Encouraging kids and parents to explore the rich natural
wonders of our parks and green spaces together.

Take your family hike to a whole new level of fun, science learning with the Family Naturalist modules! The program helps the whole family enjoy the outdoors and better under-stand the plants, animals, and ecosystems encountered in everyday life.

Families will receive a bin full of hands on activities and equipment for exploring with plants and animals based on the particular theme. Activities will also focus on ways citizens can protect and preserve our local environment. These modules are great for homeschool families to enhance their science lessons or families with budding naturalists who want to dig deeper into our natural world.

Each module contains a variety of activities that are geared from the beginner to the more advanced nature lover. The activity levels are: 

  Discoverer- (geared for children five and up) This is an activity level for beginners who are just starting to explore nature. These activities will give you a chance to get to know some of the equipment in the module and some of the basics facts about the module topic you are working on. Generally, these types of activities can be easily done in your own backyard with little planning.

Explorer- (geared for children seven and up) is an activity level for nature lovers, who know more than just the basics and are up for a little more of a challenge. Activities in this level may require a little travel to area parks and watersheds.

Adventurer- (geared for children ten and up) is for those that want to take it to the next level. Activities may involve reading an article pertaining to your topic and then applying that information to your plan for making observations in the field or you may be asked to record your data as part of a bigger research project that can help others.

Participants in the Family Naturalist Program will hone their skills in calling owls, catching insects, wading into streams, and much more. They will also test their knowledge and learn about the importance of wetlands, animal signs in the wild, and what it’s like to be a park naturalist.


To participate in the program you must be a current member of Fern Hollow Nature Center. Yearly memberships at the Nature Center begin at $50 and fund environmental education programs and events.


Modules are available on loan for a one week period with an option to renew if the module is available. A $50 deposit is required for each module, the deposit will be returned after the module has been inventoried and all equipment is checked.

To sign up call the Nature Center at 412-741-6136 or email 

1901 Glen Mitchell Rd, PO Box 8, Sewickley, PA 15143 Office – 412.741.6136 Education Staff – 412.741.7536