Children Learn and Grow in Nature...


Jug Bay Wetlands Sanctuary offers field trips, camps, and programs to give children the opportunity to learn about and experience nature. Activities range from water quality testing to catching frogs along the marsh boardwalk. Our mission is to immerse children, the future stewards of the planet, in the wonders of science and the natural world.


Children spend less time outdoors than ever before. Children who are connected to nature have better health, higher satisfaction with life, and pro-environmental behaviors. Bring the children to Jug Bay where they can experience, explore, and learn to appreciate nature while considering the impacts of human activity on it.

Become a Jug Bay Volunteer Naturalist

Do you love nature and teaching kids?

Become a Volunteer Naturalist educator and share your love of nature with children at Jug Bay! Our field trips rely on a dedicated group of volunteer educators. We provide the training.


Complete this Google form or contact Beth at for more information.

Classrooms In The Field (CITF)

Classrooms in the Field are hands-on field experiences for students from kindergarten to college. Our outdoor programs are tailored to meet the needs of students and teachers alike, actively involving students in the learning process and introducing them to many facets of ecology and scientific research, while meeting state core curriculum standards.


School Field Trips

Apply for a field experience at Jug Bay! School groups will join a naturalist for an exploration of a variety of habitats found at Jug Bay. Experience the marsh, learn about our local plants, animals, and birds, and explore nature's beauty!

  • 50 children max per day.
  • $5 pp. ($50 minimum fee). (Wetland Ecology by Canoe is $20 pp. limit 14, age requirement applies.)
  • We follow AACPS chaperone guidelines. Learn more in the guidelines link below.
  • Max 4 hours - between 9:00 am and 2:00 pm

Spring season applications are open from November to March (or until full) for CITF trips from early April to the end of May.

Fall season applications are open from May to August (or until full) for CITF trips from mid-September to early November.

*Our Marsh Boardwalk is closed until further notice*



Self-Led Field Trip

Bring your class or homeschool group to Jug Bay for a self-guided field trip. Self-led field trips are held here at the Sanctuary Proper on Wednesdays and Fridays (*car and bus fee) OR at Glendening Nature Preserve** Monday - Friday, 9:00 am - 5:00 pm.

Self-led trips offer opportunities to lead your own trips and learn at your own pace. You will have access to informational videos about Jug Bay and the Education Coordinator can help guide you with materials to lead your trip. 

Click below to fill out the field trip application and register your group. Also, sign up for our Educator's Newsletter for deadlines and information.

*$50 bus fee or $6 per vehicle required at Sanctuary Proper.

**No fee at GNP but registration is required.

  • Self-led Guidelines and Policies (coming soon)

CITF for Elementary School

Adapt to the Habitat

Explore and compare life in the woods, creek, and marsh.  How do they adapt?

Juvenile box turtle approximately 3 years old. <br />Photo credit: M. Quinlan (FOJB Volunteer)

Classification Investigation

Mammals, amphibians, reptiles and more! Learn how they fit together.


Creek Exploration - Get a Net

What can you find in the creek? Is the water clean or polluted?


Helping Hands for Healthy Habitats

Give back by helping with a Jug Bay project!

Acorns and Moss

Life in the Forest

Explore the forest! Dig in the dirt, look under logs, listen for birds, find and appreciate nature's treasure.

IMG-3515 (1)

Pond Exploration (Spring Only)

Explore the springtime pond! Can you catch a salamander?

Volunteer Photo#4

Wetland Ecology

Experience our tidal marsh, watch an osprey, find a tree frog! Learn why wetlands so important! (Alternate location. The marsh boardwalk is closed until further notice.)

CITF for Middle and High School


Amphibian Adventures

Learn frog calls and search for salamanders. Amphibians teach us so much!


Forest Succession Survey

Learn forest ecology concepts and use research methods to survey and evaluate two forest plots.


Helping Hands for Healthy Habitats

Complete a stewardship project to give back to the Sanctuary.

Yellow-throated Vireo-Wayne Bierbaum-permission 4.17.18

Life in the Forest

Explore the forest and learn about the diverse plant and animal life.

Plankton net

Plankton Investigation

Collect and observe Patuxent River plankton through a microscope Learn about their life cycle and importance.


PLANS II (Not currently booking)

Experience the marsh, explore plankton under a microscope and test oysters' ability to filter feed.


Pollinators and Plants

Learn about plants and insects living in the butterfly garden. Compare diversity in the meadow and forest.


Pond Exploration (Spring Only)

Look for life in the pond and learn about salamanders' complex life cycle. 


Stream Ecology and Survey

Collect physical, chemical and biological data for stream quality assessment.

Student Luke Mariano takes measurements with a Vernier pH probe in the headwaters of Lititz Run at Lititz Springs Park in Lititz, Pa., on May 1, 2015. Chemistry students from Warwick High School sampled Lititz Run in Lancaster County, Pa., during a biannual field trip that visited eight sites along the stream, which has been listed as impaired by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection. (Photo by Will Parson/Chesapeake Bay Program)

Watersheds and Water Quality

Run water quality tests comparing different sites.


Wetland Ecology

Experience the freshwater tidal wetland, learn about habitat, diversity, and ecological role. (Alternate location. The marsh boardwalk is closed until further notice.)

Wetland Ecology by Canoe

Experience Jug Bay and the Patuxent River by canoe. Learn about the ecological role, diversity and history. This CITF is limited to 14 people max, including chaperones. Can only be done between May and October and is $20 pp

Preschool Program

Jug Bay offers a monthly program for preschoolers and their parents/guardians.

Bring the little ones to explore nature! Learn about a nature topic and then head out to experience the Sanctuary. We look, feel, listen, and discover at preschooler speed. Dress for the weather - we will always try to go outside! Parents play along with their children.

Ages: 3-5. Fee: $10 per child. To register click the "Sign up today!" button below or on each date.

Program Dates:

Coming soon!

Homeschool Hikers - Fall Series- coming soon!

Jug Bay also offers seasonal programs for homeschoolers. (4 in the fall and 4 in the spring)

Bring your learners to explore and learn about nature! Each fall and spring we offer a series of 4 homeschool lessons organized around a central theme, each covering a different topic. This fall our theme is ADAPTATIONS. While it is not mandatory to attend all 4, it is recommended to get the whole picture. We will have a short lesson, outdoor time, and an activity or craft. We look, feel, listen, and discover. Dress for the weather - we will always opt for outside!

Ages: 8-12. Fee: $10 per child. To register click on the "sign up today" button or follow the link on each date.

Program Dates:

Info coming soon-

Summer Camps

Send a Kid to Camp Campaign

Camp not only provides children with a community of caring adults who nurture experiential education that results in self-respect and appreciation for human value, but it also helps build self-identity, self-worth, self-esteem, leadership, and self-respect. At our nature camps, kids have a chance to connect with nature, explore curiosities of the natural world, create some powerful core memories, and make new friends!

Unfortunately, not all kids have the monetary means to access camp. If you'd like to help change the life of a child by helping them attend one of our nature camps, please consider donating today.