To REGISTER for these programs please call 804-748-1623               

Rockwood Nature Center's 'wildly' popular pre-school Programs fill up fast!  Call (804) 748-1623 or visit www.chesterfield.gov/parks and click the REGISTER NOW link to register for fall programs.  

Science Through the Eyes of a Child (STEC)
The Rockwood Nature Center is pleased to partner with Science Through the Eyes of a Child (STEC) to bring you a unique educational opportunity. STEC brings innovative hands-on learning to students in grades K-8 throughout Richmond, VA. STEC teaches life science, chemistry, physics and engineering enriched with elements of art, mathematics, history, language and creative writing. STEC’s goal is to inspire creative thinking and introduce new ways of looking at our world, through science. STEC’s projects allow kids to explore science creatively and incorporate their own unique ideas into the learning process. All courses listed below will be held at the Rockwood Nature Center.

Ecology in the Park
Learn basic ecology through discovery in nature walks observing plants and animals both in their habitat and in the classroom under the microscope. Create an art- filled lab journal to take home. Ages 4-6. We request that younger siblings not attend. $8/person per class.

Fridays
September 5 10am-11am Course 28909
September 12 10am-11am Course 28910
September 19 10am-11am Course 28911
September 26 10am-11am Course 28912
October 3 10am-11am Course 28913
October 10 10am-11am Course 28914

Zoology in the Now
Invertebrate study - Students will get closer than ever to invertebrates found in our local creeks, ponds, rivers and lakes. These typically unseen critters will come to life on a big screen monitor through digital microscopy. Ages 6-8. We request that younger siblings not attend. $10/per person per class.

Fridays
September 5 11:30am – 12:30pm Course 28921
September 12 11:30am – 12:30pm Course 28924
September 19 11:30am – 12:30pm Course 28925
September 26 11:30am – 12:30pm Course 28926
October 3 11:30am – 12:30pm Course 28927
October 10 11:30am – 12:30pm Course 28928

Advanced Zoology Dissection
Students will study the anatomical features of a variety of animals (may include earthworms, insects, crustaceans and small sharks). In doing this, students will also become involved in scientific inquiry, problem solving, communicating scientific ideas and results and working collaboratively. Ages 7-11. We request that younger siblings not attend. $10/person per class + $25/person lab fee

Fridays
September 5 1:00pm – 2:00pm Course 28929
September 12 1:00pm – 2:00pm Course 28930
September 19 1:00pm – 2:00pm Course 28931
September 26 1:00pm – 2:00pm Course 28932
October 3 1:00pm – 2:00pm Course 28933
October 10 1:00pm – 2:00pm Course 28934

Engineering Physics
Be part of a team that builds water rockets, spaghetti bridges and solar hot air balloons. Learn about the physics of projectile motion, load capacity and lift. Students will also be involved in scientific inquiry, problem solving, communicating scientific ideas and results and working collaboratively. Ages 11-14. We request that younger siblings not attend. $10/per person per class.

Fridays
September 5 2:30pm – 3:30pm Course 28935
September 12 2:30pm – 3:30pm Course 28936
September 19 2:30pm – 3:30pm Course 28937
September 26 2:30pm – 3:30pm Course 28938
October 3 2:30pm – 3:30pm Course 28939
October 10 2:30pm – 3:30pm Course 28940

Sustainability Seminar – Green Roofs
The Rockwood Nature Center is offering a series of classes focusing on the principles of sustainability and the uses and installation of green roofs. These classes will discuss sustainable development in terms of smart growth and use of renewable energies, as well as everyday sustainable living with tips on how individuals can do their part in the effort to conserve our natural world and its’ resources. This series of classes will present green roofs as one of the many solutions involved in smart growth and discuss the need and value of them. Individuals will learn what goes into both small scale and industrial/commercial scale green roofs. This will include details on necessary infrastructure, what plants and substrates are used, and the positive impact the green roof has for both utilities and the climate. We hope you will join us for this seminar and in doing so, join an active community seeking to lessen our environmental impact. The minimum age for this series of four classes is 16. Please register at least one week in advance of the first class date. $28/person.

Tuesdays, 6:30pm-8pm Course 28849

October 6
What is/Basics of Sustainability
Smart Growth

October 13
Renewable Technologies (solar, wind, hydro, thermal)
Sustainability at the individual level (everyday living)
Current Efforts adhering to Sustainable Principles

October 20
What are Green Roofs
Benefits to use of green roofs
What types of infrastructure are necessary for installing a green roof/ what types of plants are used when constructing a green roof
Current successful green roof projects / future of green roofs

October 28
Value of Sustainable Living and Development - Outcomes

Drawing Realistic Animals
Join renowned wildlife artist Robert Louis Caldwell for an intensive five-day workshop that will be held at the Rockwood Nature Center in Chesterfield, Virginia, October 20-24, 2014. Robert will teach workshop participants his technique of layering graphite to give a realistic quality to their work.

Through morning lectures and presentations, Robert will share what materials he uses and his approach to “seeing” the subjects he draws. Each morning will be reserved for presentations and group discussion, leaving the afternoons open for pure work time where Robert will provide one-on-one instruction as needed.
Workshop participants will have full access to the entire nature center for the week as well as the ability to access the park for photographic reference gathering.

This workshop is open to all levels of artists, from those just starting to the more seasoned artist who wants to become a better drawer. The five-day workshop is $625 and covers tuition only. Each workshop participant will be responsible for their own materials, lodging, travel and food while staying in the area. Robert will provide a list of nearby hotels and places to eat. Each participant will need to bring lunch each day or pick up lunch at a nearby eatery. Contact Robert Caldwell at art@rlcaldwell.com or (804)302-4921 to register.

Sporting Clays, Skeet, and Clay Target Shooting Instruction
Join a National Sporting Clays Association certified instructor for individual shooting instruction to learn or improve your Sporting Clays, Skeet, Trap, or Wingshooting shotgun skills. Participants will learn a structured approach to shotgun shooting that can be applied to any shotgun discipline. The participants will learn proper safety considerations, setup, and execution for consistently breaking clay targets. Shooting terminology and disciplines will be reviewed. Fee includes one 2 two-hour lesson. Lesson fee does not include ammunition, target fees, gun rental, or safety equipment. The minimum age for this program is 12. Dates, time, and location of instruction will be determined upon consultation with the instructor. Participants will be responsible for their own transportation to the course locations, Conservation Park of Virginia, 5100 Charles City Rd, Charles City, VA 23030 and Old Forge Sporting Clays, 7945 Long Reach Rd, Providence Forge, VA 23140. The fee for the course is $90. Please call (804) 745-8360 for information on registering.

It’s a Snake!!!
Join the head of Rockwood Nature Center’s animal care team, Jessi Sakiewicz, to learn about Virginia’s snakes. Find out how to tell the difference between venomous and non-venomous species, discover more about snake behavior, get tips on snakes as pets, and interact with Rockwood’s reptiles. Children under the age of 12 must be accompanied by an adult. Please register at least one week in advance. $5/person

Tuesday, October 7 6:30pm-8:30pm Course 28850

Critters and kids
Join our animal care team and get a behind the scenes glimpse into what goes into caring for the nature center’s animals. Participants will have an opportunity to meet all of the nature center’s animals and see how they are fed and cared for. Children under the age of 12 must be accompanied by a participating adult. Please register at least one week in advance. $7/person

Tuesday, November 11 6:30pm-8:30pm Course 28851
Tuesday, December 16 6:30pm-8:30pm Course 28852

Introduction to Geocaching
You’ve heard of it, but are you wondering what’s so fun about Geocaching? Join the staff of the Rockwood Nature Center for an introductory course in this popular seek-and-find outdoor hobby. Participants will learn the basics of using hand held GPS units to locate hidden caches within the forests of Rockwood Park. Geocaching etiquette, equipment and tips will also be discussed. Please dress appropriately for the forecast weather conditions in closed-toed shoes (no flip flops) and be prepared to spend an extended period of time outdoors. GPS units will be provided. Program meets in the classroom at Rockwood Nature Center before heading out on the trails. Register at least one week in advance. Children under 14 years of age must be accompanied by a participating adult. $7/person

Saturday, September 27 10am-12pm Course 28853

Geology ROCKS!
Learn about and touch examples of the three major types of rocks and discover how rocks and minerals are important to everything on earth. Check out some real Virginia fossils and learn what they tell us about the prehistoric record of the area we live in. Then go on a rock hunt in the park to start your own amateur rock collection. Kids will get to make your own piece of geology to take home too! For ages 7-14. Children under 10 must have an adult present during the course. $7/person

Tuesday, October 14 5pm-7pm Course 28854

Nature Detectives
We know that animals are all around us, but if we rarely see them, how can we be sure they are there? Join a Master Naturalist to learn how to spot the signs of animal activity as we walk the trails of Rockwood. From tracks to nests to scat, we’ll use nature detective skills to find out who also uses the park and in what ways. For ages 6-12, ages 9 and under must have a participating adult. $7/person. Saturday, November 22 1-2:30pm Course 28899

Winter Tree Identification
Many people can tell an oak from a maple when the leaves are out in summer, but how can you know what you are looking at when the leaves are gone? Join a Master Naturalist for a walk on the trails as we delve into the world of branching types, bark and habit cues, using keys and field guides to decode the differences in tree types, and learn some memory tricks to help you easily remember some of the more common trees in the park. Participants will receive a copy of the Department of Forestry’s field guide Common Native Trees of Virginia to take home. For ages 9 and up, ages 12 and under must be accompanied by a participating adult. $10/person

Saturday, December 13 10am-11:30am Course 28900

Introduction to Bee Keeping – Join the Rockwood Backyard Bee Keepers Association for a fascinating foray into the world of beekeeping. Beekeeping is an exciting and interesting hobby with delicious results. If you’re thinking about starting a bee hive or are just curious about what’s involved with keeping bees, then this is a great introductory program for you. This workshop is designed for absolute beginners so no prerequisite knowledge is required. The program instructors will teach you how the honey bee lives, discuss different hive designs, seasonal hive management, pests and diseases, and tell you how to get started with your own hive. This session includes a working session in an active honey bee hive, veils provided. The class will be held at the Rockwood Nature Center. Class size is limited to 20 people so register early to ensure your spot. The program cost includes all educational materials. The cost for the two days of instruction is $150/person, or $180/per couple (family member, friend, child, etc.).

Saturday-Sunday, October 11-12, 9am-4pm Course 28874

Basic Pine Needle Basket Weaving
Interested in learning a new skill? Let our art instructor teach you the basics of making this Native American craft. Our instructor will provide guidance on how to get started on your own creation. All materials are included in the program cost. At the conclusion of this two class program participants will have their own small basket to take home. For ages 14 and older. $28/person

Thursdays, November 13 and 20 6pm-8pm Course 28875

Pond Life
Join one of the nature center’s certified master naturalists to learn about pond ecology, aquatic macroinvertebrates, water quality, and amphibians through a hands-on, muddy adventure in the nature center’s garden pond. Participants will use nets and other tools to do their own nature investigations and learn just who makes the Rockwood Nature Center garden pond home. Participants are asked to wear clothing and shoes that can get wet and muddy. For ages 5 and older. Space is extremely limited. $10/person

Thursday, October 16 1pm-3pm Course 28876

Leaping Letters Letterboxing!
Enjoy a mix of art, hiking, and treasure hunting in this popular outdoor activity. The class will spend the first half of the session making their own handmade stamps. The remainder of the class will be spent outdoors hunting for letter boxes. Please dress appropriately for the forecast conditions and be prepared to spend a period of time outdoors. For ages 7 and older. $7/person

Wednesday, December 3 12pm-2pm Course 28877
Wednesday, December 17 12pm-2pm Course 28879

Nature Scavenger Hunt
Spent an hour with one of our staff naturalists as participants hike the trails of Rockwood Park looking for a host of natural treasures and animal signs on an old time scavenger hunt! A great way to spend some time outdoors and learn about what makes Rockwood Park such an amazing place! For ages 5 and older. $5/person

Wednesday, December 3 3pm-4pm Course 28880
Wednesday, December 17 3pm-4pm Course 28884


Preschool Programs

Toddler Time in Nature
Is your 1-year-old a little nature explorer? If so, this series of classes is just for you! We will have songs, movement, stories, and lots of outdoor fun! We ask that each child be
1 year old by the first class and that younger siblings not attend. Parents are asked to stay with child for entire program.
Tuesdays 11-11:30 a.m.
$16/per child for this series of four classes Course 28885
Sept. 16 Let’s Toddle on the Wild Side
Oct. 7 I Wake Up at Night
Nov. 18 What Crawls?
Dec. 9 Jingle All the Way!

Details: Denise Flora, 745-7020 or florad@chesterfield.gov

Little Tots Nature Club
Bring your little 2-year-old nature tot to this series of nature explorations, stories, and hands-on activities. We ask that each child be age 2 and that younger siblings not attend.
Parents are asked to stay with child for entire program.
Tuesdays, 10-10:30 a.m.
$12/per child for this series of three classes Course 28886
Sept. 9 A Two-Year-Old’s First Nature Walk
Sept. 23 What Is A Squirrel?
Sept. 30 All Animals Have Bones, Including You!
$8/per child for this series of two classes Course 28887
Oct. 14 Whooo’s Awake at Night?
Oct. 28 Do Animals Wear Costumes?
$12/per child for this series of three classes Course 28888
Nov. 4 Colorful Fall
Nov. 11 What is a Snake?
Dec. 2 Holiday Goodies for Our Pets

Details: Denise Flora, 745-7020 or florad@chesterfield.gov

Little Nature Sprouts Club
Bring your little nature sprout aged 3-5 to Rockwood Nature Center either Wednesday or Thursday 10-11 a.m. each week for fun nature explorations, crafts, and stories. Both days cover the same theme.
$24/per child for this series of four classes
Wednesday Course 28889
Thursday Course 28890
Sept. 3 & 4 Let’s Go On A Nature Walk
Sept. 10 & 11 Preschoolers 1st Look at Snakes
Sept. 17 & 18 Where Do Animals Live?
Sept. 24 & 25 Squirrel or Chipmunk?

$24/per child for this series of four classes
Wednesday Course 28891
Thursday Course 28892
Oct. 1 & 2 A First Look at Animals of the Night
Oct. 8 & 9 Let’s Go Batty!
Oct. 15 & 16 Colors of Nature
Oct. 29 & 30 Watch a Pumpkin Become a Jack-O’-Lantern
$18/per child for this series of three classes
Wednesday Course 28893
Thursday Course 28894
Nov. 5 & 6 Leaves In Fall
Nov. 12 & 13 A First Look at Native American Customs
Nov. 19 & 20 What or Who is a Paleontologist?
$12/per child for this series of two classes
Wednesday Course 28895
Thursday Course 28896
Dec. 3 & 4 Holiday Goodies for Our Pets
Dec. 10 & 11 Holiday Goodies for Wildlife

Details: Denise Flora, 745-7020 or florad@chesterfield.gov

Let’s Go On A Nature Walk
Bring your little nature explorer to Rockwood Nature Center for a fun nature exploration and scavenger hunt on the trails of Rockwood Park. Please wear comfortable closed shoes for walking. There will also be a story and a craft project made with non-living nature items found on the trails. Ages 2 – 5 years and a parent or guardian. $5/person

Sunday, September 14, 3-4:00pm Course 28897

Leaves in Fall
Come enjoy and identify the wonderful colors of Fall on the trails of Rockwood Park. We will also identify a few leaves as we go on a leaf scavenger hunt! Please wear comfortable closed shoes for walking. There will also be a story and a craft project. Ages 2 – 5 years and a parent or guardian. $5/person
Sunday, October 12, 3-4:00pm Course 28898

Details: Denise Flora, 745-7020 or florad@chesterfield.gov

We host field trips and can also come to your school to present environmental education programs.  Teachers! We have a wealth of SOL related science and outdoor programs developed for grades K-12 (gifted, LD/MD and after-school programs also available). Your students will enjoy a hands-on, minds-on field trip to Rockwood Nature Center or we can bring our fun and educational the programs to your school. Call (804)745-8360 or email smetr@chesterfield.gov for topics, prices and details.
Wild Birthday Celebrations!!  Share your child’s love of animals with all of his friends with a Wild Birthday Celebration at the Nature Center. Lots of topics available for many ages. Weekdays and weekend time slots available. Details: Denise Flora, 745-7020 or email florad@chesterfield.gov.