Camps & Nature Programs

LARPD Rangers offer a wide variety of programs for all ages. For questions, please contact natureprograms@larpd.org

To register, call (925) 373-5700 or Register Online.

To return to the recreation guide, visit the Recreation Guide.

*NEW* Spring Nature Camp 

LARPD Ranger Staff

Calling all nature lovers! Join us at Spring Nature Camp during one of the most beautiful and fun times of year at Sycamore Grove Park. See birds building nests, hunt for ladybugs in the grass, and stop to smell the wildflowers all while learning about the natural world around us through age-appropriate programs and activities.

Age Days Time Location
7-10 M-F 9am - 3pm SGP
Course # Dates Res / NR
9600 4/3-4/7 $290/$319

Junior Rangers (Ages 9-12)

Hiking, playing games, exploring nature, plus lots of fun for those who join up to be a Jr. Ranger. The program will meet 8 Sundays from January to April. Call 925-960-2400 for more information about the program or to get a copy of the proposed meeting schedule. First Meeting will be at the Sycamore Grove Park Reserved Picnic Area.

Days Res / NR Location
Sun $360/$390 SGP-Reservable Picnic Area
Course # Age Time Day Dates
7801.SPRING.23 9-12 9a-2p Sun JAN-APR

Junior Rangers (Ages 9-12) – Homeschool Groups

Days Res / NR Location
Sun $360/$390 SGP-Reservable Picnic Area
Course # Age Time Day Dates
7802.SPRING.23 9-12 10a-3p Mon JAN-MAY
7803.SPRING.23 9-12 9a-2p Mon JAN-MAY

If you are interested in learning more about our Junior Rangers programs for Homeschool Groups, please contact the Rangers at natureprograms@larpd.org or (925) 960-2400.

Ranger Explorers (Ages 13-15)

Calling all nature lovers and outdoor explorers! From pursuing an interest in STEM and the outdoor industry to adventuring and recreating in nature, this program geared towards young teens will give them a sense of independence, a community of peers, and a calling towards stewardship. Meeting one Saturday a month for 5 hours, each session will show teens a different side of our local wildlife and open spaces. First Meeting will be at the Sycamore Grove Park Reserved Picnic Area.

*Times vary. Please contact the Rangers at natureprograms@larpd.org or (925) 960-2400 for more information about the program or to get a copy of the proposed meeting schedule.

Days Age Res / NR Location
Sat 13-15 $220/$240 SGP-Reservable Picnic Area
Course # Time Dates
7900.SPRING.23 9a-2p* FEB-MAY

Sycamore Sprouts (Ages 2-3)

Explore the big world with your little ones at Sycamore Grove Park! Every other week we'll meet at Wetmore and get to know the natural world through hands-on activities, sensory play, and outdoor exploration related to the session's theme.


Sycamore Sprouts: Messiness

Messy play is the best kind of play (especially since the Rangers will do the cleaning up afterward!) Let's splash in some puddles, dig in the dirt, and get our mitts messy, learning about the natural world. 

Meeting every other week: 2/13, 2/27 3/13, 3/27 

Age Days Time Res / NR
2-3 Mon 10:30-11:15a $40/$45
Course # Dates Location
7600.0203 FEB-MAR Sycamore Grove Park

Sycamore Sprouts: Big World of Bugs 

Calling all bug lovers! The park will have pollinators, ladybugs, dragonflies, and so much more amazing bug life. Let's meet some of the many small critters who all Sycamore Grove Park home. 

Meeting every other week: 4/10, 4/24, 5/8, 5/22

Age Days Time Res / NR
2-3 Mon 10:30-11:15a $40/$45
Course # Dates Location
7600.0405 APR-MAY Sycamore Grove Park

Sycamore Science Camp (Ages 4-9)

Sycamore Science Camp: On the Move

Wildlife is always on the move, from the tallest mountains to the deepest oceans. But how do snakes travel without legs? How do seeds disperse across grasslands? When and why do migrating visitors stop in our region? Why did the turkey cross the road...and how can we help animals cross streets, highways, & cities?  Join us to learn how nature moves in this session of Sycamore Science Camp!  Meets weekly for four weeks.

Time Location Res / NR
2:30-3:30p SGP-Picnic Area $50/$55
Course # Ages Dates Days
7700.101 4-5 1/19-2/9 Thurs
7701.101 6-7 1/18-2/8 Wed
7702.101 8-9 1/18-2/8 Wed

Sycamore Science Camp: Birds 

Sycamore Grove is home to many species of birds: ducks wading and diving in the creek, flycatchers swooping down from their perches amongst the trees, woodpeckers, and sapsuckers drilling into branches and trunks for sap and bugs, and hawks and eagles soaring above watching for prey!  Learn about these amazing animals and how important they are to our local ecosystems in this session of Sycamore Science Camp.  Meets weekly for four weeks. 

Time Location Res / NR
2:30-3:30p SGP-Picnic Area $50/$55
Course # Ages Dates Days
7700.102 4-5 3/2-3/23 Thurs
7701.102 6-7 3/1-3/22 Wed
7702.102 8-9 3/1-3/22 Wed

Sycamore Science Camp: Scientists Around Town

Livermore is home to a wide variety of habitats and plant communities.  LARPD manages parks spanning many of these different ecosystems, and we want to showcase a few of them! Join us at 4 ALL NEW locations for Sycamore Science Camp "Scientists Around Town."  We will meet at the Wetmore entrance to Sycamore Grove Park, the Blue Oak Canyon of Holdner Park's dry creek bed of Robertson Park, and Alkaline Wetlands near Marlin Pound Park.  Meets weekly for four weeks.

The optional field trip will be to the stunning north side of Brushy Peak to explore big sandstone rock formations.  

Time Location Res / NR
2:30-3:30p SGP-Picnic Area $50/$55
Course # Ages Dates Days
7700.103 4-5 4/27-5/18 Thurs
7701.103 6-7 4/26-5/17 Wed
7702.103 8-9 4/26-5/17 Wed

Scientists Around Town Meeting Locations:

  • Week of 4/26
    • Sycamore Grove Park, Wetmore Entrance: 1051 Wetmore Road, Livermore, CA 94550
  • Week of 5/3
    • Marlin A. Pound Park: 2010 Bluebell Drive, Livermore, CA 94550
  • Week of 5/10
    • Holdener Park: 2995 Hansen Road, Livermore, CA 94550
  • Week of 5/17
    • Robertson Park: 3200 Robertson Park Road, Livermore, CA 94550

Sycamore Science Camp – Homeschool Groups

Please call the Ranger Office at (925) 960-2400 or email natureprograms@larpd.org for more information.

Sycamore Science Camp Field Trips (Ages 4-9)

Science Campers can join the LARPD Rangers for a special, optional session at a new location that expands on the science camp theme.  Priority registration is given to enrolled participants in the current Sycamore Science Camp.  NO ONLINE REGISTRATION FOR FIELD TRIPS: please call the Rangers office at 925-960-2400 or email natureprograms@larpd.org. 

Science Camp Field Trip - On the Move 

Meet a new location at Sycamore Grove Park to explore our Nature Area, a special part of the park designed especially with wildlife in mind. 

Time Location Res / NR
2:30p Sycamore Grove Park - Nature Area Entrance $15/$17
Ages Dates Days
4-9 2/15 Wed

 

Science Camp Field Trip - Birds 

Join the Rangers on a field trip to Springtown Preserve in North Livermore, an amazing birding hotspot! This unique ecosystem draws resident and migratory birds alike, and we hope to see some shorebirds and waterfowl rarely seen at Sycamore Grove Park.  Bring binoculars if you have them; we'll also have some you can borrow.  

Time Location Res / NR
9:00a Springtown Preserve $25/$27
Ages Dates Days
4-9 3/25 Sat

 

Science Camp Field Trip - Scientists Around Town

Go behind the scenes with the Rangers to some of the most amazing ecosystems we have in the Livermore Area... the Sandstone Hills, Vernal Pools, and Oak Savannahs of Brushy Peak! Members of the public can only visit this park of the peak managed by LARPD through Ranger Programs like this one, so we hope you'll join us for this very special field trip! 

Time Location Res / NR
9:00a Brushy Peak Regional Preserve (Meet at RLCC) $25/$27
Ages Dates Days
4-9 5/27 Sat

Special Events

Mushroom Madness

Join LARPD Rangers and the Bay Area Mycological Society for the return of our annual SGP Mushroom Hunt!  We will crawl under trees, wander through meadows, and look at rotting logs to see how many different fungi we can find. Please remember that you may take lots of photos, but mushrooms may NOT be removed from the park! This event will happen rain or shine.  

Days Time Res / NR Location
Sun 9:00a FREE Sycamore Grove Park, 5035 Arroyo Rd
Course # Age Dates
7133.22 All Ages 1/15

Living with Fire: Fire Ecology

Join Naturalist Dora and Open Space Volunteers on a hike in the hills to see the impact and recovery of the park from the 2020 lightning-strike fires.  We’ll visit the site of our volunteer-led “Burned Oak Project” to study the effects of wildfire on our native and non-native plants.  Come learn about how native wildlife has adapted to live with fire, the connection between more extreme fires, droughts, and climate change in California, and what role open spaces play in the fight against climate change. Approximately 5-mile hike with slight elevation gain at a leisurely pace. 

Days Time Res / NR Location
Sat 9:00a FREE Sycamore Grove Park, 1051 Wetmore Rd
Course # Age Dates
7139.23 13+ 2/11

Brushy Peak Adventure

Brushy Peak Regional Preserve (Meet at RLCC)

Explore the magical parkland known as Brushy Peak Regional Preserve. This strenuous hike covers approximately 4-miles over dirt and rocky trails with an elevation gain of 800+ feet. The hike includes an exploration of unique sandstone rock formations, an introduction to the Native Ohlone, Bay Miwok, and Delta Yokuts cultures associated with the site, and an opportunity to view the plants and animals that live or visit this area.

Participants must stay with the group. Under 18 must be accompanied by a registered adult. Canceled if raining. 5-hour trip. Carpooling encouraged. Meet at the bigger community center parking lot next to the pool at 491 Loyola Way.

Age Res/NR
8+ $30/$33
Course # Date Day Time
7124.23.225 2/25 Sat 9a-3p
7124.23.318 3/18 Sat 9a-3p

Beyond Sycamore: Explorations                                

Sycamore Grove Park is our backyard! We all make the trip out to walk the trails and bask in its splendor, but what about all the other parks in the bay area?  Join Ranger Eric on an adventure to discover more of our wonderful nearby parks to expand your hiking horizons. Springtime is the perfect time to visit another park to immerse fully in its beauty and biodiversity.  First, we will be driving to the northern ridge of the Livermore Valley to hike in Morgan Territory under the oaks and through the grasslands.  Then we will be traveling farther, out to Black Diamond Mines, to hike up the canyons and past some of the old mine entrances.  Both hikes will be around 5 to 6 miles with elevation gain, so come prepared!  Bring plenty of water, snacks and/or lunch, sturdy hiking boots, and sun protection.  Ages 13 and up are welcome, but adults must accompany children under 18. 

Time Day Res/NR
9:00a Sat $12/$13
Course # Age Date Location
7135.23.1 13+ 3/4 Morgan Territory
7135.23.2 13+ 4/15 Black Diamond Mines

Pancake Breakfast with the Rangers 

Hungry? Love oversized pancakes? Bring your appetite to Sycamore Grove Park and join Ranger Seth with a fun-filled large-sized pancake breakfast. You will get to choose you style of pancake: Original, Blueberry, Banana, or Chocolate Chip! Ranger Seth will cook some of the biggest pancakes you've ever had! Then, we will discuss some of the more unique local wildlife and fun facts about Sycamore Grove Park.  Please bring your own beverages. (No alcohol permitted.) 

Date Day Res/NR
3/11 Sat $5/$5
Course # Age Time
7137.0311 All ages  10:30a

Spring Egg-Stravaganza 

Join the Rangers at Sycamore Grove Park for a spring-themed eggstravaganza! We will learn all about egg-cellant adaptive eggs! There will be egg hunts, a look at some of the local bird nesting habits and egg specimens, and some egg-citing eggs-periments! Candy and other prizes will be awarded for eggs gathered. Only egg hunt participants need to register and pay the fee. An adult must accompany all minors. Canceled if raining.   

Date Day Res/NR
4/1 Sat $10/$11
Course # Age Time
7104.23.10  All Ages 10:00a
7104.23.11 11:00a
7104.23.12 12:00p
7104.23.1 1:00p
7104.23.2 2:00p

Earth Day at Sycamore Grove Park 

There is no Planet B... so best we take good care of this one! Come celebrate Earth Day at Sycamore Grove Park while taking action to help protect our planet.  We'll have drop-in crafts and activities for kids and adults, guided hikes in the park, and volunteer projects to directly better our ecosystems. 

Date Day Res/NR
4/22 Sat FREE
Course # Age Time
7138.23 All ages  10:00a

Ranger Programs

LARPD Ranger Staff offer public programs, many of which are free!  Check out LARPD.org or call (925) 960-2400 to learn about upcoming programs.  You can also subscribe to receive “Valley Wilds,” LARPD Open Space’s monthly newsletter, and be the first to know about interpretive programs.

Subscribe to Valley Wilds

JANUARY

CANCELED - The Search for Garfunkel 

Saturday, January 14th 2:00 PM 
Amphitheater, Sycamore Grove Park, Wetmore Road Entrance (1051 Wetmore Road) 
Something has been scurrying around Sycamore Grove Park, causing mild mischief but also leaving little gifts for visitors. It's been hiding in the tall grass and always just out of sight of the Rangers. We are not sure who, or what this thing even is. The only fact we do know is it is small but very quick and goes by the name Garfunkel. Please help Ranger Seth by joining him to try and solve this mystery. The search will be a short hike in the park looking for clues along the way. This is perfect for families and children 4 and older. The search will start at the Amphitheater. Please RSVP by calling (925) 960-2400 or emailing Ranger Seth at seddings@larpd.org.  


Snake Secrets  

Sunday, January 22nd 2:00 PM 
Sycamore Grove Park, Reservable Picnic Area (5035 Arroyo Road) 
Scared of snakes? Curious to learn more? Join LARPD Rangers Vickie and Mae to uncover all the shocking mysteries about snakes and how fascinating they are! We will face our fears by handling live gopher and king snakes, feeling real rattlesnake skin and rattles, learning interesting facts, and hearing wild stories about snake encounters. Please remember to be respectful of wild creatures and we encourage hand washing before and after petting the snakes! Hand Sanitizer will be provided on property. This event will happen rain or shine! Please RSVP by calling (925) 960-2400 or emailing Ranger Mae at Mbailey@LARPD.org  

FEBRUARY

Bears!  
Saturday, February 4th 2:00 PM 
Amphitheater, Sycamore Grove Park, Wetmore Road Entrance (1051 Wetmore Road) 
Join Ranger Seth for a fun family friendly talk about bears from around the world. We will talk about all the different species of bears including the largest extinct bear species. Then we will discuss why we should appreciate these animals and not fear them. Ranger Seth might even include some of his own true bear stories. This Ranger Program will be cancelled for high winds or Rain. 
Register Here

LARPD & Livermore Public Library: Birdwatching for All at Civic Center Library 

Saturday, February 4th 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM 
Civic Center Library, 1188 South Livermore Avenue 

Free all-ages intro to birdwatching program. A Ranger will share tips with the audience then take the group outside to look and listen for signs of local birds. In Community Rooms A and B at Civic Center Library. Space is limited, so registration is required. Participants may register at any library information desk, or by calling (925) 373-5500. For more information, please contact Librarian Caitlyn Lung at cmlung@livermoreca.gov. 


Acorns 

Sunday, February 5th 2:00 PM 
Sycamore Grove Park, Reservable Picnic Area (5035 Arroyo Road) 
From food to dyes, the oaks and their acorns are an important part of our grove. Join Ranger Vickie as we explore the importance of acorns and their many uses. 
Register Here

Holdener Hills!

Sunday, February 19th 11:00 AM 
Holdener Park (2995 Hansen Road) 
Join Ranger Danny for a nice morning walk through the Holdener hills.  We will walk to the peaks of the park, see the surrounding views of Livermore and get to know some new trails! 
Register Here 

Wildflower Walk 

Monday, February 20th 9:00 AM 
Sycamore Grove Park, Reservable Picnic Area (5035 Arroyo Road) 
Join Naturalist Dora on a hike in search of wildflowers in Sycamore Grove Park. We will be walking about 3 miles. Bring water and your walking shoes! There will be hot water for tea at the end so make sure to bring your favorite tea and a mug! Cancelled if raining. 
Register Here


MARCH

LARPD & EBRPD: Wildflowers of the Arroyo

Saturday, March 4th           8:30 AM – 1:00 PM
Sycamore Grove Park, Wetmore Road Entrance (1051 Wetmore Road)
DEL VALLE: Join us East Bay Regional Park District and Livermore Area Recreation and Park District to discover what wildflowers are blooming in the Arroyo Valle habitat. Hike will be 5+ miles through Sycamore Grove Park and Del Valle with an option to stop back by your car in the middle.  Please follow the link to EBRPD for more information and to register! 
Register Online


LARPD & Livermore Public Library: Nature Storytime at Sycamore Grove Park

Sunday, March 5th             2:00 PM – 3:00 PM
Sycamore Grove Park, Wetmore Road Entrance (1051 Wetmore Road)
Join us at the Native Garden at Sycamore Grove Park for a nature-themed storytime.  For more information, please call (925) 373-5500 or contact Librarian Caitlyn Lung at cmlung@livermoreca.gov.

March Campfire

Saturday, March 11th                           6:00pm-7:00pm
Sycamore Grove Park, Reservable Picnic Area (5035 Arroyo Road) 
Come spend the evening with Ranger Gilbert in Sycamore Grove where we will gather around a fire, share some stories and of course feast on delicious s’mores. Don’t forget to bring your favorite blanket and warm clothes, it may get a little chilly once the sun goes down. All ages are welcomed.
Register Online

Ranger Danny Birthday Hike!

Sunday, March 19th            8:00 AM
Sycamore Grove Park, Wetmore Road Entrance (1051 Wetmore Road)
Come celebrate Ranger Danny’s Birthday with a hike along some of his favorite trails looking for wildlife and wildflowers!  We will walk along the single track near the creek and come back through the nature area.  This will be about a 3.5 mile hike so bring water snacks and binoculars! 
Register online

Español in the Stars: Bilingual Astronomy & Mythology

Sunday, March 26th                3:00 PM
Sycamore Grove Park, Reservable Picnic Area (5035 Arroyo Road) 
Join Rangers Mae and Vickie to learn how the Spanish language relates to our solar system as we uncover astronomical codes and reveal mythological legends of the past. The program will be given in English, so prior knowledge of Spanish is not required—we will all learn new words together! We will provide note handouts for you to keep. This event will be under a cover with seating and will happen rain or shine.
Register online

APRIL

Cryptozoology and Other Myths

Saturday, April 1st                2:00 PM
Amphitheater, Sycamore Grove Park, Wetmore Road Entrance (1051 Wetmore Road)
Bigfoot, Loch Ness Monster, Chupacabra and many others. Come Join Ranger Seth and we will discuss where these myths meet the truth within these cryptid animals. You might actually be surprised to learn how some of these origins came to be.  Then at the end Ranger Seth will tell you about his encounter with one of these BIG myths. What better way to celebrate April Fool's Day in Sycamore Grove Park? 
Register online
Cancelled for High Winds or Rain.

Cattail Pond Hike

Sunday, April 2nd                  9:00 AM        
Sycamore Grove Park, Wetmore Road Entrance (1051 Wetmore Road)
Come take a nice morning 3 mile walk up to Cattail Pond with Ranger Danny.  We will learn about the turtles in the area and whatever other wildlife decides to join us for our morning jaunt!  Bring water and snacks if needed.
Register online

Leaf Prints 

Saturday, April 8th 2:00 PM 

Amphitheater, Sycamore Grove Park, Wetmore Road Entrance (1051 Wetmore Road) 

Let's make some art using the plant powerhouse, leaves! Join Range Lauren for a drop by opportunity to make your own Sycamore Grove inspired art to take home with you and learn a bit about the different leaf adaptations around the world.

Register online


Spring Night Hike 

Saturday, April 8th 7:30PM 

Sycamore Grove Park, Wetmore Road Entrance (1051 Wetmore Road) 

Come out and enjoy Sycamore Grove Park after hours with Ranger Gilbert. We will be taking a nice stroll (approx. 1 mile) in hopes of catching a glimpse of some of the park's nocturnal inhabitants. Bring a comfortable pair of shoes and a warm jacket!

Register online


LARPD & Livermore Public Library: Nature Storytime at Sycamore Grove Park

Saturday, April 15th            2:00 PM – 3:00 PM
Sycamore Grove Park, Arroyo Road Entrance (5049 Arroyo Road)
Enjoy a water-themed storytime then walk down to the creek with an LARPD Ranger to learn about water and the wildlife found there.  Please wear sturdy shoes that you don't mind getting wet. For more information, please call (925) 373-5500 or contact Librarian Caitlyn Lung at cmlung@livermoreca.gov.

LARPD & Livermore Public Library: Rock Talk at Springtown Library

Tuesday, April 25th             6:00 PM – 7:00 PM
Sycamore Grove Park, Wetmore Road Entrance (1051 Wetmore Road)
Meet the Ranger at the Springtown library for some fun geology activities before going outside to admire some local geological features: Brushy Peak and Mount Diablo.  For more information, please call (925) 373-5500 or contact Librarian Caitlyn Lung at cmlung@livermoreca.gov.


Private Group Programs

Nature Programs for Groups

Do you have a group and are interested in a special nature program with the Rangers?  From Girl Scout and Boy Scout groups working towards badges to special interest groups wanting a guided hike of the park, LARPD Ranger Staff are excited to create a custom program for your group.  Please contact the Rangers at natureprograms@larpd.org or (925) 960-2400 for information, availability, and pricing.


Brushy Peak Group Adventure

Do you have a group that wants to explore Brushy Peak Regional Preserve?  Groups of up to 15 people can be accommodated for a tour of Brushy Peak (see description above).  Please contact the Rangers at natureprograms@larpd.org or (925) 960-2400 for information and availability.  $450 per group.

Open Space Volunteer Days 

Join Ranger Seth on the third Saturday of the month for a volunteer work day at Sycamore Grove Park!  Volunteers will remove invasive plants, pick up litter, and help with trail maintenance. Volunteers will help maintain Sycamore Grove Park as a beautiful and healthy place for visitors and wildlife. 

 Volunteer Info