Student | Teacher Resources

Workshops/Resources for Educators

Invasive Species education card sets are available for free to teach K-12 grade students using lesson plans and curriculum available here:  Visit the website to request education card sets or to request an invasive species trunk to show your class invasive species.

Trout In The Classroom Spots Still Available for 2018-2019 School Year

The Nebraska Game & Parks Commission is pleased to offer Nebraska 2nd – 12th grade classrooms the opportunity to participate in the Nebraska Trout in the Classroom Program. This interdisciplinary, science-based program invites classrooms and schools to explore aquatic ecosystems, life cycles, water quality and the scientific process through raising trout eggs in their classroom.

Participating classrooms set-up a cold-water aquarium in their classroom or school. Soon after each school is provided rainbow trout eggs. Students take ownership of caring for both their trout and the aquarium habitat by testing water quality, feeding their trout, and monitoring growth and development.  As the program progresses, students see connections between their trout, water resources, the environment and themselves.  Students learn first-hand how all aspects of a trout’s life cycle, food web, and habitat are interconnected and impacted by the environment.

To find out more information such as costs, project timeline, curriculum information and much more check out Nebraska Trout In The Classroom.

Outdoor Classroom Program (K-12)

The NRD’s Outdoor Classroom Programs were developed to provide funding to promote the education of our natural resources through hands-on learning.  Funding is provided through three types of grants: Outdoor Classroom, Community Grants, and Mini-School Grants (applications below). Providing lessons in nature ensures that children today are growing up with meaningful daily connections to nature. When children spend time in nature-filled outdoor learning environments, research shows that conflict is replaced by pleasant and positive exploration.

Outdoor Classrooms For Schools- up to $2,500  Application   

Outdoor classrooms are provided to enhance learning through nature and found in both primary and secondary schools within the District. Schools that have received funding in the past include: Grand Island Northwest High School, Lexington District #22, Wood River Elementary, Centura Public Schools, Horizon Middle School-Kearney, Northeast Elementary-Kearney, Glenwood Elementary-Kearney, Doniphan-Trumbull Elementary, Cozad Community Schools, Grand Island Senior High, Kearney High School.
*Better Together- Monarch Butterfly Habitats was the latest project to receive funding in March 2018 to develop three Monarch Butterfly habitats in Grand Island.  Students from Success Academy, Westridge Middle School, Knickrehm Elementary, and Skills Academy students and mentors from Rotary’s Leadership Tomorrow Program will grow, design, and plant habitats at Westridge Middle School, Knickrehm Elementary, and Stuhr Museum. The goal of the three habitats is to provide an outdoor classroom space for students to engage in hands-on educational opportunities while providing shelter, food, and water for the conservation of the Monarch Butterfly.
*Outdoor Classroom & Garden  The board also approved an Outdoor Classroom & Garden application submitted by the Roots & Shoots Club at Barr Middle School. The project goal is to provide a place for students to learn about plants, insect pollinators, and how to grow vegetables. There are plans for the science and family consumer science teachers to use the area, reaching nearly 750 students each year. The Roots & Shoots Club plans to maintain the area throughout the summer.

Community Grant- up to $2,000   Application  

CPNRD Community Grant provides community organizations grant funds to provide natural resources education to school groups or to the public.  *Little Sprouts Outdoor Classroom- The Kearney Area Children’s Museum received funding from CPNRD to develop a Prairie Garden Walkway in their Little Sprouts Outdoor Classroom.  Plants will be selected that represent the prairie throughout the four seasons of the year.  Tours and workshops will be conducted focusing on biodiversity, characteristics of native prairie plants, and the role that these plants play in supporting the prairie ecosystem.   

Mini Classroom Grant- $35 per teacher   Application 

The Mini Classroom Grant provides $35 to classroom teachers for natural resources classroom activities, field trips, etc. Additional funding is available for environmental education activities and projects.

Contact Marcia Lee at (308) 385-6282 or for details on the school, community, or mini classroom grant programs.

Nature Explore staff can help with the following:

  • Outdoor Classroom Design Services
    If you or someone you know would like to create a joy-filled natural outdoor space, we can help. Our Nature Explore landscape architect and educator team would love to collaborate to create just the right plan for the individual site conditions and educational philosophy. Our design process is based on our years of research and experience successfully working with hundreds of programs around the nation.
  • Educator Workshops
    Engaging hands-on workshops provide a variety of inspirational, research-based strategies to support learning with nature. These trainings help educators make the most of their time with children in natural outdoor classrooms.
  • Natural Products
    Shop effective and engaging products that have been field-tested in Nature Explore Classrooms. These are materials that really work well for children and educators.

If you would like to request a free copy of the Nature Explore Resource Guide, click here:   


Natural Resources Link – Educator Newsletter

January 2018 Edition:
~ Environmental Education: Nebraska Focus (K-12)
~ ACE Camp: Is Learning Really This Fun? (Middle School)
~ Free Arbor Day Seedlings (K-12)
~ Prescribed Fire/Range Management Outreach (High School)
~ Scholarships Available for College Students (College)
~ Register for Central Region Envirothon Contests (High School)

November 2017 Edition  Articles: Connecting With Nature, Register for Groundwater Festival, Change to College Scholarships, Free Arbor Day Seedlings, Citizen Science in the Classroom

March 2017 Edition  Articles: Outdoor Classrooms-Take It Outside!, Free Arbor Day Seedlings, Free Monarch Habitat Educator Packets, CPNRD-Ron Bishop College Scholarship Program, Taking Registrations for Groundwater Festival, Adventure Camp About the Environment for Middle School


Nebraska Children’s Groundwater Festival (5th)

All 5th-grade students (public & private schools) are invited to attend the Nebraska Children’s Groundwater Festival, held at the Central Community College and College Park in Grand Island, NE.  This educational event brings water and natural resources professionals together to educate students about groundwater conservation.
Find out more!


Scholarship Program

CPNRD-Ron Bishop College Scholarship   This program awards $1,000 scholarships to 5 students majoring in or enrolled in a natural resources field and is open to college students and high school seniors.  Return applicants and recipients are welcome to apply.   Scholarship Page


Summer Camps

Summer Camp Scholarships  The Central Platte NRD offers $100 scholarships for middle and high school students to attend natural resources-related summer camps such as ACE and Range Judging camps.  The NRD provides $100 per child towards registration costs to attend approved summer camps.  Eligibility Requirement: Students must live within the Central Platte NRD (map).   For more information on how to receive a summer camp scholarship, email Marcia or call (308) 385-6282.

NRDs Adventure Camp about the Environment   ACE Brochure & Registration Form  |  ACE Scholarship Application  Middle school students residing in the CPNRD are encouraged to attend ACE- Adventure Camp about the Environment (ACE), hosted by Nebraska’s 23 Natural Resources Districts and several education partners.  ACE Camp will be held at the State 4-H camp in Halsey, Nebraska from June 10-13, 2018.  The camp is for students who will have completed 6th, 7th or 8th grades. While at the camp students will learn from experts in the fields of forestry, energy, wetlands, soils, range, water and wildlife. Students will also have the opportunity to participate in archery, zip line, tanking and tubing at the camp. Contact Marcia or call (308) 385-6282.

Nebraska Youth Range Camp High school students are invited to attend the 55th Nebraska Youth Range Camp to be held June 2018 at the Nebraska State 4-H Camp in Halsey. Range Camp is for students between the ages of 14-18. The camp’s dynamic curriculum appeals to students with a wide array of interests including, but not limited to, rangeland management, conservation, ecology, animal science, and wildlife. Students who attend this camp will be actively involved with field activities, lectures, hands-on experience, recreational leadership and team-building activities.  POLICY REGARDING NEBRASKA YOUTH RANGE CAMP SCHOLARSHIPS  Central Platte NRD will reimburse qualified students in the amount of $100 after confirmation from the Society of Range Management that the students have attended the full camp.  CPNRD will request a list of camp attendees from the SRM and mail the sponsorship check to the parent listed on the registration form.  Students must request sponsorship prior to attending the camp by providing a copy of their registration form to Marcia Lee:    Fax: (308) 385-6285    Mail:  Central Platte NRD, 215 Kaufman Ave, Grand Island NE 68803


High School Contests

Click on the contests hosted by CPNRD below for details/results of each contest:

Envirothon   |   Land Judging   |   Range Judging




Conservation Resources

 Energy Efficiency Guide: Save Money on Home Energy Costs
Jessica and Bri requested that CPNRD add this guide to our website for conservation education and to earn a Girl’s Scout Badge.

If you have any suggestions to add to this page, email Marcia.