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.


Please click here for our recorded videos and other educational information

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. Contact Sarah Kempfer 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.

Please note there are changes to our programs caused by the COVID 19 pandemic:

In-Person Field Trips

Bring your student group for a naturalist led exploration of the marsh and forest ecosystems. 20 person max, to be divided into groups of about 10. Individual students will be placed with others to make a group. Field trips on Tuesday or Wednesday from 10am to noon. Masks are required. $3 pp. $30 minimum.

Live Virtual Field Trips 

Invite a Jug Bay naturalist to join your live virtual student meeting and we will take them on a hike to explore the marsh ecosystem. Discussion and Q & A as technology allows. Encourage students to explore their own nearby nature. $3 pp. $30 minimum

Virtual Field Trips 

Have your class watch a recorded hike on the marsh boardwalk and schedule a question and answer period with a naturalist. Encourage students to explore their own nearby nature. $3pp. $30 minimum.

Self-Led Field Trip

Bring your children, homeschool pod, or other small group for a self-guided hike at Jug Bay. Borrow an explorer bag with educational materials and activities. Available on public days – Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 9 am to 5pm. (Park entrance fee of $6/car)

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

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!

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.



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.

Wetland Ecology by Canoe

Experience Jug Bay and the Patuxent River by canoe. Learn about the ecological role, diversity and history.

Preschool Program

Jug Bay offers a monthly program for preschoolers and their parent/guardian.

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: $6 per child. Pay at Visitor Center upon arrival. To register click the "Sign up today" button below.

Program Dates: October 8, November 12, December 10, January 14.

Summer Camps