Teachers! Bring your class to Cherokee Marsh

Bring your students to Cherokee Marsh for a hands-on, guided, learning experience tailored for your curriculum and the needs of your class.

Cherokee Marsh Conservation Park is a City of Madison park of over 1200 acres on the city’s North Side. Trails and boardwalks access areas of wetlands, prairie, and woodland. The park borders the upper Yahara River  and has a glacial drumlin and two Native American mounds.

Your field study will be led by trained naturalists and can meet Wisconsin state standards in subjects including environmental education, science, social studies and math. Field studies can be correlated with the FOSS Science Curriculum.

Study Topics

Topics available include:
ŽŽ Pond study: identifying organisms and vegetation.
ŽŽ Values of wetlands, wetland formation, watersheds.
ŽŽ Effects of land use on wetlands and water quality.
ŽŽ Seasonal changes, plant and animal phenology.
ŽŽ Soil building in woods, prairies, and wetlands.
ŽŽ Identifying trees and plants, uses and lore of plants.
ŽŽ Native American culture and mounds.

The naturalists can adapt any topic to fit your class and your curriculum’s requirements.

About Your Visit

Field studies are available for all grades. Before your visit, a Naturalist Coordinator will work with you to clarify the focus of your study. In the field, the naturalists encourage active learning that will stay with students long after the field trip is over.


For classes in the Madison Metropolitan School District (MMSD), these field studies, including naturalist fees and transportation costs, are funded by MMSD and the Friends of Cherokee Marsh.

How to Schedule a Field Study

Field study registration and information (requires MMSD username)

Or to schedule a field study, contact:
Emily Peffer, MSCR Recreation Specialist
(608) 204-4580

To discuss the content of your field-study, contact:
Betty Downs, Naturalist Program Coordinator
(608) 848-9121

The experiences at Cherokee Marsh are an important step in the move to “leave no child indoors.” – teacher Alan Ginsberg, Van Hise Elementary School

The guided programs at Cherokee Marsh are a perfect match for our water curriculum. – teacher Wenda Mincberg, Randall Elementary School

NatureNet Cherokee Marsh page