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SIU Touch of Nature School Group

For nearly seven decades, K through 12 school groups have visited Touch of Nature to engage in hands-on learning in our unique outdoor classroom setting. During these day long or overnight programs, our professional and student instructors teach participants about the relationships that connect us to our surroundings and to each other.

Our program is designed to be an extension of the classroom that combines academic, recreational, and social experiences in a camp-like setting. Our outdoor education curriculum units blend outdoor recreation activities with educational lessons and give students the opportunities to reinforce their learning in a hands-on fashion.

Customize Your Experience

Touch of Nature’s School Programs work with schools to design a program unique to each school’s needs.

To find out more information or register for any of our trainings or workshops, email ton@siu,edu.

Fill out our program inquiry form

Modules and Curriculum

SIU Touch of Nature School Group Aquatic Life

Aquatic Life

This program is hands-on and exciting for participants as they work to identify the things they catch themselves. Teachable moments can occur with land animals at the waterline, as well as lessons on watersheds, land and waterways management, aquatic invasive species, pollution, and life cycles of aquatic/terrestrial amphibians.

SIU Touch of Nature School Group Tree Identification

Tree ID

Leave no leaf unturned as we hike through the beautiful forests at Touch of Nature. Learn about some of the common species in the area and how to identify them based on their leaves, bark, and buds. 

SIU Touch of Nature School Group Wetlands


As one of the most biodiverse habitats, wetlands are some of the best places to investigate the complexity and beauty of natural processes. Join us as we learn about these unique areas and their importance to the environment. 

SIU Touch of Nature School Group Wildflower Hikes

Wildflower Hikes

Put a name to the brightly colored seasonal flora sprinkled throughout the woods. Learn some of the lore behind the plants that appear every spring.

SIU Touch of Nature School Group Wildlife Habitat

Wildlife Habitats

Southern Illinois is the most biologically diverse area in the entire state. Learn how these habitats fulfill the basic requirements of food, water, reproduction, and shelter from predators and competitors.

SIU Touch of Nature School Group Wildlife of Southern Illinois

Wildlife of Southern Illinois

Bobcats and eagles and toads, oh deer! A wide variety of mammals, birds, amphibians and reptiles call southern Illinois home. Join us as we investigate how these animals lived before people appeared on the landscape, and how they have adapted and survived through the centuries.