Dam construction update: starting on June 1, LLELA visitors will not be able to cross the outlet works. There will be no access to the Bittern Marsh Trail or east side of the river. Sometime soon (date currently unknown), all access east of the Cicada Pavilion will be prohibited for about 8 weeks. This will include the following areas and trails: Bittern Marsh Trail, kayaking and fishing in the Elm Fork of the Trinity River, all camping areas, and the Redbud Trail. Only the Blackjack, Green Dragon, Cottonwood, and Cicada Trails will be open during that time.


Field Experiences

Kids in tall grassA 2,600-acre classroom made of tallgrass prairies, bottomland and Cross Timbers forests, and the Elm Fork and its associated wetlands. Just imagine the opportunities for fun and meaningful educational opportunities!
  • Field trips are typically scheduled Monday-Friday. 
  • Groups of 10 (minimum) to 120 students can be accommodated in a single day.
  • Up to 2 hours of guided activities: $5/student. Three hours or more of guided activities: $7/student. Self-guided groups: $4/student. 
  • Have a large group? Combine two or more activities (a hike, field study, log house tour, etc.) and your students will rotate through them in groups.

Contact 972.219.3550 or for scheduling information. Please plan ahead; March-June and September-November are extremely busy months and tend to book up completely.

Child on table with paper looking upwards

LLELA Field Studies can be related to specific Science TEKS. Click the link in each Field Study description for details.


K-3rd Grade Field Studies

  • Feathered Friends (1-2 hours) Feathered Friends Related TEKS
    Young students connect the changing of the seasons to the movements of birds and learn to make the close observations necessary to tell one type of bird from another. Group size: 10‐30 students.

  • Who Lives in the Pond? (1-2 hours) Who Lives in the Pond Related TEKS
    Become immersed (figuratively!) in an exploration of the living and non‐living components of an aquatic ecosystem. Equipped with dip nets, sampling trays, hand lenses and other tools, students sort organisms into groups and discover their basic needs. Group size: 10‐35 students.

2nd-5th Grade Field Studies

  • children working on science projectsInsect Adaptation Lab (1-2 hours) Insect Adaptation Lab Related TEKS
    What does it take to live at LLELA? Ask the bugs! Students capture and compare insects from prairie and aquatic ecosystems to discover which adaptations lead to survival. Group size: 10‐35 students.

  • Planting the Seeds (1-3 hours) Planting the Seeds Related TEKS
    Close examination of seeds reveals incredible diversity in size, shape, and method of dispersal. Students learn seeds inside and out, journaling their observations. After processing native grass or wildflower seeds, students plant them in an effort to improve LLELA’s wildlife habitat. Group size: 10‐35 students.

4th Grade and Up Field Studies

  • child working on paper at picnic tableAqua-Adventure (1-3 hours) Aqua-Adventure Related TEKS 
    Explore an aquatic ecosystem using dip nets, sampling trays, hand lenses, and other tools to uncover the many organisms that call the water home. Students learn that these are not the only creatures depending on aquatic ecosystems for life…the amount/quality of water affect us too. Group size: 10‐30 students.

  • Birding Basics (2-4 hours) Birding Basics Related TEKS
    Students discover bird anatomy, adaptations for flight, migration, and more, then use their newly‐acquired bird identification skills to collect data in a bird point count. Group size: 10‐20 students.

  • Crime Scene Investigation (2 hours) Crime Scene Investigation Related TEKS
    It’s a crime against Nature! So…whodunit? Students assume the roles of detectives, evidence processors, sketch artists, forensic photographers, and technicians as they investigate the circumstances surrounding the demise of one of the wild denizens of LLELA. Group size: 10‐30 students.

6th Grade and Up Field Studies

  • children working on science projectInto the Woods (2-4 hours) Into the Woods Related TEKS
    Step into the shade for this forestry study. Students conduct a point‐quarter tree survey, look at soil samples and more in this investigation of a riparian ecosystem. Group size: 10‐30 students.

  • Wildlife Manager for a Day (2-4 hours) Wildlife Manager for a Day Related TEKS
    Students become wildlife biologists as they assess a site’s potential for “reintroduction” of a species which was historically found in Denton County. “Wildlife Managers” survey vegetation, examine soil type, discover what wildlife is already using the site, and collect other information necessary to decide whether the reintroduction should proceed. Group size: 10‐35 students.

Other Options

  • log cabin located at LLELAGuided Hike (1-2 hours)
    LLELA staff or volunteers can lead your group on one of our hiking trails. Unless you specify a theme for your hike, the guide will provide an age-appropriate, themed hike of his/her own choosing. Some possible themes include, but are not limited to: our senses/observing the natural world, animal tracks and signs, animal and plant adaptations, historic Denton County and its settlement, or animal homes.

  • Tour the 1869 Minor-Porter Log House (1-1.5 hours)
    The log house provides an opportunity to discover daily life in Denton County just after the Civil War. Students will think about where we sleep, eat and play every day, and compare that to the way things were 140 years ago. Churning and tasting home-made butter will be part of the experience.