Education Resource Guide for Elkhart County ParksClick for a PDF of our full programming menu.

Elkhart County Parks offers interpretive programs focused in environmental and historical education. Programs are featured at: Ox Bow County Park, Cobus Creek County Park, Bonneyville Mill County Park, River Preserve County Park, Elkhart County Historical Museum, or in your own classroom!

The Elkhart County Parks Department believes that all students should have the opportunity for quality environmental and historical education. We welcome all students regardless of race, color, creed, national origin, sex, age or disability to participate in our programs. If you or your students have a disability requiring special accommodations for access to programs or facilities, please notify our office when scheduling your program.

How do I schedule an interpretive program?

  • Reservations can be set up by calling the administrative office at 574-535-6458 (Open Mon-Fri, 8 a.m-4:30 p.m.)
  • Reservations MUST be made at least two weeks in advance.
  • Please have the following info ready when you schedule: school name, contact person, address, phone numbers, number of students, grade level, program title, date requested, arrival and departure times, and place you would like program held.
  • Please be prepared to mail your program fees with a check or money order after your reservation is made to: Elkhart County Parks, 211 W. Lincoln Ave, Goshen, IN 46526.

What is the fee?

  • IN A PARK: $2 per person. Add $1 per person for each additional program on the same day. $20 minimum fee.
  • AT YOUR SCHOOL: $30 per visit (up to 2 classes concurrently). A fee of $100 applies for presentations to 3 or more concurrent classes. Add $10 for each additional program on the same topic, on the same day.

How many students can I bring?

  • Staff prefers to work with 12-15 students at a time. All classes are required to provide one chaperone for every 8 students. Chaperones should be aware of any children with allergies.
  • The maximum number of students you bring depends upon the number of staff available and the number of programs requested. Our administrative office will help you when you schedule. Teachers may have to assist with independent hikes or museum tours if large groups are scheduled.

Is financial assistance available?

We want all area students to experience an Elkhart County Parks field trip. We understand that funding can be a challenge. Here are a few resources that may be able to help:

  • The Elkhart County Soil and Water Conservation District offers a Stormwater Education Field Trip Incentive to cover transportation costs to our Reptiles & Amphibians and Wild About Wetlands field trips.
  • Target offers $700 grants to support spring field trips. Apply online between August 1st and October 1st.
  • Indiana Native Plant Society Letha’s Fund supports field trips that give youth meaningful outdoor experiences. Awards up to $700 can be used for transportation, naturalist fees, and related supplies. Applications accepted on a rolling basis.

What if the weather is bad?

Our interpreters present programs rain or shine. We ask that teachers remind parents to dress children according to weather conditions. If a school needs to cancel a program due to severe weather we will reschedule as necessary. If no other time slot is available, you will receive a refund.

Can we request a custom program?

Yes! We can customize a program to fit your classroom needs. Just make sure you book your program an additional two weeks in advance.

Do you offer special accomodations?

The Elkhart County Parks Department believes that all students should have the opportunity for quality environmental and historical education. We welcome all students regardless of race, color, creed, national origin, sex, age or disability to participate in our programs. If you or your students have a disability requiring special accommodations for access to programs or facilities, please notify our office when scheduling your program.