Environmental education is an important part of Creasey Mahan Nature Preserve’s mission.

Our goal is to get children outside and cultivate their curiosity in the world around them! With expert guidance and teaching, children may make their own discoveries and learn from hands-on experience. We aim to provide opportunities for children to get excited about the natural world and encourage them to ask questions and search for answers.

Creasey Mahan Nature Preserve works with almost 40 schools and groups to offer educational classes, field trips, and customized programs. We work with children and adults from around the region.

We offer these opportunities:

Field Trips


The comprehensive environmental educational program at Creasey Mahan Nature Preserve is well loved and reaches thousands of children each year! Class instruction by our experienced instructors focuses on children’s relationships with nature.

Student fees are $6.00 per student, with a $50.00 minimum, with up to four classes in a half-day session. We appreciate a $5.00 donation per adult chaperone as well. Special arrangements can be made for students in Title 1 schools.

School field trips average 50 to 120 children per day, and some field trips are offered over multiple days. Field trips are at their peak in the spring and fall school seasons. These school field trips are customized for each school or group and offer course curriculum classes and active learning opportunities.

Here is a link to our 2016-2017 Educational Programs.

Outdoor Classroom

Our special outreach program targets underprivileged children and children in Kentucky’s foster care system. These are in addition to our regular offerings to children from all across the region.

The scope of our educational services include:

  • All day field trips
  • Week-long summer camps
  • Customized half-day environmental science classes

All of our programs are curricula-based and experiential. Examples of program offerings are:

  • Environmental Science – Birds-predator or prey, bird habitats, wetland and woodland ecosystems, water cycles, rocks and fossils, life cycles of plants, biomes, and the food web, global warming, conservation and recycling.
  • Native Americans in Kentucky – Culture, dance, medicinal plants, storytelling, hunting, tracking, and games.
  • Crafts – Leatherwork, fiber art, plaster masks, woodworking (building bird houses), jewelry making, face painting, painting with plants, eco-friendly recycled material art, clay work, animal art with beads, duct tape wallets.
  • Activities – bird watching, nature scavenger hunt, nature hikes,  obstacle course running, team-building games, wagon rides through the forest, marshmallow roast at the fire pit, cooking over a bonfire, storytelling, dancing, and water balloon fights.

We are proud of our team of excellent resource teachers who are experts in their fields and highly regarded professionals.



Creasey Mahan Nature Preserve offers specially designed nature oriented programs to scouts of all ages.   These programs are designed to help the scout earn a particular badge or award through education and/or service.  Staff will work with the scout leader to create just the right program and activity to accomplish the scout’s goal.

Some popular scout programs:

  • Historic Homes
  • Bugs!
  • Leave No Trace
  • Flag Retirement

Working with children of all ages building appreciation and knowledge of nature is the mission of the Nature Preserve – creating young naturalists.  To find our more about program availability and costs, please call the office.


Summer Nature Camps

nature camp logo 2014


Our summer camps are popular and fill up early. Be sure to reserve your spot today. Join us for 4 fantastic days of fun!  You’ll want to be a kid again. Every day will contain lots of great adventures and activities, including archery, BB gun practice, forest hikes, bird watching, tie dye and nature crafts.

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We’ll also feature experts on frogs, birds, turtles and other neat creatures. Lots of fun surprises are in store (the North Oldham Fire Department has been known to make a surprise hose-down visit!).

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Nature Camp is open to campers who are entering 1st through 6th grades. Discounts are available for multiple siblings. Note that two snacks a day and daily crafts supplies are included in the price. A few scholarships are available. See the events page for dates and registration forms.

If you have further questions, you can contact us at or call the office.

Presentations & Walks with Tavia

Exec. Dir. Tavia Cathcart Brown

Tavia Cathcart Brown is Executive Director of Creasey Mahan Nature Preserve in Goshen, KY, and is highly regarded as an educator, presenter, writer, and photographer.

She is co-author and the lead photographer of Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest, winner of a 2011 Gold Nautilus Book Award. She co-authored the 16-state field guide Wildflowers of Tennessee, the Ohio Valley, and Southern Appalachians, which covers 16 states, 1,250 wildflowers, and features 800 photographs. This book highlights her specialty of sharing “flora-lore,” mythology, and medicinal uses of plants.

Tavia routinely presents lectures on wildflowers, flora-lore, creating woodland gardens, and gardening with native plants to gardeners, college classes, and academic audiences.

She was selected as “Today’s Woman” in the September 2011 issue of Today’s Woman magazine, is serving her second term on the executive board of the Louisville Audubon Society, and is on the board of the Prospect Chamber of Commerce.

Please call (502) 228-4362 to inquire about having Tavia Cathcart Brown lead a walk or present a lecture for your group. Hourly rates range from $75 to $150 per outing.

Little Huckleberry Creek

Comments on Nature

Tavia comments:

” My daily excursions in the forest always bring something new to my attention: a Cope’s gray tree frog (Hyla chrysoscelis) basking in the sun on a fence post, whitetailed deer stretching their long necks for a crab apple, or coming upon the bright red seeds of the dogwood. A constant is that everything in nature is involved in a process and is changing.

When I slow down enough to notice the smaller details, I easily am awed by the architecture of an orb-weaver spider’s web, the flowerlike seed pod of the tulip poplar, a white shaggy mane mushroom poking through a blanket of leaves. Here at the nature preserve, there is a plethora of surprises around every bend!

I hope that you may take the time to enjoy the wonders and beauty found here. See you on the trails!

Scout Volunteers

Creasey Mahan Nature Preserve maintains a highly fruitful partnership with the Eagle Scouts, run through Boy Scouts of America. It is due to the talents and dedication of many Eagle Scouts that the nature preserve can boast of bridges, trail signs, benches, picnic tables, and other “hardscaping” items.

Eagle Scout Projects

We honor the following individuals who recently have completed Eagle Scout projects on the nature preserve (in alphabetical order)—

Josiah Aponte, Troop 701, built benches around the fire ring area.

Firepit Benches

Tim Burton, Troop 319, built the arbor swing in front of Mahan Manor.

Mahan Manor Swing and Flowering Cherry

Zack Elkins, Troop 153, built the wood shed to keep fire wood dry for our campers at the fire ring.

Woodshed by Firering

Will Gabay, Troop 170, built benches in the Woodland Garden to give visitors a peaceful spot to enjoy the wild flowers.

Woodland Garden Benches Gabay

Grant Hackworth, Troop 984, made the split rail fences along Mahan Manor.

Eastern Phoebe on Fencepost

Conner Hicks, Troop 984, built the much needed kiosk at the trailhead entering the forest area of the Preserve.

Trailhead Kiosk

Andrew Kenny, Troop 243, built one of the bridges in the Woodland Garden.

Snowy Woodland Garden Bridge

Will McKinnon, Troop 984, built the bridge connecting the meadow ponds.

Meadow Pond Bridge

Riley Smother, Troop 317, built the Woodland Garden bridge used by many of our wedding couples.

Wedding by the Bridge