Ellanor C. Lawrence Park

Fairfax County, Virginia

CONTACT INFORMATION: Visitor Center: Currently closed due to COVID-19 restrictions. However, the Park's trails are open dawn to dusk.

703-631-0013
TTY 711

5040 Walney Road
Chantilly, Virginia

John Shafer,
Manager

Ellanor C. Lawrence Park Field Trips

Step by Step Instructions on How to Book Field Trips

Download Detailed Instructions

 

Request a Reservation

Register for a Field Trip for All Program

Supplement your child's science or history lessons with real experiences and application of the concepts required in the Virginia Standards of Learning. Registration is limited to allow for social distancing. All attendees, parents and students must register to control group size. These are not drop-off programs. One adult must register with each family/pod.

 

Request a Field Trip for Families

For a family or pod of up to 9 people

Bring your student to the park, and learn about subjects that reflect your student's school curriculum. These small-group explorations are engaging and interactive.

Contact us for availability by phone at 703-631-0013, or email Karen.Monroe@FairfaxCounty.gov.

 

Schools, Groups of 10 or More, Multiple Families/Pods

Due to limited staffing, we have reduced the number of open field trip slots on our reservation calendar. To check on availabilities or 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 SCI K.6, SCI 1.5, SCI 2.4, SC I3.4 SCI 3.5, SCI 4.5, SCI 5.5
1 hour

Students explore the characteristics of the current season by using their senses to make observations on this fun and interactive trail walk. Other activities include a trail listening exercise and a game.

SOLs addressed include Science K.6, 1.5, 2.4.
1 hour

Young learners explore the Walney Visitor Center grounds to find shapes and colors. Students identify shapes and colors and guess what they might find of similar shapes and colors in nature. They explore and discuss the how and why of what they find with a naturalist.

SOLs addressed include Science K.4, K.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 include K.7, K.6 and K.5
1 hour

 

Students learn about the food web, life cycles and decomposition. There are naturalist-led discussions and field observations that focus on the life of worms and who depends on them for a meal. Students look for worms in leaf litter and beneath logs. They collect and observe the worms before releasing them.

SOLs addressed include Science K.6, 1.4, 2.4, 2.5, 3.4, 3.5, 4.5.
1 hour

Students compare and contrast meadow and stream habitats. They draw conclusions about the general characteristics of the insects found in each habitat by making observations through field collection. Students explore the insect world’s biodiversity and the importance of insects to other animals and plants. This program meets at the Cabell’s Mill complex across from Walney Pond, 5235 Walney Road, Centreville.

SOLs addressed include Science 2.4, 2.5.
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 aquatic habitat life. This program meets at Walney Pond. SOLs addressed include Science 2.4 and 2.5.

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 SCI K.6, SCI 1.5, SCI 2.4, SC I3.4 SCI 3.5, SCI 4.5, SCI 5.5
1 hour

First/Second Grade

Students compare and contrast meadow and stream habitats and draw conclusions about the general characteristics of insects found in each by making observations through field collection. Students explore insect world biodiversity and the importance of insects to other animals and plants. This program meets at the Cabell’s Mill complex across from Walney Pond, 5235 Walney Road, Centreville.

SOLs addressed include Science 2.4, 2.5.
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 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 2.4 and 2.5.
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 SCI K.6, SCI 1.5, SCI 2.4, SC I3.4 SCI 3.5, SCI 4.5, SCI 5.5
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, 2.4, 3.8
1 hour

Second/Third Grade

Students explore what life may have been like for Eastern Woodland Indians and the relationship they would have had with the land that is now Fairfax County. Students rotate among five stations and learn about the uses of fire, native plants and animals, food ways, personal decoration and skill-based games. Activities include a trail hike in search of native plants and animals, corn grinding, and a corn dart game. Naturalists talk about the material evidence these peoples and those who came before them left behind.

SOLs addressed include HSS 2.2 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 2.4 and 2.5.
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 SCI K.6, SCI 1.5, SCI 2.4, SC I3.4 SCI 3.5, SCI 4.5, SCI 5.5
1 hour

On a short trail hike, students learn about the components of soil and observe soil layers, decomposition and the impact of erosion in a forest. Interactive games demonstrate the water cycle and prompt discussion of how clean water is a resource important to all living things.

SOLs addressed include Science 2.3, 2.6, 2.7 and 3.9.
1.5 hours

Third/Fourth Grade

Students explore what life may have been like for Eastern Woodland Indians and the relationship they would have had with the land that is now Fairfax County. Students rotate among five stations to learn about the uses of fire, the uses of native plants and animals, food ways, personal decoration and skill-based games. Activities include a trail hike in search of native plants and animals, corn grinding, and a corn dart game. Naturalists talk about the material evidence these peoples and those who came before them left behind.

SOLs addressed include HSS 2.2 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 SCI 3.4, 3.5, 4.5 and 5.5.
1 hour

Students learn what makes a plant a plant. During field study, students make observations and draw conclusions by examining plants in different systems. They note animal and plant interactions and look into plants’ roles in soil building. Naturalist-led discussion includes basic plant biology and reproduction strategies, the role of plants in ecosystems and food webs, and why conservation is important. Students learn to identify, through comparison and contrast, at least three different plant types.

SOLs addressed include SCI 3.5, 3.6, 3.8, 3.10, 4.4, 4.5 and 4.8.
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 SCI K.6, SCI 1.5, SCI 2.4, SC I3.4 SCI 3.5, SCI 4.5, SCI 5.5
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 and 4.8.
1.5 hours

Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Grade

What choices did 19th century residents of Ellanor C. Lawrence Park make to survive the Civil War? Experience the Civil War through the eyes of the soldiers, civilians and enslaved people who lived here. Activities include photo analysis, document analysis, and drilling with a soldier.

SOLs covered include Social Studies VS.7 and USI.9.
2 hours

Students explore what life may have been like for Eastern Woodland Indians and the relationship they would have had with the land that is now Fairfax County at the time of European colonization. Students rotate among five stations to learn about the uses of fire, the uses of native plants and animals, food ways, personal decoration and skill-based games. Activities include a trail hike in search of native plants and animals, corn grinding, and a corn dart game. Naturalists talk about the material evidence these peoples and those who came before them left behind.

SOLs addressed include HSS 2.2 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 SCI K.6, SCI 1.5, SCI 2.4, SC I3.4 SCI 3.5, SCI 4.5, SCI 5.5
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 and 4.8.
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 10 attendee required minimum.  Programs may be scheduled for less than 10 students, but the minimum 10-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