ACR’s School Programs put children directly in contact with nature, allowing them to explore with their senses and imaginations.
ACR School Programs are scheduled in the fall and spring and are at no cost to schools. School groups are responsible for organizing their own transportation, though bussing scholarships are available from ACR.
For more information on bringing your class to an ACR preserve, visit the Explore section.
Elementary school classes can visit the Martin Griffin Preserve on the Bolinas Lagoon in Marin County (4th and 5th grades) or the Bouverie Preserve in Sonoma County’s Valley of the Moon (3rd and 4th grades) on weekdays during the spring and fall. Students may investigate a variety of habitats, including oak woodlands, mixed evergreen forests, riparian woodlands, aquatic environments, grasslands, and coastal scrub, while learning about ecology and biological diversity, Native American folklore, and the natural history of local plants and animals.
Small, docent-led hiking groups (1:6 docent to student ratio) emphasize discovery and actively engage children in learning. Docents encourage children to see, hear, and touch the natural world, while asking and proposing answers to their own questions about what they observe.
ACR docents visit school classrooms prior to the field trip to prepare the children for their outing to the preserve. A slideshow and hands-on activities teach ecological concepts and natural history and include opportunities to connect science with art and observation.
ACR also provides teachers with information packets (both in hardcopy and online) that include lesson plans, classroom activities, and resources to reinforce or extend learning. Teachers receive a matrix showing how our program links to California Academic Content Standards.
Become a Docent
We need your help! If you are interested in become one of the talented volunteer educators of Martin Griffin or Bouverie preserve, please visit the Get Involved page.