School Programs & Field Studies


At-A-Glance Program GuidE

McHenry County Conservation District offers numerous programs free of charge for schools that serve McHenry County residents. Programs require a minimum of 12 students per program. At the discretion of program staff, the minimum requirement for home school and special needs classes may be waived. Teachers should select programs for the grade level at which the students are functioning. The maximum number of students per program varies and is noted with the program descriptions. If special assistance is needed for you or your students, notify the instructor when you schedule a program. This ensures all attendees are provided with the best possible learning experience.

Field studies are offered in all seasons, for a wide range of grade levels, and at sites throughout the county. They are available to both in- and out-of-county schools.

Outreach programs are indoor presentations conducted at your facility by Education, Wildlife Resource Center, and Police Department staff. While most outreach programs work best in a classroom setting, some accommodate large groups in an auditorium-style presentation. Outreach programs are available only to in-county schools.

Why schedule a field study with McHenry County Conservation District?
Enhance your curriculum!  Most field studies align with Illinois Learning Standards. In addition we continue to revise existing and create new programs driven by Next Generation Science Standards and Common Core Standards where applicable.
Nature is an excellent teacher!  Learning in an outdoor setting helps foster an appreciation of the beautiful and unique natural areas of McHenry County.
We have experienced staff!  Our program leaders are experts at developing and presenting environmental education programs.
The price is right!  Field studies are FREE for McHenry County schools.
We can visit your classroom, too!  Browse our variety of FREE Outreach Programs, specifically tailored to a classroom or auditorium setting. 

Refer to the program descriptions for the appropriate phone number or email for additional information.
Season                     Resident  Begins          Non Resident Begins
Spring 2023            January 11                     January  25
Fall 2023                  May 10                             May 24 
Winter 2023           September 6                 September 20 

Festival of the Sugar Maples 2023             December 7 / December 21
Festival of the Sugar Maples 2024             December 6 / December 20

On the first day of registration please limit your class request to one field study choice per season, per site and/or one outreach program choice per season. You are welcome to check for availability of additional programs one week later.  
Out-of-County Registration Procedures

Out-of-county schools may register for field studies two weeks after resident registration begins. The cost is $40 per class of 12-35 students. Exceptions to the minimum group size of 12 may be made for home school and special needs classes. In these circumstances the fee is $2.00 per student. Fees are confirmed by the program leader when the program is scheduled and the teacher receives a program confirmation and invoice.  Fees are due in full five business days prior to the program by check payable to the McHenry County Conservation District, and mailed to the Prairieview Education Center, 2112 Behan Rd., Crystal Lake, IL 60014. Credit card payments are accepted online only – email for information.

Give Us Feedback
We value your opinion and look forward to receiving your feedback. Once you have completed a school program with us we encourage you to complete an evaluation. 

Field Study Evaluation          Outreach Program Evaluation