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Open Outdoors for Kids

Virtual field trips about the Gwynns Falls stream valley and wildlife adaptations bring classroom content to life! 

Join a virtual trip provided by the National Park Foundation's "Open Outdoors for Kids" (OOK) and Carrie Murray Nature Center at Gwynns Falls Leakin Park! Trips are FREE for 4th-8th graders at all Baltimore City Public Schools and Title I schools across Maryland.  To learn more about Open Outdoors for Kids, click here

Other educators are welcome to use pre-visit videos and post-visit activities. Live chat sessions will cost $20 per group.

water wheel near Orianda house
GFLP Bridge
Orianda House at the Crimean estate in G
Ben Cardin Pavillion Field
Virtual - Space

A trip includes a pre-visit video, a live chat with Q&A from student-generated questions, and optional classroom activities.


  1. Pre-visit Video. Have your class watch at least one video tour from the program of your choice.  

  2. Questions. Students should generate questions based on the virtual tour. Send the questions to the Carrie Murray guide before the live chat. These questions will be answered in the Live Chat Q&A.

  3. Live Chat. Schedule a Carrie Murray guide as a guest in your virtual classroom for 1 or 2 10-20 minute visits. This will be a Q&A session based on the students questions. An animal ambassador meet-and-greet is optional. Live chats can be scheduled Monday-Thursday from 10 am-3 pm and require at least 1 week notice. 

  4. Optional Classroom Activities. Related student activities and resources can be used to continue making connections in your classroom.


  1. Stream Valley Habitats. Explores the interrelationship of humans and wildlife with the land at Gwynns Falls Park. An emphasis on the concepts of habitat (food, water, shelter, space). This includes foraging for food, household needs, and drawing on the energy of the land and water for survival. Tour the Orianda Mansion, a waterwheel, a stone root cellar, and a community green space for honoring indigenous peoples. 

  2. Animal Adaptations. Explores reptiles and birds that are found in the park and their adaptations for survival. You’ll get to meet some of the animal ambassadors of Carrie Murray Nature Center and learn about how they got here, their habitat needs, and their survival superpowers.

  3. Collaborative Program. An opportunity for a teacher to work with park staff on a project of the teacher’s choosing, following the same format of designing pre-trip materials, conducting 1-2 virtual on-site visits for research/inspiration, and follow up materials and/or sharing of student work.

Please check out the EKO virtual tours from our partners: Fort McHenry and Hampton National Historic Site. Visit tours here. This year, schools are allowed to participate in free trips at multiple sites.

For questions about trips, please contact us at 410-396-0808 or 

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