LITTLE CREEK NATURE AREA
Little Creek Nature Area is a 97-acre outdoor educational facility owned and operated by the Ferguson-Florissant School District. Since 1974, teachers have provided ecology, environmental science, field biology and living history programs for district students. Located in North St. Louis County, the Nature Area is situated near the east-central perimeter of the district, bounded on the south by I-270 and surrounded on the east and west by subdivision, institutional, and commercial development. Its northern boundary is shared in common with Dunegant Park, a Florissant city park.
The Nature Area supports approximately eighteen acres of developed facilities. Included are a residence converted to a museum and office space, a high school classroom adjoined by a pavilion with picnic tables and restroom facilities, and an elementary building with two classrooms. A small farm is comprised of a barn, chicken coop, apiary, a vegetable garden, pastures, and a caretaker’s workshop and garage. There is a nineteenth-century log cabin, a butterfly garden, a reconstructed prairie, a conservation windbreak, and an arboretum.
The remaining acreage is largely wooded and preserved as natural areas. It includes five designated trails, two woodland ponds, a field pond, and several tributary streams that drain into the Maline Creek watershed.
The instructional programs offered at the Nature Area both support and enhance the pre-K to 12 curricula in a variety of ways. The pre-K and elementary programs allow students and teachers the opportunity to meet state and local science, social studies and communication arts objectives not easily accomplished in a traditional classroom setting. Hands-on inquiry-based activities provide students with experiences which not only enhance achievement but cultivate a life-long interest in the natural world.
At the secondary level, Field Biology and AP Environmental Science are offered to students from all three district high schools. Students enrolled in these courses are transported daily to the Nature Area, where they have the unique opportunity to study the natural world in a field-based setting. Short-term and long-term field studies can be accomplished, and students also participate in the stewardship work required to meet the challenges of maintaining a nature area in an urban setting.
In addition, individual teachers are welcome to bring their classes out for field activities. A limited amount of equipment is available to check out on a pre-arranged basis. A reservation form and prior approval are required. Little Creek is also used for professional development, summer camps and other community-based activities.
Little Creek also has an ongoing partnership with North County Technical High School, operated by the Special School District. Students in the general construction trade classes practice and enhance their skills while performing needed work at Little Creek. Thus far, projects have included rehabbing of the log cabin, replacing the garage roof, building a new chicken coop, and concrete work for sidewalks.
In the almost 50 years it has been in operation, Little Creek Nature Area has adapted its mission and focus to the changing needs of the school district and community it serves. As efforts to boost student achievement have intensified in recent years, the programs offered by the Nature Area have been refocused to meet this challenge for both students and their teachers.
Little Creek is open Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Our trails are not open to the public on weekends or after normal business hours, except by reservation or during special events.
Who do I contact?
Eric Hadley - Coordinator
Jo Anne Daiber - Office Manager