Environmental Education

The Parks Department serves thousands of students throughout the county and is committed to quality environmental education that provides our children with the tools to better care for the earth.

In the classroom

Attention Formal Educators

Reptiles and Amphibians Oh My!

If you teach 1st or 2nd grade students in a school that is in LaPorte County, your classroom could have a visit from a park naturalist, along with reptiles and amphibians. During the visit the students will learn the basic differences between reptiles and amphibians, while getting up close and personal with each.

Pollinators Plus!

If you teach 2nd grade students in a school that is in LaPorte County, your classroom could have a visit from a park naturalist, and do fun pollination activities. During this visit students will learn the basics of pollination, play pollination games, and participate in a buggy 500 using wax worms.

Owls and More!

If you teach 3rd grade students in a school that is in LaPorte County, your classroom could have a visit from a park naturalist, and learn about owls. Students will look through owl pellets, learn about animal adaptations, discuss food chains /webs, and listen to owl calls.

Programs can be set up for individual classes with visits to each room lasting 45 minutes each. Program visits are free and will be offered
Oct. – Mar. on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays.

Programs can take place anytime during the school day starting as early as 8 am. These programs meet the Life Science Standards---1st grade--1.LS.1/ 1.LS.2/1.LS.3 2nd grade--2.LS.1 / 2.LS.2 / 2.LS.3

Email- natureniki@csinet.net or call 219-324-5855 to schedule your classroom visit.

At one of the Parks


Program Scheduling: Call the Luhr Park Nature Center at (219) 324-5855. Programs are available Monday through Thursday at Luhr County Park, Bluhm County Park, Red Mill County Park, or Creek Ridge County Park.

When you call to schedule your program tell us:

  • Your name (contact person), address, and phone number.
    The size of your group and grade level.
    The program title you are interested in.
    The park you would like to visit.
    The date you would like to visit.
    The time you want to arrive at the park; the time you would need to leave the park
  • If you want Nature Center time and if you will be eating lunch at the park.

    Email Nature Niki for more information!!

    Schedule your program at one of these parks:

Luhr County Park
3178 S. 150 W.

Features: 2 acre pond fishing dock, playground, shelter, 3/4 mile paved trails, nature center, and more.

Creek Ridge County Park
7943 W. 400 N.
Michigan City

Features: Fishing access to Trail Creek, shelters, playgrounds, boardwalks, volleyball court, horseshoes, and more.

Bluhm County Park
3855 S. 1100 W.

Features: Mountain bike trails, playground, shelter, boardwalk, wetland, 1/2 acre fishing pond, over 1 mile of paved hiking trails, and more.

Red Mill County Park
0185 South Holmesville Road

Features: Fishing, hall rental, playgrounds, 108 acre Nature Preserve, hiking trails, 23 acre wetland, and more.

Spend an hour or day at one of your LaPorte County Parks! Call to schedule a program today!


The programs can last an hour or longer, depending on the size of the group and the age of the students. Programs for larger groups may require some teacher led activities while half the group is working with a Naturalist. Programs can be done on any topic. Below are some examples.

  • Time Needed:1 hour

    Sensory Sensations
    Site: All County Parks

    Discover nature through the use of all five of the senses. Participants will learn about nature through hands-on activities.

    Bug Fun
    Site: All County Parks

    Hands on activities that teach students about spiders, flies, and other bugs.

    Food Web Exploration
    Site: All County Parks

    An active look at who eats whom in the wild.

    Gone Fishing
    Site: Luhr County Park

    Learn about fish and try to catch the big one. Fishing poles and bait will be provided for this program.

    Tracking Animals
    Site: All County Parks

    Spend time in the field looking for animal tracks and signs.

    Site: All County Parks

    This is a fun program that explores bird adaptations.

    Pond Study
    Site: Luhr County Park and Red Mill County Park

    What lives in the water? This program takes a close look at pond life.

    Leaf Key
    Site: All County Parks

    Take a look at what makes leaves similar and different.




  • Special Programs

    Various program topics such as bird identification, maps and compass course can be arranged with advanced planning. Programs can be tailored to subjects that you are studying or that your scout troop needs to receive a patch.




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Parks Department Administrative Office
(219) 325-8315 or (219) 325-8316

Naturalist Offices
(219) 324-5855