Grade school children enjoying a field day on bird migration.

Student Programs

Refuge Field Trips

Our programs take students into the field to experience the wonders of the natural world first-hand. When they drive through the front gates of the Welder Wildlife Refuge, they step back in time leaving television and computers behind while they experience life as it exists on a wildlife refuge and working cattle ranch. White-tailed deer walking the grounds where students are studying and alligators sunning themselves along edges of our wetland lakes bring a whole new dimension to a student's learning experience. 

The new science Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) recommend that elemenatry students spend 60-80% of their time in lab and field activities. Our field trips vary in length from a half-day to two days. Groups participating in two-day field trips have the option of staying overnight in our bunkhouse. 


There are no charges for our K-12 education programs or field trips. A small fee of $5.00 per night per person for K-12 groups to stay overnight in our bunkhouse covers maintenance and cleaning. Group Packet

Program Focus 

Our program's focal points are

› ecology of south Texas

› wildlife identification

› habitat management

› rangeland and wetland ecology

› current conservation issues

In addition to working with each teacher to design a specific program that will reinforce and address selected topics from their classroom curricula, we also incorporate activities that stress a variety of TEKS. Our educators have B.S. or M.Sc. degrees in wildlife biology or a related field, and some are students in our own graduate fellowship program. Consequently, they are well-versed in contemporary issues related to wildlife biology, wildlife and range management and natural resource conservation. 

As part of the mission of the Welder Wildlife Foundation, our programs demonstrate that wildlife and other land uses such as ranching can coexist if managed in a sustainable manner. We also ensure that that our programs reflect upon the 11 core concepts of the North American Conservation Education Strategy.

We have many adult visitors who come back to visit and tell us what an exciting experience they had on their school field trips to the Welder Wildlife Refuge when they were students. We even know grandparents whose memorable experiences at Welder as youngsters have led them to encourage teachers in their communities to bring their classes to Welder.

Outreach Programs

Teachers often find it impossible to secure the funding and other resources to take their students on field trips. Our educators have experience designing engaging hands-on programs to present in the teacher's classroom. We also have a strong core of Texas Master Naturalist volunteers who work with our educators to design and present classroom programs.


For more information on our K-12 Conservation Education Programs or to schedule a field trip or program please contact our Conservation Education Program Coordinator, Michelle Batey.