Available Backpack Programs


Students become real-life scientists with our hands-on environmental Backpack Program. The program is designed to inspire students to become actively engaged through inquiry-based learning and citizen science in our 160-acre outdoor classroom.  Whether they are dip netting for macroinvertebrates in Chester Creek, searching for Monarch butterfly caterpillars in our fields, learning how to tell a bull frog tadpole from a green frog tadpole at the frog pond, or helping us find signs of woodpeckers in the Beech Forest, your students will gain a deeper understanding of environmental topics and practical skills that they can use in all areas of their education.  All backpack programs are designed to run outdoors and are written to meet PA state education standards. Call 610.459.2359 or email info@newlingristmill.org to schedule and for pricing.

Habitat Investigations

Visit a pond, forest, and field in this active field trip to discover animal habitats.  Learn about the food, water, shelter, and space that all animals need to survive, then visit three different habitats to see what make them the same and what make them different.  Students will love the opportunities to discover the animals that hide under logs, cling to tall grasses, and swim through the water in this student-driven habitat hunt! PreK - 2nd grade



Insect Encounters

Fly like a butterfly and see like a bee in this exciting trip into the world of insects!  Students will explore the topics of metamorphosis, insect anatomy, and insect senses as they track the life cycle of a butterfly, use insect senses to rediscover their surroundings, and search for insects in the forest and field. PreK - 2nd grade



Forest Discoveries

Young foresters will love this hands-on program that explores the amazing lives of trees!  Students will work together to construct a tree’s life cycle, then study the rich diversity of trees by matching leaves, bark, flowers, and fruit with the trees that they came from.  Finally, they will immerse themselves in the seasons of the forest with an exciting scavenger hunt as they discover the forests of our 160-acre outdoor classroom. PreK - 2nd grade



Reptile and Amphibian Adventures

We love our reptiles and amphibians at Newlin, and we're sure that you will too after this exciting adventure into the world of frogs, toads, snakes, turtles and more!  Students on this field trip will learn to classify reptiles and amphibians by their common characteristics while meeting a corn snake and a toad, discover where amphibians live and how they grow, and trek to the frog pond for a chance to search for the reptiles and amphibians that live there! Pre-K to 2nd



Hands-on Herpetology 

Aspiring herpetologists will love the opportunity to get up close and personal with the reptiles and amphibians of southeastern Pennsylvania in this frog and snake-filled adventure!  Students will get to meet Newlin's very own corn snake and toad, learn about frog calls and the frog life cycle, then visit the frog pond to conduct a tadpole experiment. 3rd to 5th grade



Ecology in Action

Discover the diversity of the park at Newlin with this fun ecosystem-exploring journey!  Visit a forest and a stream to learn about producers, consumers, decomposers, and food chains.  Along the way, students will search for the plants and animals that call each ecosystem home, and conduct an experiment to find out which ecosystem is more diverse. 3rd to 5th grade 



Watershed Wonders 

Get your hands wet with this water-based field trip!  Students will have the opportunity to act as citizen scientists to help us determine the health of Chester Creek while learning about watersheds, human impacts on water quality, and the amazing organisms that call our waterways home! 3rd to 5th grade



Nature Walk: Prehistoric Newlin 

Take a time-traveling trip into prehistory on this exciting nature walk!  Discover the living fossils hiding in plain sight along our trails and compare them to some actual stone fossils.  Students will learn all about geologic time and gain a new appreciation for the past as they explore the world around them! 2nd grade and up



Nature Walk: Seasonal Newlin

Enjoy the changing seasons of the park with our seasonal nature walk.  Students will learn how the sun and the Earth work together to create the seasons, and use their senses to identify the plants, animals, and distinguishing characteristics that help to identify each season at Newlin. Pre-K to 5th grade




This program was made possible with the support of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection. 

Message to Our Community


In light of current conditions, Newlin Grist Mill continues to be closed as follows:

  • The NGM Visitor Center, Archive, Blacksmith Shop, Millwright Shop, and public restrooms remain closed;

  • All tours, programs and events have been postponed or cancelled during this period;

  • Pond Fishing will remain closed until further notice;

  • Rentals are being cancelled for this period of time;

  • There will be no Volunteer Wednesday Workdays;

  • The trails will remain open, but parking is limited; and we ask that everyone be mindful of social distancing when on the property.

Decisions concerning additional closings will follow based on the developing situation. Please check back for updates.

While the trails at Newlin Grist Mill remain accessible while the site is closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we do want to remind everyone of a few things:

  • Continue to observe proper social distancing when you are on the trails. If you are ill or have been around anyone who is ill or has been exposed to the virus, please remain at home. If you arrive and find that the parking lot is crowded, please postpone your visit to another time.  

  • Please remember that all dogs must be on a leash that is held securely by the owner at all times. This is a township law, and it is to protect the health and safety of all park visitors (human and canine) and the wildlife in the park.

  • The park contains unique habitats that are home to sensitive plants and animals, some of which are being monitored through ongoing scientific surveys.  Please stay on the trails to avoid disturbances (wading, dip netting, collecting, rock throwing etc.) that could damage wildlife and vegetation. 

  • Remember that collecting of any kind, including plants and animals, is prohibited in the park.

We appreciate your understanding and support during this challenging time.

Newlin Grist Mill   l  219 South Cheyney Road   l  Glen Mills, PA 19342   l   610.459.2359   l   © Copyright 2014-2015 Newlin Grist Mill. All rights reserved.