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Wildlife Education 

Pennsylvania’s wildlife is as diverse as its rivers and forests. To spot an elk or see a bald eagle is experiencing Pennsylvania at its wildest.

But why is the elk range only in northern Pennsylvania? How did DDT affect our bald eagle population?

DCNR can help answer these questions. Many wildlife-focused educational opportunities for individuals and families are offered throghout the year.

Public events are posted on the DCNR Calendar of Events.

Programs on Wildlife for Educators and Students

DCNR offers educational programs focused on wildlife for teachers and other educators, as well as students and families. Curriculum include:

  • Project WILD
  • Growing Up WILD
  • Pennsylvania Songbirds 

If you’re a teacher or educator, you can bring students to your local state park or forest for a field learning experience, or you can attend an Act 48-approved teacher professional development training.

Upcoming educator workshops are posted on the DCNR Calendar of Events

Sign up for the PA State Parks monthly educator emails. Be the first to find out about upcoming educator workshops happening in PA State Parks and to learn about nature-based lessons, grants, webinars, and other educational resources.

Project WILD

Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies' Project WILD logo in green

DCNR’s Bureau of State Parks is the statewide Project WILD coordinator for Pennsylvania.

Working with national Project WILD, DCNR and other facilitators offer professional development opportunities utilizing award-winning national Project WILD curricula for educators.

About Project WILD

Project WILD is a hands-on, wildlife-focused conservation education curriculum and activity guide for K-12 educators and their students.

It encourages students to develop an awareness and understanding of wildlife. It seeks to increase teacher and student knowledge about wildlife and the environment; and to encourage participants to take responsible actions towards people, wildlife, and the environment.

The Project WILD K-12 Curriculum and Activity Guide can only be obtained by attending a Project WILD Educator Workshop.

These teacher workshops are most often hosted at state park sites, but can be facilitated at your school or scheduled for your school or district at your local state park.

Contact the statewide coordinator for Project WILD, Carissa Longo, with questions.

Growing Up WILD

Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies' Growing Up WILD logo

DCNR’s Bureau of State Parks is the statewide coordinator for Growing Up WILD in Pennsylvania.

Growing Up WILD is an early childhood education curriculum and activity guide (preK-3; ages 3-7 years) that builds on children’s sense of wonder about nature and invites them to explore wildlife and the world around them.

Through a wide range of activities and experiences, Growing Up WILD provides an early foundation for developing positive impressions about the natural world and lifelong social and academic skills.

Growing Up WILD Activities

Growing Up WILD features 27 field-tested, hands-on activities about wildlife, people, and the environment. Activities include:

  • Art projects
  • Reading
  • Music
  • Math connections
  • Outdoor learning
  • Content about specific groups of animals or ecological concepts

Teachers and other educators can help connect young learners to the outdoors by being trained by DCNR in the Growing Up WILD Curriculum and Activity Guide.

These teacher workshops are most often hosted at state park sites, but can be facilitated at your school or scheduled for your school or district at your local state park.

DCNR offers resources and materials for Project WILD and Growing Up WILD facilitators. Contact the statewide coordinator, Carissa Longo, with questions.

Pennsylvania Songbirds 

Pennsylvania Songbirds is a hands-on, interdisciplinary K-8 teachers’ resource and activity guide developed by DCNR’s Bureau of State Parks, Audubon Pennsylvania, and the Pennsylvania Game Commission.

Lessons focus on Pennsylvania-specific songbirds with topics ranging from "What Makes a Bird a Bird" to interactions of people and songbirds.

Teachers will have the opportunity to enhance their knowledge on observation and identification of songbirds, bird biology, habitat, migration, and much more.

Activities are aligned with Pennsylvania academic standards at the appropriate grade levels.

To find a Pennsylvania Songbirds teacher workshop, visit DCNR’s calendar of events.