Note: due to a high volume of requests, we are unable to schedule any more educational programs until the beginning of June 2024. Please check back in!

Public education is a crucial part of the Sanctuary’s mission. We can cater to any age group, curriculum, or theme, from teaching kindergartners about feathers and birds to speaking with retired folks about wildlife-friendly landscaping practices. 

Our outreach programming is always fun and free of charge to public school groups. For other groups, we typically ask for a suggested donation of at least $150 depending on the distance we'd need to travel with our ambassador animals. However, we are committed to keeping wildlife education accessible and will never deny a group a program for lack of donation.
If you’re interested in scheduling an educational program, field trip, or tour with RWS, please send an email to to get the ball rolling. We look forward to meeting you!
Education Ambassador Visits
We travel to about 35 different schools, organizations, festivals, and events per year to meet the folks who make our sanctuary possible while introducing them to the very species they help us support. For interested teachers, we are committed to enhancing your school’s science curriculum through experiential learning. We can work alongside you to ensure we help your students meet the Virginia Standards of Learning depending on their grade level and needs. By bringing the environment to your classroom, we aim to enhance the themes your students are learning in exciting, novel ways. 
What can I expect from my RWS educational program? 
Rockfish outreach staff will arrive at your school or meeting space with two or three of our education ambassador animals, depending on your interests and curriculum. Our programs can range from 30-90 minutes. We can present to any audience size and typically spend 2/3 of the time period presenting our animals and information while the rest of the time is devoted to answering questions. We have species-specific coloring sheets and informational booklets available to bring along, if that would be beneficial for your audience.
Field Trips and Tours
While our facility is typically closed to the public, we are happy to organize a special tour for your group so that your students or community group can learn about wildlife rehabilitation and the species we advocate for. This option may not be a great fit for your kindergarten class, as our animals require calm and quiet visitors, but it might just be the perfect way to expose your small group (no more than 20 folks) to the wonderful world of working with wildlife. 

What can I expect from my RWS tour?
When you arrive at our sanctuary in beautiful Nelson County, we will spent some time walking through our main facility building and will explore the outdoor enclosures for our education animals, offering an opportunity to see all of our education ambassador team up close while answering any questions you may have. Tours typically range from 45 minutes to 90 minutes, depending on your schedule and interests.

Is there a fee for programming?
Rockfish Wildlife Sanctuary is an entirely donor-funded organization. Because of this, we have a suggested donation of $150-200 for on-site tours, depending on group size. Suggested donations for off-site programs depend on distance, ambassadors requested, and audience size - usually between $150-300. Programs for public school systems are always free with no suggested donation.
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