Welcome to the Big Backyard Program

The Big Backyard program is a series of seasonal, curriculum-based nature walks tailored to each elementary school’s backyard. The program is designed to introduce children to many aspects of the natural world while enhancing the skills of scientific inquiry within the grade level science curriculum. Observation, learning to ask good questions, problem solving, and respect for the natural environment are emphasized throughout this program. Trained parent volunteers guide small groups of students on interactive walks to explore the fields, woods, and wetlands of the school surroundings.

Visit the LPS Bowman Big Backyard Program for detailed information and training videos on the LPS Big Backyard Program website.

Bowman K-5 Big Backyard Program Permission Form

Please sign up to volunteer below and view the training resources:

Kindergarten: Plants and Seasons

Grade 1: Animals in their habitats

Grade 2
: Soil, Temperature Changes, Insect Detectives

Grade 3: Native American Needs, Watershed, Wetland Field Trip

Grade 4

Grade 5: Ecosystems throughout the seasons


Becoming a BBY volunteer is a wonderful way for parents to share in their child’s education. Any amount of time you can provide is always very appreciated! No previous experience is necessary! First time parents are always welcome.

Please note: All adults who work with children in the Big Backyard program must fill out a CORI form in the Main Office before going on a classroom walk. Bring a photo ID with you. CORI checks are good for 3 years.

See what volunteers do here. Sign up using the links for each grade above. Contact your classroom Room Helper or the Bowman PTO Big Backyard Coordinators at [email protected].

The walks are written to be self explanatory, but for those who are interested, there are some training courses that are well worth attending:

  • Basics Training
    Each September, a general 2 hour Town wide training session is provided for volunteers interested in the program. This Basic Training includes a lively discussion of the basic principles of environmental science, modeling of scientific inquiry plus an introduction to the philosophy and essential activities of the Big Backyard nature study program. Participants need only bring curiosity, an appreciation for the natural world, and a desire to help children learn about the way the world works. This basic training is optional.  Please see the Basics Training page on the LPS Big Backyard Program website for details.
  • Training Videos by Grade Level
    Volunteers should plan to attend a pre-walk training before the walk (one training per grade/season).  This training will review the information in the walk guide and help familiarize volunteers with key locations to visit.  Please see the Training Videos on LPS Big Backyard Program website for all of the videos by grade.

Walk Guides and other documentation

Use the links above for Walk Guides, At-A-Glance Guides, and Worksheets for the walks. Every document is in PDF format so you will need Acrobat Reader to access them. You may then print them off or simply review them online as you wish.  These documents will be available to all volunteers in our BBY folders in the Bowman lobby.

Please read the walk guides before the day of the walk to ensure you are acquainted with the topic and walk objectives. For some walks, an online video is also available at Training Videos as well as other Resources on the LPS Big Backyard Program website.

We hope to see you in Bowman’s Big Backyard this year!

BBY PTO Coordinators
Shweta Jain and Geetha Panneerselvam at [email protected]