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Polk’s Nature Discovery Center and Polk County’s Environmental Land sites are the perfect place for families, school groups, teachers, adults and other visitors to explore the outdoors and learn about our Polk County environmental reserves. Exploring connections in nature is the focus of programs and resources available. A variety of programs are designed for all ages to enhance your visit. If you are planning to bring a group of 10 participants or more, we request you schedule your visit with our office. All educational programs are always free. Staff, volunteers and facilities are limited, but we will do our best to help you plan your visit. It is strongly recommended that reservations / requests are made well in advance. Regardless of what you plan to do on your next visit, we hope you have a memorable time discovering Polk’s water, wildlife and wilderness.

For more information, contact our Natural Resource Educator by email or call (863) 668-4673 extension 204.

Registration is required to come on-site with a group of children.

Self Guided Programs

Self-guided programs are designed to give a teacher or group leader the confidence to inform their students of science content with accurate, relevant onsite activities. The teacher or group leader guides their student participants through each activity program. Below are all of the educational options to make a visit informative and engaging.

Agents of Discovery Mobile App
The Agents of Discovery Mobile App is a revolutionary, fun, gaming experience, which requires players to walk a two-mile hike to solve challenges related to the environment and the plants and animals that live at Circle B Bar Reserve.

Nature Bingo
Nature Bingo allows students to observe nature’s home and make a game out of it. Be the first to find all the items in a row, column or corner to corner.

Scavenger Hunt
Scavenger Hunt is another alternative game to allow students to observe nature’s home.

QR Code Hike
QR Code Hike (electronic devices are not provided by Circle B) along our two-mile Alligator Alley trail loop, where you will use your electronic device to learn about the history of the Environmental Lands Program and discover, in more detail, the animals that live at Circle B Bar Reserve.

Other Programs and Resources

Traveling Trunks
The trunks contain hands-on activities and resources that are available to be checked out and taken to the classroom. Inside the trunks are all the supplies and directions on how to implement the activity. These trunks are excellent resources to reinforce classroom concepts. Created in partnership with Lakes Education Action Drive (LEAD) with funding from Charlotte Harbor National Estuary Program and Southwest Florida Water Management District. Contact our office to check out one of these education trunks. Appropriate for elementary and middle school teachers.

Resource Room
This room is an excellent resource for students searching for science fair projects or researching nature-related projects. Located inside Polk’s Nature Discovery Center exhibit hall, the room is equipped with computers and reference books. Appropriate for middle, high school, college and adults.

Instructor Workshop
Connect classroom concepts to outdoor experiences with your visits to Circle B Bar Reserve. To enhance the educational opportunity and to increase the ability to reach more people, instructor workshops are held throughout the year. The workshops are typically one-day training on what resources are available at the Center. The training will help you get the most out of your visit whether hiking the trails, exploring the exhibit hall, using the facilities, or if you are interested in using one of the traveling trunks or existing educational publications. Appropriate for all instructors looking to visit Circle B Bar Reserve and Polk’s Nature Discovery Center.