Outreach Programs

Can’t find the time to take your group or class on a field trip? Then let us bring a program or live animal to you! Ijams Nature Center’s outreach programs are designed to put participants at the center of learning and bring the natural, outdoor world of Ijams into your facility. Our educators will engage your group with opportunities to observe wildlife, interact with specimens such as pelts and feathers, and learn through observations.

Ijams offers off-site programs and live animal presentations to schools, businesses, youth groups, camps, civic organizations, and special interest and community groups. We do NOT currently conduct programs at private residences or events, such as birthday parties.

Title Grade  Description Cost 
Animals in Winter K-2 Students will explore the various strategies that help animals survive the East Tennessee winter. Some animals really do hibernate in winter. Others utilize other strategies like migration, and some are just adapted to living in cold weather. This program includes a live animal presentation.

Duration: 45-60 Minutes
Group Size: 30 maximum

Available Dates: November-February

$150 for the first session; $100 for each additional consecutive session on the same day.
Live Animal Presentations All Age Groups, Including Adults Live animal programs are typically 30-40 minutes in length, and involve up to two different animals. Available animals may include: Screech Owl, American Kestrel, Rat Snake, Virginia Opossum, Box Turtle, Red-eared Slider, and Map Turtle. Requests are welcome; however, we cannot guarantee which animals will be at a program.

Duration: 30-40 Minutes
Group Size: 50 maximum

Available Dates: Year-Round

$90 for the first session; $50 for each additional consecutive session on the same day.

NOTE: Programs scheduled on Saturdays or for any time after 5:00 p.m. will incur a $25 charge in addition to the costs listed above. Also, travel fees apply to sites located over 20 miles from Ijams Nature Center. Exact rates will be determined during the registration process.

Scheduling an Outreach Program:

  • After reading the guidelines below, please complete this request form to arrange a program. If you have registration questions, contact Education Administrative Coordinator, Lauren Bird, at 865-577-4717 ext. 135 or lbird@ijams.org.
  • Outreach programs are only offered Tuesdays – Saturdays. Specific dates and start times vary, according to your scheduling needs and our availability.
  • All requests will be handled in the order in which they are received. Once your request has been processed, an Ijams staff member will email you to confirm date(s), time(s), and program availability. Requested dates are not guaranteed until confirmed by Ijams Nature Center.
  • Please register at least 14 days in advance.
  • Payment is required at least 7 days before your scheduled program.
  • If your group size exceeds the applicable maximum number listed above, you will need to schedule an additional session.
  • Layovers of over 1 hour between sessions are not permitted. However, a 5-10 minute break between each session is required in order to reset supplies.
  • Consecutive sessions must take place in the same location.

Program Preparation and Space Guidelines:

  • Your Ijams educator will arrive 15-30 minutes prior to the program to set up.
  • For groups of children, at least on adult staff member from your group is required to be present during the program at all times to help participants engage with their learning and assist with group management and participant behavior.
  • Please prepare name tags and ensure that participants are wearing them for the duration of the program.
  • Due to the nature of live animals, Ijams cannot guarantee which education animals will be present at any program. Some education animals eat nuts, so please be aware of allergies, and inform us of any special needs prior to your program.
  • Since all Ijams outreach programs include a live animal presentation, we require the following:
    • An indoor space, unless otherwise arranged with Ijams staff in advance;
    • An open floor plan with a minimum of six feet of empty space between the audience and presenter;
    • No other activities, animals, or food or drink in program/presentation room during both setup and presentation;
    • A large table at the front of the presentation area (6 – 8 feet long, preferred);
    • An unloading and parking area close to the program location, with access for a rolling cart;
    • A calm, safe place to store animals if there is a break between sessions.

We hope to see you soon!