School Programs at The Rocks Estate
The Rocks Estate offers several programs for school groups throughout the school year. Children are thrilled to explore our property's many acres of farmland and managed wildlife habitat, where they can discover much about the natural world around them.
Maple Sugar Time
New Englanders have been making maple sugar since before European settlers arrived in the region, and children love the natural sweetness of maple syrup. During this program, students learn about the history and process of creating syrup and sugar from the sap of sugar maple trees. The program includes an overview of the history, from the sugaring practices used by Native Americans and early settlers through the modern techniques used to collect sap and make syrup at The Rocks today. Children learn how to identify different types of trees, help tap a sugar maple, and enjoy a taste of locally-produced maple syrup. The Maple program is offered both during sugaring season in early spring and through our interactive Maple Museum in during the fall and can be adapted for most age groups, from grade school to high school.
Fall Color Fest
From foliage to fungus, this autumn program will cover it all! Students learn about why leaves change color in the fall, how fungi contribute to the decomposition of leaves after they fall to the ground, and what New Hampshire animals are doing during this season of transition. A creative arts and crafts project will complete the fun. This program is generally presented to third graders.
Oh, Christmas Tree
Offered in the weeks leading up to the winter holiday season, this program delights children with a history of the Christmas tree tradition, a discussion of how Christmas trees are grown - from seed to harvest - and information on winter wildlife on the farm. Children will leave the program with a fir tree seedling to bring home. This program is most suitable for children in grades 1 through 3.
For many years, The Rocks has partnered with nearby Bethlehem Elementary School in the Forevergreen Program. Students begin the program in Kindergarten by planting their own Christmas trees at The Rocks and complete the program in sixth grade by harvesting the trees they've learned about and watched grow for seven years. Over the course of that time, children discover various aspects of a local Christmas tree farm, from how a tree grows and how tree farmers care for their crop, to what types of wildlife benefit from the ecosystem created by planting, raising, and harvesting Christmas trees.
The Forevergreen Program's curriculum may be adapted by any school with access to a tree farm. Many students enjoy visiting their trees with family members, beyond the school outings, so it's beneficial to plant trees at a place accessible year-round.