Allison Woods Outdoor Learning Center

Reconnecting Children With Nature!

     The Allison Woods Outdoor Learning Center

Allison Woods Outdoor Learning Center offers outstanding outdoor education programs focused on active and experiential-based learning for class field trips. We provide flexible schedules and STEM-based curriculum that can be tailored to meet specific needs.

We work with schools to combine the right mix of environmental and adventure education components to support their specific goals. Our programs allow students to experience the wonder and awe found in nature, and learn how they can play a hands-on role in creating a more sustainable environment. All of our curriculum is interdisciplinary and tied to the North Carolina Essential Standards. 

Our Primary Mission: To ignite life-long curiosity, understanding and respect for nature through education.

We Believe: A personal connection to nature is an essential part of life.

Our Goals:

  • Advance general understanding of how nature affects our lives, and of the ecological systems that keep the earth in balance.
  • Collaborate with schools by providing a variety of environmental educational programs for grades K-College.
  • Cultivate student's curiosity, critical thinking, problems solving, and reasoning skills needed in all walks of life, and give them the tools to explore, discover, and learn.
  • Develop a relationship with educators to make the school programs more meaningful by applying knowledge and skills acquired in the classroom to real life.
  • Enhance and Enrich educational opportunities for children, particularly those underserved, to improve their chances for success in school and in life.
  • Foster a love and respect for nature that inspires people to become responsible stewards of the environment.
  • Generate an awareness, knowledge, and appreciation for the natural environment.
  • Promote an understanding and a desire for preservation and conservation of natural wildlife and resources.
  • Provide experiences in using scientific processes, such as observing, measuring, classifying, graphing, etc.
  • Spark an interest in nature and science, nourish the inquiring mind, stimulate a desire the explore, discover and learn, and keep a sense of wonder alive.

 Allison Woods Outdoor Learning Center is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization operated by a strong Board of Directors and a team of dedicated volunteers whose desire is to "teach the children". Students reached range from Title I schools to private, home-school, charter, and college students. Weekends and summers include 4H Science Camp, programs for various other camps across the state, Boy Scout Camporees, Fishing Clinics and other activities.

Allison Woods Outdoor Learning Center, established in 1992, has been an environmental education center since 1993. Since that time, students have enjoyed topics ranging from forestry, horticulture, wetlands, watersheds, ecology, geology, birds of prey, reptiles and amphibians, geography, biology and earth science. Programs offered include, but are not limited to: Lake Portal, Turtle Dogs, Birds of Prey, Earth, Rocks and Fossils, Eco Walk, EUREKA! Science, Elemental Nature, and Senses and Perception.

Teacher Education: Provide opportunities for teachers to experience programs, and workshops for environmental education.

Public Service: Offer environmentally related events and workshops for the general public and special interest groups at various locations.

Research and Graduate Education: Provide a site for environmental research and development of environmental education programs. 

Allison Woods Outdoor Learning Center is an instructive facility that uses land and water as an outdoor classroom. First opening it doors to the community in 1992, the Allison Woods Outdoor Learning Center, formerly known as Allison Woods Foundation, was conceived to encourage hands-on/minds-on learning about the environment.  Immediately accessible are several lakes, streams, forest, trails and the wondrous variety of both plant and animal life. The 19-acre lake has controlled access and records of surrounding land use and lake history to support physical research of it, the riparian zone, and surrounding forest.

Our programs  are designed for ages 6 and up and can be scheduled year round. Most programs are site-based and hands-on using experiential learning to help students make a personal connection with the environment. Many programs can be altered to be brought into a classroom or other facilities upon request. Programs vary in length from 1-4 hours and are priced per child (adults are free). These lessons are designed to examine the links and relationships that occur in natural communities and highlight the importance of each organism in sustaining them. Both natural and human communities are closely tied; each affecting and depending upon the other. These lessons take a unique approach to examining the importance of natural systems in our lives. They can take students back through time to examine lifestyle changes and how they influence the local landscape and of way of thinking about the natural world.


At the Allison Woods Outdoor Learning Center, educational programming goes beyond curricula normally associated with a nature center. With a rich local history of Native American use, early settler development, agriculture and ecological diversity, this facility has a remarkable scope of elements readily at hand for diverse and current programs. Recognized in 1995 as “A Site of Regional Importance” for its rich variety and high integrity of plant communities found in its hardwood forests and bottomlands on the South Yadkin River, Allison Woods had the first mitigated wetlands in the Northern Piedmont. The Allison Woods Outdoor Learning Center offers something for everyone, including programs for teachers, students, service groups, business leaders, and community residents which cover a wide range of topics from butterflies and the ecosystem to Boy Scout Environmental Merit Badges and current environmental impacts. Partnering with public, private and home schools from North and South Carolina has been a longstanding accomplishment of the Allison Woods Outdoor Learning Center. We have serviced more than 2000 students per year with our educational programs. 


We offer workshops designed to deepen educator content knowledge while engaging them in the natural world of the Piedmont of North Carolina. Our programs are held both indoors and outside in beautiful Allison Woods.  Our workshops are designed to be fun and educational including hands-on activities as well as lessons and ideas to take back to the classroom.


By encouraging youth involvement in the Allison Woods Outdoor Learning Center it is the hope of Allison Woods Board of Directors, staff and volunteers that young people will develop a sense of their place in the environment and become good stewards of the community around them.  Our aim is to provide a research and learning experience for all students that uses hands-on outdoor activities to promote all aspects of STEM education.   


The Allison Woods Outdoor Learning Center is a 501©3, non-profit, educational organization. We are funded both through fees for service and through the generous support of many individuals. 













        Allison Woods Outdoor Learning Center

 248 Allison Woods Drive

Turnersburg, NC 28688


Allison Woods is privately owned and operated.

We are open by appointment only, please call or email

 us at the contact information listed to check the


 The public is welcome to attend our advertised events.

Photography fees $25 per hour

 and is a donation to Allison Woods Outdoor Learning Center.


[email protected]





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