Conservation adventure and discovery make the Joe Budd Youth Conservation Center (JBYCC) a favorite destination for kids and teachers. Students throughout North Florida come to JBYCC to study aquatic ecology. Educational programs are led by facility staff and are correlated to state education standards. This first-hand experience with aquatic habitats is sure to raise their awareness and appreciation of responsible natural resource management.

Program Guidelines

Programs are offered at no charge. Advance registration is required.

Programs are available to second through twelfth grade students.

Groups of 50 or fewer participants are preferred but larger groups can be accommodated.

Students are provided with all equipment they will need during their visit.

School Program Tracks

JBYCC’s school programs consist of two parts: one conservation education activity (selected from the list below), followed by a hands-on fishing experience at the pond.

Part 1: Conservation Education (1 hour) (Select One)

Wetland Scavenger Hunt Grades 2-5
Students search for native wildlife along the wetland nature trail and learn about each animal’s role in its habitat.

Microscopic Pond Life Grades 3-12
Students use nets to collect aquatic organisms from the marsh area of Joe Budd Pond. Microscopes and stereoscopes are used to examine and identify plant and animal species.

Fish Dissection Grades 5-12
Students use scientific equipment to dissect various fish species, examining gill structures and analyzing stomach contents.

Fishing Techniques Grades 2-12
Students learn the basics of fishing, including how to tie a knot, bait a hook and cast using a rod and reel. Students also practice various techniques required to catch different fish species.

Part 2: Fishing Experience (1 hour)

All students who participate in school programs get the opportunity to fish from the banks and boardwalks of Joe Budd Pond. They learn to bait a hook, cast a line and reel in their catch, as well as ethical catch-and-release practices.