SLNC Afterschool Nature Classes

(For info on SLNC’s 2022-2023 Day Off Camps, please click here)

(For info on SLNC’s Fall 2022 Homeschool Enrichment Series, please click here)

4 weeks of classes for ages 5-14

Looking for a way to keep your children active and entertained after their school day? Need a way to add some extra activities into their Homeschool Curriculum? SLNC’s Afterschool Nature Classes aim to allow kids to socialize in a safe way while exploring the outdoors (and using that pent up energy that’s been building up all day!).  Each session lasts for 4 weeks.

The program is a drop-off program run by SLNC’s Environmental Educators.  We encourage parents to minimize interactions with the class in order to reduce distractions.  Parents are not required to stay on site, but are welcome to hike the trails on their own during this time.

Fall I: Afterschool Nature Classes 4:00-5:00 PM

During the Fall I series we will be focusing on human uses of our natural environments and spaces. We will do a short hike through each of the habitats that we are learning about and then use items that we find on our hike and discuss their uses both now and historically. The first week we will focus on homemade dyes and inks from leaves and berries that we find in the forest. We will continue the next week discussing the fine clay at the base of streams and rivers. We will create paint out of the clay while discussing its medicinal and historical uses. During week 3 we will be focusing on the marsh. A marsh differentiates itself from a swamp by the amount of sunlight and open space! We will be using the sun’s light to create beautiful images using cyanotype. The final week we will pull invasive species from our meadow and learn to make ropes out of a plant that we otherwise have no use for. Although, it did have a historical use… which is why this invasive plant is in the United States. I look forward to meeting your learner and teaching them of the large number of ways that we, as humans, benefit from our environment.

October 10th – Forest Uses: Homemade Inks & Dyes

October 17th – Stream Uses: Sifting and Painting with Clay

October 24th – Marsh Uses: Cyanotype

October 31st – Meadow Uses: Homemade Ropes

Fall II: Afterschool Nature Classes 4:00-5:00 PM

During the Fall II series we will be focusing on the animals of SLNC. Over the course of 4 weeks students will learn to identify and find signs of common species of turtles, mammals, birds, and invertebrates. We will start with an introduction to turtle identification and go over the many species of turtles in this region. We will then go out to Silver Lake with binoculars to survey the species of turtles that we can spot. During our mammal week, we will learn not only the common species of mammals but their tracks and scat while we go on a hike to find signs they are here. During week 3, students will each receive a pair of binoculars and we will not only go looking for birds but we will talk about their life history, where they nest, what they eat, and what times of the year you can find them. Our final week will focus on invertebrates. Students will learn basic adaptations of invertebrates and design their own insect before going out into the forest to find signs of their life. I look forward to meeting your learner as we dive into the animals that can be found in our own backyard!

November 28th – Turtles

December 5th – Mammals

December 12th – Birds

December 19th – Invertebrates


Pricing for Afterschool Series$60/member; $80/non-members

Refund Policy:

Cancellations more than 7 days before class will receive a 50% refund.  Cancellations less than 7 days before class will not receive a refund.  There are no refunds for no-shows.  If Silver Lake Nature Center cancels a full refund will be issued.

If you have any questions, please contact Summer Camp Director/ Environmental Educator, Holly Hewchuk at