Home » Public Programs at the James Farm Ecological Preserve

Public Programs at the James Farm Ecological Preserve


30048 Cedar Neck Road
Ocean View, DE 19970
View printable directions

Maddie Fox, Environmental Education Specialist, (302) 226-8105 Ext. 721

Maddie Fox, Environmental Education Specialist, mfox@inlandbays.org

Sunrise to Sundown
365 days/year

Free of charge.

This area is Carry-in/Carry-out. 
Visitors are expected to take their trash home for disposal.

Trail Map

Discover our beautiful Inland Bays in new ways by joining us at the James Farm Ecological Preserve during one of our many public programs.

Have you ever wanted to learn more about the Inland Bays and all the creatures that call this place home? Do you have questions about the native plants that grow alongside the trails and water? Join us for a program to learn more!

There’s something for everyone of all ages to enjoy. And best of all, our programs are FREE to attend! You just need to register first. We hope to see you along the trails.

Program Guide

Discovery Bay
Participants in this program get closer to the bays than ever before as they search in the shallow waters of the Indian River Bay for aquatic life. As a group, we identify and discuss different fish, crabs, and other plants and animals that we can find here at the James Farm Ecological Preserve! This program is dependent upon tides.


Seasonal Walking Tours
Some of our seasonal walking tour offerings include Birding in the Inland Bays, Gardening with Native Plants, Sunset Strolls, Watershed 101 Walks, and Winter Walks.


Creature Feature: Horseshoe Crabs
Discover the life of this prehistoric creature up close and personal at the James Farm Ecological Preserve. Learn about horseshoe crabs, why they make their way onto the beaches of the Inland Bays, and participate in a demonstration survey. This program dives into the ecology, anatomy, and benefits of horseshoe crabs using a lifelike model (and hopefully a living organism!). Held in May and June spawning season.


Discovery Swap
This hands-on exploration of the Inland Bays allows children to engage with the intertidal habitat in the best way possible! Participants will gently collect and view organisms in an observation tank. Center staff will facilitate inquiry-based thinking by allowing young learners to apply their observations to make explanations and explore this habitat in their own way.


Hiding in Plain Sight
Participate in a short program to learn about the different ways animals use camouflage techniques for survival. Focusing on patterns and colors, participants  spend time observing the landscape while learning about categories of color and pattern adaptations for organism survival: camouflage, mimicry, warning, and attraction. Students apply these concepts as they participate in a hide and seek simulation.  Then, participants will embark on a search for real critters in the area, using their new  skills to discover how patterns and coloration might help the organisms survive in their habitat.


All About Oysters
Discover the power of the oyster! Sometimes referred to as “nature’s engineers” or “vacuums of the bay,” oysters play a critical role in keeping our bays clean. They also provide structural support for reefs for additional marine life. Participants will get a closer look at these bivalves in action, watching as they filter water. People will also explore the beach, where they will catch and observe other filter-feeding organisms.


Bay Builders
After an immersive exploration of the beach, Center staff will engage participants in a simulation as key members of a coastal community as they work together to responsibly “build” a waterfront property. Focusing on the importance of estuaries and all that they do to contribute to a clean and healthy environment, this program highlights the importance of all of us working together to keep our watershed clean.


Mammal Mania
Mammals are over here, under there, they are practically everywhere! Discover different mammals found around the world and here at the James Farm Ecological Preserve. This is a chance to see replica skulls, learn about animals’ different teeth types, and learn what these adaptations mean for each organism.


Nature Journaling
There is no better way to get close to nature than to journal about it! Learn the steps to tactile nature journaling and how the power of observations can expand your understanding of the world around us. This program will then put those skills into practice at the James Farm Ecological Preserve with a fun activity that will challenge your perspective. Participants need to bring their own journals and writing utensils.


Nature's Recyclers
Did you know there are built-in recyclers within the environment? Join us for a hike through the James Farm Ecological Preserve as we explore the trails and learn about some of the local decomposers and scavengers.


Powerful Pollinators
Focusing on bees,butterflies and birds, students will examine special aspects of these creatures’ anatomies and life cycles, identify their needs for species survival, and engage in an interactive experience, which highlights how these tiny organisms play a critical role in creating and maintaining our current food supply.


Thankful for Nature
Connect with nature by creating your own art project using materials found in the environment. Participants will create multiple simple crafts, such as bark owls and leaf rubbings. People will also learn about many of the inhabitants of the James Farm Ecological Preserve.


Tons of Turtles
Did you know that the Inland Bays watershed is home to both land and water-dwelling turtles? Join Center staff and learn about the diverse species that can be found here, their importance, adaptations, and engage in a turtle search through the James Farm Ecological Preserve.


There’s so much to learn at the Preserve and we don’t want you to miss a thing. Check out our events calendar, follow us on Eventbrite, & stay up to date on our social media pages.


Do you know young learners?
Check out our resource library geared just for kids HERE.

Other Educational Programs

The Center is proud to offer other environmental youth programs to interested schools and organizations. If you are interested in having your group engage in such an opportunity, please contact Jackie Knoll, Manager of Environmental Education, jknoll@inlandbays.org.