Arkansas State Parks and Museums: Naturals for Education

Educators, are you looking for field trip ideas? Arkansas State Parks is the state's largest provider of non-formal educational field trip opportunities for elementary school, high school and homeschool students.

The State Parks of Arkansas protect and manage some of the most important natural and historic sites in the state. An important part of our mission is to share those with you and your students through field trips and creative curriculum resources. We are a vital component of the Arkansas education system and we look forward to having you visit.

An educational field trip to a state park can make history and science that have only been read about in textbooks come alive. When students get the chance to form personal connections with these places that are practically in their own backyards, lifelong memories are made and a strong sense of Arkansas citizenship is reinforced.

Why bring your students to a State Park?

Arkansas State Parks are places where your students can further explore and expand what you teach in the classroom. Many of our established programs support the state curriculum frameworks, and we are also happy to develop customized programs to meet your curriculum needs.

We take pride in our varied programs for schools and our support and services for educators. Teachers report that they enjoy working with our trained park interpreters who help guide classes on meaningful and educational park visits that tie into lesson plans. Program options include a variety of hikes, tours, stories, exhibits, entertainment and engaging hands-on activities that kids of all ages will love.

What topics do we cover?

Each park has a special story to tell about why it was established and how it fits in the overall natural and historical landscape of Arkansas. Depending on the park’s location in the state’s natural divisions and the park’s specific mission, available program topics may include items from the following list. Contact individual parks to discuss availability.

History

  • Prehistory
  • American frontier villages
  • Territorial Arkansas
  • American Civil War
  • Louisiana Purchase
  • Arkansas’s oil boom
  • New Deal/Civilian Conservation Corps
  • Folklife and Folklore
  • Historic Homes & Buildings
  • Historic Towns
  • Museums
  • Trail of Tears
  • Archeology
  • Historic Trees

Science

  • Flora
  • Fauna
  • Habitat
  • Geology
  • Stream and water studies
  • Citizen science
  • Life cycles
  • Forests
  • Weather
  • Night Sky
  • Nature Journaling

Outdoor Skills

  • Campfire building
  • Campfire cooking
  • Geocaching
  • Camping
  • Hiking
  • Fishing
  • Wildlife Watching
  • Kayaking & Canoeing
  • Mountain Biking
  • Birding
  • Survival Skills
  • Map & Compass
  • Photography

Using real Arkansas examples of United States history and life science principles is important to the future of Arkansas. Students walk through the archeological site and among “ghost structures” at Davidsonville Historic State Park, learn about the importance of waterways before the railroad. Or tour the Lower White River Museum to discover the lost business of button making from the White River mussels. At Logoly State Park, as students walk through the woods, they study and compare old-growth timber with younger succession forest populations.

All across Arkansas, when State Parks and schools work together to give students a sense of place and awareness, their understanding of and appreciation for Arkansas is strengthened.

Where can we take a field trip?

This map below shows the location of Arkansas’s 52 state parks. They all have special stories to tell and there is one within driving distance of almost every school district in the state. Most parks are staffed year round and offer a full slate of programming; a few are unstaffed and require a self-guided or teacher-led experience.