Sustainable agriculture, forest management and year-round experiential learning opportunities

Teaching and demonstrating the benefits of innovative, sustainable management of forest and farmland

School Programs

Thank you for your interest in bringing students to Merck Forest and using our 3,100-acre working landscape as an extension of your classroom. We have programs and service learning opportunities for pre-K through college-level students at the farm and/or in the forest. These seasonal outdoor education programs provide teachers with opportunities to immerse their students in a dynamic working landscape and engage them in place-based learning.

Offerings are adapted to support age-appropriate learning goals and teacher-defined objectives; many are aligned with the Next Generation Science Standards, Common Core State Standards, and/or NYS Learning Standards for Science.

If you have questions regarding programming or tuition, or would like to schedule a visit with your class, please contact us at or call 802-394-7836. Our current offerings are listed below.

Grades K - 4:


March/April, approximately 1-1/2 hours

Throw your arms in the air and root your feet in the ground as you become a maple tree! Explore how a maple tree creates and moves sap throughout its roots, trunk, and branches. Try your hand at tapping a tree, and see how sap is turned into delicious maple syrup with a tour of our sap house.


April/June, approximately 1-1/2 hours

We'll investigate the lifecycles of our farm animals, and explore what makes a mammal a mammal, and a bird a bird.  We'll visit the baby pigs and lambs and find out how their diet and dependence on their mothers change as they grow.


April/June, approximately 1-1/2 hours

Peck, dig, munch, chew! We'll visit the farm animals, find out what they have for lunch, and how their bodies are well-suited for foraging, rooting, and grazing their favorite foods. We'll follow the cycle of nutrients as we find out what happens after our farm animals have eaten and digested their food, as we visit the compost pile and garden area.

Grades 5 - 8: 


March/April, approximately 1-1/2 hours

As the winter begins to give way to spring, the sap is flowing in our sugar bush. We'll head up to the sugar bush to see the science of sugaring, as we begin to follow the path of sap from the maple tree to syrup in a bottle. We'll then tour the sap house to see the inner workings of sugaring.

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We are not affiliated with, nor do we receive annual support from Merck & Co. Inc.
We are not part of any government agency. All donations are tax-deductible to the extent
allowed by law and are greatly appreciated!

Banner photo courtesy of Dan Sullivan
© Merck Forest and Farm Center, all rights reserved