by Brooke Knapick, Director of Educational Program Development
During the 2022-23 academic school year, a record-breaking 16,785 children and young adults participated in formal education programs with The Wetlands Institute. It was a privilege to be welcomed back into classrooms across New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New York, and Delaware, and open the doors to our marsh classroom for hands-on experiential learning in the back-bays and on the beach.
As our in-person programs flourish, we continue to provide free enriching virtual content on the Virtual Wetlands Experience portal on our website. Visitors to the portal can enjoy new content on both our Salt Marsh Safari and Aquarium Bytes Virtual Visits. With the Salt Marsh Safari Virtual Visit, you can take a dive into A Young Naturalist’s Wildlife Guide to the Salt Marsh and Back Bays, join an interactive Salt Marsh Safari Tour with ‘Scute, and explore the seasonal changes in the salt marsh via clickable illustrations and live marsh view cameras. While there, check in with the resident Osprey pair on our live Osprey camera or head over to the Aquarium Bytes Virtual Visit for the new Mini Aquarium Feeding video series, featuring the resident crabs, turtles, and octopus enjoying a meal.
But that’s not all! We have expanded our Educator Resources to include seven new activity packets, each correlating to one of our Environmental Education Field Trip Programs. These activity packets take learning beyond the borders of the salt marsh and provide both professional and parent educators alike with comprehensive classroom lesson plans that include subject specific background information, materials, procedures, and extension activities.
Ready to check it out? Enjoy a virtual visit to The Wetlands Institute, anytime and anywhere, by heading over to our website’s Virtual Wetlands Experience portal, wetlandsinstitute.org/virtual-wetlands-experience.