"What a great experience! ONSC provides the chance to learn in the way that kids learn best, by doing. This experience has had a great impact in connecting science to the world around us"

-McNair teacher

"This trip to ONSC is something I'll never forget in the history of my lifetime"

-Asher, Janie Darr 5th grader 

School Programs


ONSC offers a unique, immersion-based approach to learning about nature and the natural sciences. Every year, approximately 3,000 students from public and private schools experience the beauty and unique biodiversity of the Ozarks' natural environment through our residential school program. We offer authentic science learning experiences that are staffed by our talented team of teacher naturalists. Lessons and activities are correlated with national and state science learning standards which provide in-depth education in biology, ecology, geology, and social studies – all while students have fun hiking and experiencing nature.


The Setting


Our classroom is the 400 acre Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission Bear Hollow Natural Area. The area features eight miles of trails, bluff shelters, rock outcroppings, glades, a historic farmhouse and cabin, and beautiful vistas. Students also learn about water quality and conservation during lessons in and along the crystal clear waters of Bear Hollow Creek, which bisects the natural area. ONSC is adjacent to the approximately 15,000 acre Arkansas Game and Fish Commission McIlroy-Madison County Wildlife Management Area. Our studies often take us to this public property to study forest and cave ecology and to experience several waterfalls and creeks.


Provide your students with an ONSC program that they will remember forever


Planning packets and materials to plan your trip to ONSC


More information about our program and what your child can expect during their visit to ONSC


Classes, Workshops, Retreats, and more! These will be offered again as soon as larger gatherings are possible.


ONSC L.I.V.E (Learning in the Virtual Environment) and other virtual programs to keep you connected to nature from anywhere!

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We offer guided hikes, night hikes, and outdoor lessons for small groups, families, and clubs