assistant