Address: 3826 N. Taylor Road
Hanna City, IL 61536

Phone: 309-676-0998

Education

Education is one of our founding principles and one of the key cornerstones of our mission, along with conservation and recreation. As one of the Midwest’s leading combined nature and zoological destinations, school groups and home school families from across the globe come to enjoy the beauty and wonder of Wildlife Prairie Park. We offer a wide range of educational onsite programs to accompany field trips, as well as camps and classes. We also have outreach programs that will bring our animal ambassadors right to you. All our programs are designed to meet or exceed state teaching standards for science education for school aged children.

Plan Your Trip

For more information or to start creating an adventure designed just for your class, call us at (309) 676-0998 ext. 312 or email programming@wildlifeprairie.org.

Educational Programs

We offer multiple add-on learning programs that will make your field trip even more meaningful. Our programs are approximately 1 hour long (with 30 minute lecture and 30 minute hands-on lab time) and are available by reservation only. There is an additional cost for programs of $4 per student and chaperone ($5 for Owl Pellet Detective or Your Watershed & You), with a $50 minimum.

General Animals

All Age Groups

This program is adaptable for all age groups, and allows students to meet 5 of our educational ambassadors, including: birds, reptiles, amphibians, and mammals. A knowledgeable animal keeper will introduce the students to each of these animals, present facts specific to that species, and review how each animal classification is similar/different from the others.

Relevant State Science Standards:

  • LS3 Heredity: Inheritance and Variation of Traits
  • LS4 Biological Evolution: Unity and Diversity
  • LS1 From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes

 

Backyard Habitats

All Age Groups

With habitat loss effecting so many species negatively, it’s becoming more important than ever to consider providing sanctuary to some of the local wildlife in your neighborhood, and it’s easier than you may think! Join one of our animal keepers and 5 of our educational ambassadors as we go over what each of our animals need to thrive in their ecosystem, and tell you how you can make your backyard or garden a Certified Wildlife Habitat through the National Wildlife Federation.

Relevant State Science Standards:

  • LS1 From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes
  • ESS2-2 Earth’s Systems
  • ESS3 Earth and Human Activity

 

Guided Hike

All Age Groups

Join an animal keeper or park naturalist on a guided hike through Merrill Woods, Walden Pond, and the Pioneer Homestead  to learn more about the animals along our walking trails that call our park home! Hike is roughly 45 minutes and an approximate 1-mile round trip from the Visitor Center.

Feathered Friends

Recommended for 3rd grade through 5th grade

Come meet 3 of our different feathered friends at the park and learn about just how diverse our avian ambassadors can be! One of our knowledgeable animal keepers will introduce your group to our feathered educational ambassadors while going over what makes each of these species unique from each other. The program will be focused on their characteristics, habitats, adaptations, and migration patterns.

Relevant State Science Standards:

  • LS3 Heredity: Inheritance and Variation of Traits
  • LS4 Biological Evolution: Unity and Diversity

 

Owl Pellet Detectives

Recommended for 5th grade through High School

In this program, students will meet our 2 owl ambassadors, Oli and Jesse, while learning about their behaviors, diets, and habitats unique to each species. Students will then get the opportunity to dissect an owl pellet and try to identify the bones they find within! This program is a great, hands-on opportunity to learn about the food chain while meeting some unforgettable feathered friends.

Relevant State Science Standards:

  • LS2 Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics
  • LS4 Biological Evolution: Unity and Diversity

 

Amazing Animals

Recommended for Pre-K through 2nd Grade

Join an animal keeper and 5 of our educational ambassadors as they talk about the amazing and awesome animal facts that make us enjoy our different park animals so much! What do humans have in common with other mammals? How can turtles stay underwater so long? Why can owls turn their heads backwards? Learn this and so much more in our Amazing Animals program!

Relevant State Science Standards:

  • LS1 From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes
  • LS3 Heredity: Inheritance and Variation of Traits
  • LS4 Biological Evolution: Unity and Diversity

 

Bring the Wild to You!

Unable to bring your class or group to Wildlife Prairie Park to see the animals? Then have the animals come to you! Outreach programs are available year round and we have several options to suit your needs. We offer programming for all ages including schools, scouts, churches, daycares, libraries, senior groups, and more.

Reservations need to be made at least 4 weeks in advance. Pricing for outreach programs start at $225 and will vary depending on program type, group size, and distance. For our animal’s well-being Wildlife Prairie Park cannot do outreach programs more than 90 miles from the park. Payment is due at time of the program.

Schedule Your Animal Visit

For more information, including a list of current available animals, or to book your event, call us at (309) 676-0998 ext. 312 or email programming@wildlifeprairie.org.

Please Note

Wildlife Prairie Park has a strict animal ambassador policy which prohibits renting of individual animals, touching the animals, or holding them in pictures.

Private Meet & Greet

Enjoy a private encounter with 1 of our animal ambassadors and their trainer! This meet and greet allows up to 10 guests to have a 30-minute private session with your favorite animal ambassador for taking photos, giving treats, and asking any questions you may have.

Cost

  • Animal Ambassador $100

Scheduling

For more information, including a list of current available animals, or to book your event, call us at (309) 676-0998 ext. 312 or email programming@wildlifeprairie.org.

Keeper for a Day

Curious what it takes to be an animal keeper? Join our animal keepers as they provide the daily cleaning, care and dietary needs of our animals. You will learn about what it takes to care for all the animals at the park. All participants receive a water bottle, park bag and photo with an animal ambassador.

Scheduling

Keeper for a Day is available on Friday, Saturday, or Sunday only from 8:30 am to Noon. Space is limited. Our Director of Wildlife Programs will work with you to reserve an exact date that fits your schedule. Please allow a minimum of 2 weeks notice. For more information or to schedule, call us at (309) 676-0998 ext. 312 or email programming@wildlifeprairie.org.

Ages

This program is for anyone ages 6 and older. All participants ages 6 to 12 must be accompanied by an adult.

Animal Routes

Animal Ambassadors: Reptile collection, skunk, rabbits, and birds of prey (ages 6 to12 restricted to this group only)

Carnivores & Herds: Bison, elk, otters, black bear, farm animals and more (ages 13+)

Pricing

  • Price per Person $150

    Chaperoning adult for ages 6-12 is FREE

Program Agendas

Ages 6 to 12 must be accompanied by an adult

8:30 to 9 am: Arrival at the park and meet with your keeper at Forest Hall.  Animal keeper will provide a tour of the area and cover safety rules for the day.

9 to 9:30 am: Opening animal care for the owls and bunnies in the main classroom

9:30 to 10:15 am: Animal care for the large raptors outside (bald eagle, turkey vulture, red-tailed hawk) and our pig “Rooster”

10:15 to 10:30 am: Break for the keepers

10:30 to 11:30 am: Animal care of reptile and amphibian collection (snakes, turtles, toads, salamanders)

11:30 am to Noon: Behind the scenes tour or Merrill Woods and photo opportunity with an animal ambassador

Ages 13+

8:30 to 9 am: Arrival at the park and meet with your keeper at Animal Kitchen. Animal keeper will provide a tour of the area and cover safety rules for the day.

9 to 10:15 am: Opening animal care in the pioneer and Walden Pond loop (farm animals, swans, crane, river otters and Molly the black bear) and helping with the otter feeding program hosted at 10 am.

10:15 to 10:30 am: Break for the keepers

10:30 to 11:30 am: Assisting the keepers feed the bison and elk herd

11:30 am to Noon: Behind the scenes tour of Forest Hall animals and photo opportunity with an animal ambassador