Currently booking field trips into Spring 2024!

Include a unique hands-on, feet-wet educational program in your students’ learning experiences this year! All activities are age-appropriate and align with Next Generation Science Standards as well as Maryland Department of Education Standards. 

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Exploring the marsh
The Chesapeake Bay Environmental Center is a 510-acre wildlife preserve on Maryland’s Eastern Shore that showcases pristine habitat and restoration efforts. CBEC offers unique hands-on, feet-wet educational programs for students from pre-school age into adulthood. During our on-site field trips, you and your students will enjoy exploring tidal marshes, meadows, and native woodlands, while discovering the importance of Bay stewardship. All activities are age-appropriate and align with Next Generation Science standards.  Standards per specific grade level are available upon request.

Available Programs

Catch a Bay CritterAppropriate for Kindergarten-HS, 1-2 hours.  Available April-October

After hiking down a scenic nature trail, participants will use seining and dip nets, while wading in the bay and tidal pools (depending on tide, students may be walking through water up to their knees). They will catch and identify many different species of animal life to determine the health of the Chesapeake Bay and learn the importance of this spectacular estuary and the surrounding wetland ecosystem!

Remarkable Oyster- Appropriate for 3rd grade through adults, 1-2 hours. Available year round, on-site & off-site

Discover the amazing filtering ability of this important mollusk and its effects on Chesapeake Bay water quality. Participants will learn about the life cycle of an oyster and the process of restoring the oyster population that many restoration organizations are currently engaged in. Participants will also explore the importance of oyster reefs so vital to the Bay’s biodiversity by learning different reef structures and configurations and the success of these artificial habitats. Finally, participants will examine live reef shell looking for a myriad of inhabiting organisms that live within the Benthic Community.

Birds of Prey Program- Appropriate for all ages, 1-2 hours. Available year-round, on-site & off-site

During this program, participants will meet several different species of raptors, and discover the special adaptations of these birds of prey. Through up-close observations and discussions, the participants will learn about the unique visual and auditory adaptations, as well as other features that put these hunters at the pinnacle of the food chain. Special attention will be given to the importance of raptors to an ecosystem, especially the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. Finally, participants will conduct a pellet dissection and use identification materials to determine the diet of an owl.

Pollinators: Busy Bees and Butterflies Appropriate for K-2

Bee a friend to Pollinators! During this program, students will investigate the process of pollination and gain an understanding of what pollinators are, what they do and their important role in our lives and world food production. Students will participate in games, use scientific skills and engage in interactive discovery to grasp the importance of pollinators and their relationship with plants.

What’s the Weather? Are Pollinators Working Today? Appropriate for K-2

We predict a 100% chance of learning fun when students participate in “What’s the Weather?” Students will engage in learning about various weather components, explore the connection with pollinators, have an opportunity to use weather instruments, play weather games and engage in fun activities to gain a deeper understanding of earth’s natural weather patterns.

Dead Log Scavenger Hunt- Appropriate for pK-3rd grade, 1 hour. Available year-round

Discover the importance of invertebrates in our pine forest ecosystem by participating in a scavenger hunt. Students will observe the role played by invertebrates in breaking down rotten logs and returning nutrients to the soil.

Guided Kayak Tour- Appropriate for 4th grade-Adult, 1.5-3 hours. Available May 1 – October 15

Experience the wonders of the wetlands via kayak!  An experienced naturalist/kayak guide (ACA certified) will begin with basic kayak instruction and then lead students on a paddle to explore the Bay and marsh shoreline. We’ll witness the beauty of the Bay firsthand while keeping an eye out for interesting wildlife. Raft up to briefly discuss the health of the Chesapeake Bay, importance of the marsh, and current restoration projects. In the event of a small craft advisory, students will participate in STEM programs instead.

Home School Groups and Co-ops

Looking for an outdoor, hands-on learning experience for your home school students?  Spend the day learning about Maryland’s wildlife at Chesapeake Bay Environmental Center. Our educators are here to cater to your students’ curriculum! We provide a unique learning environment for your Home school groups and Co-ops and can accommodate students at all levels and abilities. We know that you may have students in many different grade levels learning together. We are ready to adapt our lessons to fit your needs.

  • Cost

    Full-day (10:00 am – 2:00 pm) field trip – includes 2 programs. Minimum charge is $250.

    • $17.50 / student

    Half-day (10:00 am – 12:00 pm) field trip – includes 1 program.  Minimum charge of $150.

    • $12.50 /student

    $50 non-refundable deposit due at registration. Remaining balance due day of field trip.

  • Capacity

    Maximum capacity PER DAY is 45 students. If you have more students than 45, we would be happy to book your field trip over several days.

  • Program Details

    Included in a program registration are use of CBEC facilities and access to all hiking trails during regular business hours (9-5pm) on the date of your program. A lunch break will be included for longer programs.


“My students, colleagues, and I love CBEC’s exceptional educational experience, which brings us back year after year. It is a highlight of my AP Environmental Science course, providing an unparalleled hands-on window into the Bay’s ecological riches and environmental challenges. The expert CBEC staff and dedicated volunteers bring learning to life. We treasure our experience with CBEC, like the Bay itself!”

“All of us had a wonderful time kayaking on the Bay, seining in the salt marsh and along the shore, and learning about raptors that have been rescued. Of course the visit by your friendly snake was quite exciting and will never be forgotten–the kids loved it!!! The kids have reflected on the experience of spending a day at CBEC and have shared that they never thought of ever kayaking before as an outdoor activity they’d like to do. Now, several have asked when can they return because they had so much fun and enjoyed learning in nature. Outdoor education in nature is perfect for being mindful and learning. Students who often have difficulty staying on task or in location, were  engaged, behaviorally appropriate, and worked cooperatively through several of the activities you had planned–the day was EXCELLENT!!!”

“I was fortunate enough to serve as a chaperone on my daughter’s 2nd grade field trip from Centreville Elementary to CBEC on Tuesday of this week. What a great time.  Every kid thoroughly enjoyed themselves and they were all able to ‘get dirty’.  The weather certainly helped out, as it was beautiful that day.

We got to dig for bugs in the rotten logs, search for critters in the oyster bags, and watch the owls show off. Your staff and volunteers are true professionals and their commitment to the environment shows in their presentation.

I feel that the kids learned a lot, and even better, they were having fun while they were learning.

Again, thanks for doing a great job at CBEC.”