Pre-Elementary: Ages 3–5 or Grade Pre-K (In-person)

We continue to find flexible and adaptive new ways to meet the needs of children and families during this pandemic. Our emphasis is on providing inquiry-based environmental and outdoor education programs for small groups, typically made up of no more than 10–12 individuals. Our programs, as always, are focused on learning from nature, but we are placing a heightened focus on meeting the need children have for unstructured time with their peers. It is essential to children’s social-emotional development and general sense of well-being to be able to play and be free outside with each other!

Programs may also be viewed in a calendar.

Registration for Fall 2021 programs will open on June 29 at 9pm. 

A note about registration: Many of our programs fill quickly, so we highly recommend registering on the waiting list. We go to this list first if a space opens up. And by adding your name, you can help us better plan for the programs that are in high demand.

Nature Discovery Preschool Series — Prehistoric Preschool

with Colleen Kelley
Ages 3-5 (Adult required to attend with child)
Fridays, September 17 – December 3 (no program October 1, 8 and November 26),
Morning session: 9:30-11:30 am
Afternoon session: 1-3pm
Fee per Child: Tier A-$271 | Tier B-$217 | Tier C-$163  | Tier D-$109
Limited to 12 participants. Limit of 2 children per adult.

Nature Discovery Preschool is back to a ten-week series once again, taking place both indoors and outdoors! This season we will travel back in time to the days of the dinosaurs. Children will learn about dinosaurs through stories, songs, movement and crafts. We will compare different dinosaurs, dig for bones, and learn about the plants they munched on.  Come have a dinomite time! Please note: This ten-week series takes place both indoors and outdoors.

Monarch Tagging 

With Jennifer Unkles
All ages
Saturday, September 18, 2:30-4pm

Drop in to see how monarch butterflies are tagged and ask questions about this amazing creature and their hope filled cycle of survival.


With Jennifer Unkles
Ages 3+
Wednesday, September 22, 4-5:30pm
Suggested Donation: $5–$30 per person
Limited to 12 participants

The monarch butterflies are back and their cycle continues! Come for a small group class to see them up close, learn about their fascinating life cycle, tag and release pre-caught butterflies and then take a hike to look for others. Nets and supplies will be provided. We often find other insects on these walks. Data collected will be added for scientific research through the Monarch Watch Citizen Science Project.

COVID-19 Safety

Read our complete COVID-19 Program Participant Guidelines.

Our programs are designed to be fun and engaging and above all safe. The COVID-19 program guidelines are designed to help protect everyone as we meet the strict health and safety requirements of the CDC and our state. Please take the time to read the information thoroughly. If you feel that you or your child(ren) cannot follow these guidelines, we ask that you wait until these restrictions have been lifted to join one of our programs or events. We may change our guidelines to reflect new guidance from CDC and Massachusetts.


Given this time of financial hardship for our community and our organization, we are offering a new sliding scale fee structure aimed to provide greater flexibility in choosing a price that is right for you and your family.

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Hitchcock Center for the Environment