Sonoma County Regional Parks Field Trips

Our parks are your classroom! Get your students outdoors learning about the natural world around them. A wide range of field trips are available at various locations throughout the county. These hands-on, inquiry-based programs reinforce critical Common Core and Next Generation Science Standards. Reserve a class trip today!

Field trip descriptions

Habitat and Home
Spring Lake Regional Park
September – January
Pre-K – 3rd grades

Learn about ecosystem diversity and the importance habitat plays in a healthy community. Students will participate in science exploration and journaling activities as well as enjoy a hike through the beautiful Spring Lake ecosystem. Activities and lessons explore the topics of habitats, life cycles and adaptations. Depending on the grade level, students will learn how adaptations help in plant and animal survival or discover how seeds travel.

Healthy Earth, Healthy Bodies
Andy’s Unity Park
March – May
Pre-K – 3rd grades

Growing healthy bodies and minds is linked to the health of our parks. Students learn the benefits of eating healthy foods and moving our bodies. They’ll work in the community garden, play lawn games, explore connections to the earth and see how the outdoors can be a place to both have fun and be healthy.

Only Rain Down the Drain
Spring Lake Regional Park
February – May
K – 5th grades

This field trip is an introduction to watersheds. Engaging activities delve into the concepts of the water cycle, seasons, weathering, erosion and deposition, the Sonoma County watershed, non-point source pollution and the effects of water pollution. Students will have the opportunity to take a trip down the drain and discover how water flows through the storm drains and out to our local waterways and learn ways to keep this water clean.

What’s the Buzz
Sonoma Valley Regional Park
February – May
1st – 3rd grades

Spring is here and the forest is alive! Observe seasonal changes while discovering the wildflowers and pollinators that live in an oak woodland ecosystem. Students will explore the relationship between plants and insects as well as the vital role pollinators play in food production.

Weather or Not
Crane Creek Regional Park
February– May
1st – 6th grades

Students discover the science behind weather and weather patterns. Learn about some of Sonoma County’s many microclimates, and forecast local weather based on observation and data collection. Lessons for younger students focus on the water cycle, how weather affects the environment and how scientists collect data to predict the weather. When appropriate, students will have the opportunity to learn how to identify clouds and what clouds can teach us about upcoming weather events.

Rockin’ and Recycling
Riverfront Regional Park
September - May
2nd – 4th grades

Visit beautiful Riverfront Regional Park with your students to learn about the properties of common rocks and minerals and the processes that formed them. Students will also learn the importance of recycling products manufactured from minerals and rocks, like glass and aluminum, as a simple way to conserve natural resources. Since this park was a gravel mining area, there is a great diversity of rocks to discover as we follow their journey through the rock cycle. Rock on!

Life in a Pond
Foothill Regional Park
September – January
2nd – 5th grades

Dive beneath the water – while staying dry – to discover life within the pond. Explore the connection between water quality, aquatic habitats and pond residents to learn more about some of our favorite freshwater places. What is living in the pond? Students will take a closer look at the beginning of the food chain (macroinvertebrates), to discover what “mini monsters” might call the pond their home.

Acorns to Oaks
Tolay Lake Regional Park
October – January
3rd – 5th grades

Looking for a field trip focused on California history? The award-winning field trip Acorns to Oaks engages students with the rich heritage and culture of native communities in Sonoma County. Early California tribes had an incredibly detailed knowledge of natural resources and passed this knowledge down through generations. Students will take an extended hike exploring the use of native plants, and will participate in storytelling and crafts specific to the living local tribal people.

Tidepool Adventure
Pinnacle Gulch Regional Park
February – May, select dates on low tides only
4th – 8th grades

Experience the magic of the tidal ecosystem. Through hands-on exploration, students will learn about how species are interconnected and how tide pool inhabitants adapt to changing tides and extreme conditions. Students will practice making observations, recording data and finding and evaluating evidence.

Climate Change Agents
Taylor Mountain Regional Park
September – May
5th – 8th grades

Explore the topic of climate change and resilience through the backdrop of the views and oak woodlands of Taylor Mountain Regional Park. Through exploration, games and journaling, students will learn the science behind Earth’s changing climate. Students will understand that human activities make an impact on the climate system and how to take action to reduce climate change locally and globally. They will discover how to be the agents of positive change in our community.

Regeneration through Fire
Foothill Regional Park
February – May
5th – 8th grades

Head to Foothill Regional Park to discover how the land is regrowing after the Kincaid Fire swept through in October 2019. Learn about the science of fire, what fans the flames and how ecosystems are adapted to fire. Students will see how the land can recover from fire and learn which plants actually need fire to survive. Through observation and journaling activities, students will see how wildflowers and new trees can sprout from the ashes.

Bird Brains
Helen Putnum Regional Park
October – February
4th – 6th grades

Have you ever wondered what a bird might be thinking? Students will pick up a pair of binoculars to observe bird behaviors in the field. Learn about how different bird behaviors help them to survive through journaling, games and hands-on exploration.

Online pre-visit
September – May

Extend the learning! Get your students ready for the field trip with a virtual visit from Regional Parks staff before the big day. We’ll introduce concepts, review safety considerations and give your students “homework” that will get them excited and extend the learning. Pre-visits are generally held in the afternoons.

Registration

To register your class for a field trip, please fill out this field trip request form. A Regional Parks educator will follow up with program scheduling details, payment options and additional details.

Cost

Field trip cost is $5 per student from Sonoma County schools and $7 for students from out-of-county schools. Pre-visits are $25 per class and on a first-come, first-served basis.

Scholarships

Scholarships are available on a first-come, first-served basis for Sonoma County schools that have a 50 percent or more free and reduced lunch participation. Classes receiving scholarships are responsible for a $25 registration fee per class. If approved, scholarships are paid by the Sonoma County Regional Parks Foundation.

Cancellations

Cancellations must be made one month prior to field trips. Classes that cancel less than a month prior to a field trip are still responsible for payment of invoices. Extreme rain events or poor air quality cancels.