Children explore the preserve
Great Salt Lake Shorelands Preserve Children explore the preserve © Ian Shive

The Nature Conservancy in Utah

Wings and Water

Wetlands Education Program

How to Participate

IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR TEACHERS

Wings and Water is more than just a field trip and lesson guide.  It's a comprehensive package that allows you to take advantage of Utah’s unique Great Salt Lake wetlands as a platform for an unforgettable educational experience. You and your students will benefit most from Wings & Water by fully participating in all stages of the program. When you sign up your class for this program, you will be asked to:

USE THE STUDENT DISCOVERY GUIDE

At every stage of wetlands education, the Student Discovery Guide should be used to enhance and assess your students’ understanding of key concepts.  It is designed to work seamlessly from the classroom to the Naturalist-Guided Tour to help you create fun, interactive lesson plans that address state core curriculum.  When you schedule your tour with The Nature Conservancy, you will be sent a copy of The Discovery Guide for each student to use before, during and after their Wings & Water Tour.  You will also receive a Teacher's Guide to help you assess your students' learning.

PREPARE STUDENTS USING THE PRE-TOUR ACTIVITIES

To help your students get the most out of their Naturalist-Guided Tour, we’ve provided guidelines and suggested activities that explore key concepts before the tour.  An orientation to wetlands, adaptations, interrelationships and student tour preparation are included in these easy-to-use Pre-Tour ActivitiesWings & Water Pre-Tour activities offer vocabulary, teacher background information and topic-based ideas for using the Student Discovery Guide to help you plan innovative and effective lessons. These activities will be most effective if they are completed before the scheduled field-trip.

PARTICIPATE IN A NATURALIST-GUIDED TOUR

Together with the pre- and post-tour activities, the Naturalist-Guided Tourserves as an exciting, hands-on foundation to your students’ wetlands education.  During this tour, your class will explore many themes including habitat, soil, wetlands plants and animals, adaptations and conservation as they discover the wetlands of the Great Salt Lake. 

RE-VISIT CONCEPTS AND ASSESS LEARNING USING POST-TOUR ACTIVITIES

Immediately after your students experience the wetlands first-hand, you should incorporate the Post-Tour Activities. These activities use the Discovery Guide, games and worksheets to help students to reflect on their visit and review important concepts related to wetlands education.

GIVE FEEDBACK

You will be asked to share your thoughts and ideas about the effectiveness of the Wings & Water Wetlands Education Program with The Nature Conservancy. Taking the time to give honest and constructive feedback will help us provide the most valuable educational services to your students.

STEPS TO GET STARTED

1.      Read the Wings & Water Policies and Requirements.

2.       Determine whether you’d like to participate in Fall or Spring. Fall applications will be accepted starting June 1, and spring applications will be accepted starting November 1. The application will be closed when the schedule is full.

3.       Apply for the program by filling out the application. If you have any questions, please contact Andrea Nelson at anelson@tnc.org

4.       Review the online version of the Student Discovery Guide (you will receive your students' hard- copy guides after you sign up) and the Teacher's Guide.

5.       Download either Spring or Fall Pre- and Post- Tour Activites and determine how you will incorporate them into your classroom studies.

Policies and Requirements

EDUCATOR EXPECTATIONS

By scheduling your class for a Wings & Water Tour at the Great Salt Lake Shorelands Preserve, you are also agreeing to participate in the full Wings & Water program.  It is expected that you will incorporate the Student Discovery Guide and the associated lesson ideas in your Pre- and Post-Tour Activities as appropriate (see How to Participate in Wings & Water).  This will help to ensure a more fulfilling and enjoyable tour experience for your students.

NATURALIST-GUIDED TOUR REQUIREMENTS

Guidelines for use of the Preserve 
The Nature Conservancy’s preserve is private property, managed to protect native species and ecosystems.  While on our preserve, please respect the land and wildlife at all times. Also respect the rights of owners of adjacent properties.

Water Bottles and Backpacks 
Students are permitted to bring water bottles and backpacks during the tour, but all water bottles should be able to be stored in a backpack for the duration of the tour.

Lunch and Snacks 
Students will have time to eat at the USU Botanical Center before the afternoon portion of the trip. Each student should bring a sack lunch.  

Group Size and Organization 
On each tour date, The Visitor Center can accommodate no more than 75 students.  The ideal tour group is between 50-60 students in size.  If your school has more than 75 students, you may be asked to schedule two separate tour dates.

Students will be divided into 3 or 4 smaller tour “pods” before arriving at the Visitor Center. Each student should have a nametag with their pod name clearly marked on it upon arriving for the tour.  All students should have their Student Discovery Guide with them during the tour. 

Accompanying Adults 
We require 1 accompanying adult for every 10 students, not including the teacher and Naturalist Guides.  Adults who participate in the Wings & Water Tours should be prepared to act in both a supervisory role AND supportive educational role.  A letter explaining the role of accompanying adults will be available with your welcome pack. 

The Role of the Naturalist Guide 
Naturalist Guides are volunteers for The Nature Conservancy and are not intended to have any disciplinary duties during the tour.  Although guides are trained and experienced in effective group management techniques, teachers and accompanying adults are solely responsible for supervising their students’ behavior.

Weather & Cancellations 
Because Wings & Water tours are completely outdoors, inclement weather may affect scheduled tour dates.  The Conservancy reserves the right to abbreviate or cancel tours due to inclement weather.  In these cases, we will make every effort to work with your school to reschedule.

Emergency Contacts 
The Nature Conservancy will provide teachers with a contact person and cell phone number for the day of the tour. Teachers must, in turn, provide The Nature Conservancy with a cell phone number for the day of the tour.

Dress 
Teachers will be responsible for making sure that their students are dressed appropriately for the weather conditions. The Conservancy is not responsible for providing protection against inclement weather. Suggestions for appropriate clothing are included in the Welcome Packet that will be sent along with the Student Discovery Guides.

Liability Waivers 
Each participating student must have a parent or guardian sign a release waiver before attending the tour.  These may be in addition to any waiver that your school requires and MUST be submitted to The Nature Conservancy before the tour can begin.

More detailed instructions will be provided in the “welcome” letter that you receive after you schedule your Wings & Water tour.

Pre- and Post-Tour Activities

Guidelines and suggested activities that explore key concepts before and after the tour

To help your students get the most out of their Naturalist-Guided Tour, we’ve provided guidelines and suggested activities that explore key concepts before and after the tour. Organized by topic and complete with teacher background information, these activity packs will help you make the most of your Wings & Water experience.  After you’ve scheduled your Wings & Water Tour with The Nature Conservancy, you should download these activities and incorporate them into your science curriculum.

PRE-TOUR CLASSROOM ACTIVITIES

An orientation to wetlands, adaptations, interrelationships and student tour preparation are included in the easy-to-access, easy-to-use lesson guides. Wings & Water Pre-Tour activities offer vocabulary, teacher background information and topic-based ideas for using the Student Discovery Guide to help you plan innovative and effective lessons.  These topics should be introduced approximately 1-2 weeks before your tour.

POST-TOUR CLASSROOM ACTIVITIES

Immediately after your students experience the wetlands first-hand, you should incorporate the Post-Tour Activities into your classroom.  These activities use the Discovery Guide, games and worksheets to help students to reflect on their visit and review important concepts related to wetlands education.

SPRING OR FALL?

The Pre- and Post-Tour Activities are tailored according to when your students take their Wings & Water tour and how much time they will have to study wetlands in advance of their tour.  If you have secured a tour slot for your students between August and October, you should download the "Fall" Activities.  If your students will be taking a tour between April and June, please download the "Spring" Activities.

DOWNLOADS

Fall
Pre-Tour Classroom Activities 
Post-Tour Classroom Activities

Spring
Pre-Tour Classroom Activities 
Post-Tour Classroom Activities

Support Materials
From the Student Discovery Guide:
Wetlands Illustration (pg 18) 
Water Cycle Activity (pg 5) 
Water Cycle Key (pg 5) 
Water Level Graph (pg 6) 
Crossword Puzzle Key (pg 8) 
Word Jumble Key (pg 9)

Maps:
GSL Area 
GSL Watershed

Fact Sheets:
Wetland Mammals
Wetland Birds 
Wetland Producers 
Wetland Invertebrates