School Nature Programs

Healthy Parks Healthy People

School Nature Programs

The Livermore Area Recreation and Park District provides exciting opportunities for hands-on, multidisciplinary learning both in the classroom and in the field. Programs are conducted by LARPD Park Rangers, trained in effective and engaging interpretation for all grade levels, and designed to assist teachers in meeting the California State Board of Education’s Common Core History and Social Science (CC - HSS) and Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). For more information or to schedule programs, call the LARPD Ranger Office at (925) 960-2400. Include the program(s) you are interested in, your school, grade level, number of students, and a few potential dates and times.

Programs Overview

Fun & Learning in the Field

Fees for field programs are based on class sizes of 20 - 34 students. Reduced rates may be available for smaller groups. (Offered March - November)

Program Grades Class Rate in LARPD Service Area Outside LARPD Area Rate
Walk in the Wild k - 5th 1.5 hours $205  $225
Life in the Pond k - 5th 1.5 hours $215 $235
California Indians 3rd - 5th 2 hours $265 $290
Ravenswood Day (class min / max applies) 3rd - 4th 4 hours $385 $385

Fun & Learning in the Classroom

Discounts on classroom programs available when multiple teachers at the same school book programs for the same day!

Program Grades Class Rate in LARPD Service Area Outside LARPD Area Rate
Mammalian Madness k - 5th 1 hour $95 $105
California Animals Pre-k, tk, k 1 hour $95 $105
Creepy Crawlers k - 5th 1 hour $95 $105
In the Dark 3rd - 5th 1 hour $95 $105
California Indians 3rd - 4th 1 hour $95 $105

Water Education

Classes offered free of charge (thanks to a grant from the Alameda Countywide Clean Water Program) for 4th and 5th grade classes within the Tri-Valley.

Program Grades Classes Fee
Water Flows: What's a Watershed? 4th - 5th 2, 1 hour in class programs and 1, 1.5 hour field trip Free
Stream Life I: What can You Learn From a Water Bug? 4th - 5th 2, 1 hour in class programs and 1, 1.5 hour field trip Free
Stream Life II:  Scientist's Look at a Stream 4th - 5th 2, 1 hour in class programs and 1, 1.5 hour field trip Free


Fun and Learning in the Field

There is no better way for students to learn about nature and wildlife than to explore the great outdoors with a ranger!

A Walk in the Wild

A Walk in the Wild

You don’t have to go far to have an adventure in the outdoors! Bring your class to Sycamore Grove Park for a short walk and lots of exploration and fun. Through exploration, demonstration and fun, students will learn about local wildlife and use all their senses to experience Sycamore Grove Park. This field trip may well be the one your students remember years from now.

NGSS/CC: Standards met vary based on teacher request.

Life in the Pond

Life in the Pond

Who lives in the pond? Your students will find out on this field trip! They will learn about the great variety of aquatic creatures to be found as members of the class are transformed to illustrate the amazing adaptations used to survive. Students will then be armed with nets to capture and examine some of the critters they learned about.

NGSS Standards Met: K-LS1-1; K- ESS3.A; 1-LS1.A; 1-LS1.D; 2-LS4-1; 3-LS1-1; 3- LS4.C

California Indians

California Indians

The world of the pre-contact California Indians becomes real as students explore the park imagining how they would live without supermarkets, hardware stores, and video games. Learn about the plants and animals that provided native peoples with food, shelter and entertainment and gain insight into their traditional society and culture. Students will examine artifacts and replicas, try their hand at traditional skills and Indian games.

Common Core History and Social Science Standards met: 3.2 HSS; 4.2 HSS

Victorian Life in Livermore at Ravenswood Historic Site

Victorian Life in Livermore at Ravenswood Historic Site

This day of fun and learning is designed to complement your 3rd grade local history curriculum. At Ravenswood Historic Estate students will step back in time as they do household chores, play old-time games, make cider and dress-up in Victorian clothing. Students will leave Ravenswood with a greater understanding and appreciation for life in the valley during the late 1800s. Due to staffing requirements, minimum and maximum numbers of students / classes may apply. Due to high demand, payment is required before a date will be held for your school. Non-refundable except in cases of inclement weather or if we are able to re-book the date.

Common Core History and Social Science Standards met: 3.3 HSS; 4.7 HSS

Custom Programs Available!

Custom Programs Available!

Rangers can customize a field trip or in-class program to complement almost anything your class is studying! Plants, mammals, birds, bugs, evolution and adaptations, astronomy, geology, local history, changing of the seasons... what ever interests your class. Costs depend on length of program, materials and amount of preparation needed. Call or email for an estimate at least a month before you would like to have the program. Let us know the grade level, number of students and what you have in mind.
NGSS/CC: Standards met vary based on teacher request.


Fun and Learning in the Classroom

Have a ranger bring the wild into your classroom! Here is an opportunity for you to meet California State Board of Education Content Standards for Science and other subjects while providing an exciting learning experience for your students. Easier to coordinate than a field trip, these programs are perfect for busy teachers. Each program is an hour long. The fee is $95 ($105 out of district) for each program. 

Mammalian Madness!

Mammalian Madness!

What makes a mammal a mammal? Students will learn the characteristics of mammals as they feel furs, examine skulls, and discuss interesting animals. Children will learn about adaptations and strategies mammals have developed to help them survive in a “mammal eat mammal world.”

NGSS Standards Met: K-LS1-1; K-ESS3-1; K-2-ETS1-2 CC; 1- LS1.A

California Animals

California Animals

Ideal for pre-k, TK and Kindergartners, this active program introduces young students to local wildlife. Students rotate through with three stations as they examine furs and photos, play with animal puppets and meet a few live creatures that may include snakes, spiders and bugs. This program allows younger students to be up and moving around for most of the program as they actively learn. Rangers appreciate having the teacher and a school volunteer help engage students with furs, photos and puppets at two of the stations while the ranger introduces students to live creatures in small groups.
 
NGSS Standards Met: K-LS1-1; K-ESS3-1; K-2-ETS1-2 CC; 1- LS1.A

Creepy Crawlers!

Creepy Crawlers!

What does a snake feel like? What does a spider look like up close? People often fear what they don’t understand. By meeting and learning about some of our more common “creepy” critters your class will gain a better understanding of why these animals look and behave the way they do. Students will learn why these creatures are important so they can appreciate them safely, while giving them the respect they deserve.

NGSS Standards Met: K-LS1-1; K-ESS3-1; LS1.A

In The Dark

In The Dark

Who begins their day when the sun goes down? As your students become bats, owls and other creatures of the night, they will learn about the adaptations that allow these animals to thrive in the dark. They will get up close and personal with wings, talons and taxidermied animals. Your class will learn about the huge diversity of bats and the important roles they play in our lives. You and your students will have a hoot!

NGSS Standards Met: K-LS1-1; K-ESS3-1; LS1.A

California Indians

California Indians

If your group can’t make it to the park they can still have the hands- on experience of examining artifacts and replicas with a ranger in your classroom. Your class will step back in time to learn about the traditional day-to-day life of the people that have populated the bay area for thousands of years. Demonstrations, role-play, and other activities will make your California Indians unit more meaningful and memorable.

Common Core History and Social Science Standards met: 3.2 HSS; 4.2 HSS


Fun and Learning in the Water

A water education series for 4th and 5th grades. Thanks to a grant from the Alameda Countywide Clean Water Program, the Livermore Area Recreation and Park District is able to provide this series free of charge to 4th and 5th grade classes in the tri-valley. The series is presented by LARPD rangers and consists of two in class programs (one hour each) and a field trip (1 ½ hours long) to a local creek where students will put into action what they have learned.

Download the Fun and Learning in the Water Teacher's Guide

Water Flows: What's a Watershed?

Water Flows: What's a Watershed?

The concept of a watershed becomes clear as students actively explore how water moves through mountains, valleys and towns, and affects the health of the people and animals that live there. After this program, students will understand how litter contributes to storm water pollution and can affect our creeks and bay. They will be able to identify potential sources of pollution in their neighborhoods and at school, and find ways to help prevent our watershed from being negatively impacted.

Standards met: 4-ESS2.CC; 5-ESS3.C

Stream Life I: What Can You Learn From a Water Bug?

Stream Life I: What Can You Learn From a Water Bug?

The second program in this series will build on what students have learned so far to prepare them for their field trip to a stream. They will learn about aquatic insects and other water-loving creatures and how they can be indicators of stream health. Students will discuss the aquatic food web, and see how easy it is to disrupt. They will test the pH of several liquids and brainstorm other ways to evaluate stream health. After this program, students will be ready to visit the stream as scientists.

Standards met:4-LS1.A; 5-LS2.A

Stream Life II: A Scientist's Look at a Stream

Stream Life II: A Scientist's Look at a Stream

Now that students have an understanding of ways to examine stream health, it’s time to put what they have learned into action. Students will visit a local creek, perform aquatic insect sampling, record data, measure pH, take measurements and examine the stream for signs of pollution and human influence. They will analyze their data and discuss their findings in the context of what their research indicates about the health of the local watershed.
4-ESS2-1.SEP / 4-PS3-2.SEP; 4-ESS2-2; 5-PS1.CC; 5-PS1.SEP

For more information or to schedule programs, call the LARPD Ranger Office at (925) 960-2400. Include the program(s) you are interested in, your school, grade level, number of students, and a few potential dates and times.