Ellanor C. Lawrence Park

Fairfax County, Virginia

CONTACT INFORMATION: Park is open dawn to dusk. Visitor Center Hours Weekdays 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Weekends noon - 5 p.m. Closed Tuesdays.

703-631-0013
TTY 711

5040 Walney Road
Chantilly, Virginia

John Shafer,
Manager

Ellanor C. Lawrence Park Field Trips

Step by Step Instructions to Request a Field Trip Date:

  1. Click the “Request a Reservation” link.
  2. In the Facility Reservation Portal, choose your desired location using the search box or click the site’s icon on the interactive map.
  3. Select your chosen park’s “Reserve” button.
  4. On your chosen park’s page, click the “Reserve” or “Check Availability” button in the School Field Trips box to see the availability calendar.
  5. Use the calendar to identify which days are available. Available dates are green.
  6. Click on your desired day.
  7. Navigate through the calendar using the Calendar Date field.
  8. Click 'Reserve Unit' in the pop up window.
  9. Log in with an existing ParkTakes account, or create a new one.
  10. In the Booking Details screen, fill in all applicable boxes in the ‘Extra Information section.  All fields with an asterisk are required.
  11. Click ‘Book Site’.
  12. Review your cart and check out. There are no fees charged for a reservation request. Payment is due on the day of the program.
  13. After your reservation is complete, a window will open with confirmation of your request. 
  14. You will receive an email that confirms receipt of your request. Staff will be in touch to finalize your booking and any additional details.

If you are requesting a date less than two weeks in advance, please call the park for availability.

Please note that sites limit the total number of students per day. Larger groups may be accommodated over multiple days.

To book consecutive days:

  • Select the first day in your series.
  • In the pop up, use the drop down under “Dates” to select the total days you are booking.
  • Click Reserve Unit.
  • For non-consecutive days, you will need to perform two transactions. After adding the first date to your cart, use the “Reservations” tab on the top right of the page to return to the reservation page and add another date to the cart.

Download Detailed Instructions

 

Request a Reservation

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 - $9 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 - $10 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

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

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. Pencils are 20 cents each, and arrowheads are 75 cents each. Please let the naturalist know if you want souvenirs when making your reservation.

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 Carly.Crane@fairfaxcounty.gov .