Field Trips

Regional Parks provides environmental education to more elementary students than any other program in Sonoma County. Schools can visit the Environmental Discovery Center at Spring Lake or Tolay Lake Regional Park or schedule guided field trips in other parks. Programs reinforce Common Core and Next Generation Science Standards with hands-on activities. 

For field trip details, view our 2019-2020 brochure(PDF: 529 kB). Also, see our Frequently Asked Questions below

"Habitat & Home" and "Down the Drain"

The Environmental Discovery Center hosts the "Habitat & Home" field trip from September through January. The program introduces preschool to third-grade students to ecosystem diversity and healthy habitats. The Environmental Discovery Center hosts the "Down the Drain" field trip for preschool to fifth-grade students from February through June. The program demonstrates a raindrop's journey and teaches about the water cycle.

"Discovering Science in the Parks"

Naturalists lead two earth science field trips for grades 1-6 in various parks. "Rockin' and Recycling" focuses on the properties and formation of common rocks and minerals and the importance of recycling such products. "Weather or Not" focuses on the science of weather patterns and helps children understand the county's microclimates. 

"Science, Science Everywhere"

A Regional Parks naturalist will come to your school for a before and after visit in conjunction with a park field trip. The classroom visit builds upon the outdoor experience and reinforces Next Generation Science Standards. Limited availability.

"Healthy Earth, Healthy Bodies"

The "Healthy Earth, Healthy Bodies" field trip includes visits to the farm and garden at Tolay Lake Regional Park southeast of Petaluma. The program combines science education with the need to protect natural resources and grow healthy bodies. Preschool to third grade students learn the benefits of healthy eating, take a hike, work in the garden, tour the farm, and participate in hands-on science lessons based on grade level.

"Acorns to Oaks"

Acorns to Oaks focuses on California history. Students in grades 4-6 go on a half-day hike at Tolay Lake Regional Park and learn the importance of natural resources to Native Americans through games, storytelling, and crafts. Acorns to Oaks is a California Parks and Recreation Society's Award of Excellence Winner.

"Climate Change Agents"

Through experiments, games, and plays, students in grades 5-8 learn the science behind earth's changing climate at Taylor Mountain Regional Park. Students will understand how human activities impact the climate system and how they can act to reduce climate change. Students will explore how they can be change agents for our climate future.

Tolay Fall Festival

Schools are invited to visit the Tolay Fall Festival on field trips during the festival's two-week run in mid-October. Students make traditional crafts, play old-fashioned games, learn about wildlife through live displays in a historic barn, and take hayrides to a pumpkin patch. This special field trip introduces students to the role of agriculture and farming in healthy communities.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I register?

Submit the online form. You will be offered a date by email within 2 weeks of your application. Please add Kristina.stanton@sonoma-county.org and Christina.mcguirk@sonoma-county.org to your safe senders list and check your spam folder.

How much does it cost?

Sonoma County Students: $5 each for programs, $8 for the Tolay Fall Festival.
Out of County Students: $7 each for programs, $10 each for the Tolay Fall Festival.
There is no fee for parents or chaperones. School groups and chaperones do not pay parking fees during field trips.

Are scholarships available?

Scholarships are available on a first come, first served basis for Title I schools in Sonoma County for all programs, except the Tolay Fall Festival, as funding allows. One program scholarship per group. Please list your request on your application form. When approved, the Parks Foundation pays the $5 per student fee.

What if rain is predicted?

Staff will contact you on the day before your trip if heavy rain is predicted. Staff will make every reasonable effort to reschedule cancelled programs due to weather.

What if I need to cancel?

Teacher cancellations need to be made by email at least 1 month in advance, or you will still be responsible to pay the invoice. Our programs fill quickly, and this provides enough time for another group to obtain approval to come. Groups that receive scholarships who cancel with short notice may be ineligible for future scholarships.

Plan a School Field Trip

School Field Trips Brochure cover