Whether you plan to stay a week or just a day, Land Between The Lakes National Recreation Area is the ideal place to take your students for a great educational experience in the outdoors. LBL offers 170,000 acres of fields, stream, woods, and ponds.

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We have over 100 miles of hiking trails ranging from short loops, such as the Hematite Trail and the Fort Henry Trails to longer loops like Honker Trail near Woodlands Nature Station and the North-South Trail which traverses the full length of LBL. Some of the trails have educational features associated with them which provide excellent teaching opportunities. The fields, woodlands, streams, and ponds are natural laboratories just waiting for your students to explore. Most importantly, we have a highly qualified, well-trained staff of interpreters who will work with you to maximize the educational value of your visit to Land Between The Lakes.

school1The Woodlands Nature Station has a wonderful mix of live animal displays and static exhibits around which you can easily build an educational message about the environment, resource conservation, animal life histories, and much more. Our staff of 7 interpretive naturalists will be more than happy to work with you to develop a program that will meet your specific needs and achieve your educational goals. Woodland Nature Station is a member of the National Association for Interpretation.

The Golden Pond Planetarium and Observatory offers a wide range of planetarium shows that are suitable for all grade levels. Take advantage of regularly scheduled shows or contact the Planetarium Manager about scheduling a specific presentation for your group. Programs of sky observation at the Golden Pond Observatory can be scheduled by contacting the Planetarium. All of our programs correlate with Kentucky and Tennessee educational standards. The Golden Pond Planetarium is now a NASA Educator Resource Center. Contact us at 800-455-5897 about how you can receive educational materials provided by NASA.

Give your students a view of life in 1850’s western Tennessee and Kentucky with a visit to The Homeplace, Working Farm. Heritage breeds of livestock and heirloom plants are featured in the fields and gardens of The Homeplace. Watch and participate in the daily chores and activities of an upper southern farm of the pre-Civil War era. Your students will leave with a much better appreciation of what it took to live in bygone days and how fortunate we are today. The Homeplace staff is glad to assist you in developing a program that meets your educational plan. The Homeplace is a member of the National Association for Interpretation and the Association of Living History, Farm and Agricultural Museums.

bison_runThe 3-mile drive through the Elk & Bison Prairie will take your class back to a time before European settlement of the area – when elk and bison were common in western Kentucky. Students can imagine life as the Native Americans would have experienced it. The Elk & Bison Prairie affords a perfect venue to teach how the elk and bison, along with other game, were the primary sources of food, clothing, materials for tools and weapons, and even fuel. Observe remnant populations of warm season grasses; the native plant community of that time, which are being restored in this area. The EBP offers a unique learning opportunity to your students.

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The School Field Trip Grant Program provides funding assistance for the costs to visit Land Between The Lakes Education Sites, including onsite program fees, and residential expenses at the Brandon Springs Group Camp.

We are quite mindful of the need to protect visitors and staff during these days with COVID-19 in the population.

If you are interested in visiting one of the education facilities at Land Between the Lakes, we look forward to your visit. Program choices may be limited in order to avoid some indoor spaces.  We are currently not gathering any groups in the theater space at Woodlands Nature Station or the Homeplace.  Programs will take place outside at both locations so it is important to come dressed appropriately for the weather.  The Historic buildings at the Homeplace can be viewed from outside looking into the rooms where we have set up interesting displays but we are currently not allowing visitors to gather inside any of the buildings.

  • Who can apply?  K-12 classes in public school districts.  4th grade classes can get free admission to Homeplace and Nature Station when the students earn and present the 4th Grade Pass.  4th grade students are not eligible for the LBL School Grant Program but are eligible for free admission thru the 4th Grade Pass Program.
  • How Much?  The amount awarded per student will be determined according to the evaluation matrix (see below) as a not to exceed amount. Criteria such as matching funds from applicant, total funds available in the grant pool, frequency of visits by applicant, percent of free/reduced lunches and other factors may influence the final award.
    • 1 day-use facility visit                        $5.00/ student max
    • 2 or more day-use facilities               $10.00/student max
    • Brandon Springs Group Center      $20.00/student/night max
  • Who should complete the application?  The teacher(s) responsible for planning and conducting the field trip should complete the application, please..
  • What is expected if you receive a grant?  Complete your field trip as presented in your proposal. Submit the requested information after the trip including the evaluation form. ·Consider sending images for our use with parental permission.  Please give us a narrative showing a positive impact upon the students during this visit with nature.
  • When will we receive funds or be reimbursed or what?  This is no longer a reimbursement style grant.  You will receive a credit to visit the facilities based upon the number of students who actually visit the actual number of day-use facilities or Brandon Springs.
  • What else do I need to know?  Free/reduced lunch figures reported must be certified by your school administration. Matching funding will increase your chances of receiving a grant.
  • Applications for each School Year are due to be received at 345 Maintenance Road, Golden Pond, KY 42211 (attention Jim Taylor) by the last day in April each year.  If you have questions you may reach out to Jim Taylor at jtaylor@friendsoflbl.org or call him at (270) 924-2091.

Remember that the Every Kid in a Park 4th Grade Pass is honored at  Woodlands Nature Station and the Homeplace.    Teachers must present the individual pass for each student at the time of check-in for free 4th grade free admission to apply.  For more direct information you may view Every Kid Outdoors here.  The availability of free access authority and transportation assistance funding is subject to change.

Thank you for your interest in the program.  Best wishes.  If you have questions, contact Jim Taylor, Director of Operations at jtaylor@friendsoflbl.org or 270-924-2091

More information about the School Field Trip Grant Program can be found here.

We thank the following partners for their outstanding support of the School Field Trip Grant Program through their donations throughout the years:

BVI – Bicentennial Volunteers, Inc., Knoxville, TN
Calloway County Farm Bureau, Murray, KY
Calloway County Homemakers, Murray, KY
Johnston-Hanson Foundation, Spokane WA
KY Alpha Rho Sorority, Benton, KY
USDA Forest Service – Land Between the Lakes

This grant program is made possible by our major contributing partner the USDA Forest Service, the Western Chapter of the TVA Retirees Association, and generous donations from many private individuals and organizations. Thank you.

These fine businesses and organizations have contributed to this program over the years in amounts ranging from $100 to $10,000. Any level of contribution to help our young people enjoy the unique learning environment Land Between the Lakes offers is greatly appreciated.

If you have any questions about an application for a Field Trip Grant experience, contact Jim Taylor, the grant administrator at jtaylor@friendsoflbl.org, or call (270)924-2091.

Businesses, organizations, or individuals that would like to be part of this great program to assist our schools, should send their contributions to School Field Trip Grant Program, Friends of Land Between The Lakes, 345 Maintenance Road, Golden Pond, KY 42211, or contact Aviva Yasgur, Executive Director, Friends of Land Between The Lakes by email at ExecutiveDirector@friendsoflbl.org or phone at (270)924-2077, to learn more about the program and how you can help.
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