Field Trip Programs

FIELD TRIP PROGRAM OPTIONS

All our in-class programs are curriculum-based, fun, and interactive. We use taxidermy mounts,  bones, skulls, pelts, and puppets to enrich our presentations. We involve the students in critical  thinking and problem solving by asking questions, playing games, and listening to theme related music. Ultimately, we strive to mentor the students so that they gain a lifelong  appreciation of nature and the environment.

NATURE’S STORIES

Sharing books about nature, especially those using animals in their natural environment, is an effective way of teaching kids about conservation and connecting them to the living world. Reading inspires them to explore outdoors and helps them appreciate the challenges and strategies animals use to survive. With a large assortment of nature-related children’s books we focus on either tidepool tales, nocturnal animal stories, or amazing animal adaptations.
BEST FOR GRADE K

BIRDS

More than 10,000 species of birds live in all different habitats around the world. Here at Crystal Cove State Park we find birds who live in the backcountry wilderness, along the bluff trail, and on the coastal terraces. We see our feathered friends flying, roosting, feeding, and mating. In this program we’ll learn about bird basics, how they use their body parts, and some fascinating fun facts about their behaviors using bird specimens, props, calls, and songs.
BEST FOR GRADES 1st AND UP

LIFE IN THE TIDEPOOLS

Tidepools are a fragile ecosystem brimming with life. In this interactive program, students learn about some amazing adaptations, defense mechanisms, and feeding strategies of the tidepool organisms. The in-class presentation is followed by gentle exploration of the tidepools which allows children to appreciate these magnificent invertebrates that rely on the rise and fall of the tides to provide food, shelter, and space.
BEST FOR GRADES 1st AND UP

CRITTERS OF CRYSTAL COVE

Animal mounts, bones, pelts, and puppets are used to discuss food chains, biodiversity, defense mechanisms, and conservation of some of the Park’s animals including mammals, birds, fish, and reptiles.
BEST FOR GRADES 1st AND UP

UNHUGGABLES

Who wouldn’t love a skunk? Why are we afraid of sharks? Is a snake really that bad? This program focuses on the scaly, slimy, stingy, stinky, and even scary creatures that people love to hate. Using stories, props, and movement students will learn that all living beings have an ecological role and, in some cases, use interesting defense mechanisms to protect themselves.
BEST FOR GRADES 1st-3rd

BONES

Human skeletons share many similarities and differences with animal skeletons. This engaging program explores the different families of vertebrates sharing fun facts about mammals, fish, reptiles, amphibians, and birds, and using bones, both real and clones, skulls, and even Bucky, our life-sized human skeleton.
BEST FOR GRADES 2nd AND UP

NOCTURNAL ANIMALS

Animals that are active at night have different adaptations than those who are awake during the day. Some would not survive very long in the bright light of day. For others, their bodies might overheat in the blazing sun, and still others might struggle to compete with their diurnal counterparts for food. Using taxidermy, props, and skulls we discuss survival strategies, behavioral advantages, and physical characteristics that allow creatures of the night to thrive.
BEST FOR GRADES 2nd AND UP

ANIMAL ADAPTATIONS

All animals develop both biological and behavioral characteristics that allow them to survive in their environment. This program focuses on mammals, both marine and terrestrial by sharing fascinating facts about seals and sea lions, opossums, and mountain lions. The highlight is dressing a brave student like a sea lion to emphasize their unique adaptations and watching the students laugh uproariously.
BEST FOR GRADES 2nd-3rd

THE MYSTERIES OF MIGRATION

Gray Whales swim nearly 6,000 miles to mate and have their babies. Then, they swim nearly 6,000 miles back to their feeding grounds. In fact, these enormous cetaceans makes one of the longest migrations of any mammal on Earth. This interactive program details both the biological and the behavioral characteristics of the beloved California State Marine Mammal.
BEST FOR GRADES 2nd-3rd

ENDANGERED SPECIES

In this program we discuss the major threats facing our native flora and fauna due to human activities such as habitat destruction, overharvesting, and pollution. We run the gamut from extinction (Saber-toothed cat) to locally extinct (Grizzly Bear) to how through proper management practices some animals have bounced back from near extinction including the California Brown Pelican and the Pacific Gray Whale.
BEST FOR GRADES 3rd-5th

ANIMAL EVIDENCE

Many species of animals live in the park from mammals and birds to reptiles and amphibians. It’s always exciting to see animals in their natural environment, but since we are less likely to see an animal on the trails, instead we look for evidence. In this program we discuss some common signs including tracks and scat and some of the harder to observe clues like broken branches and mounds of dirt. The presentation can be followed by a walk in the canyon for 30 hikers maximum.
BEST FOR GRADES 3rd AND UP

MARINE DEBRIS

Nobody wants to swim with trash or see it littering the beach, but marine debris is a global pollution problem that impacts human health and safety and endangers wildlife and aquatic habitats. This program focuses on the impacts marine debris has on other living things and teaches how our actions affect the ocean quality and the marine animals. Using a coastal marine model, kids are engaged in “polluting” the environment but then brainstorm ways to change their own behavior to help save our seas and the animals that call it home. Classroom presentation can be followed by a beach cleanup.
BEST FOR GRADES 3rd AND UP

ECOLOGY OF CRYSTAL COVE HIKE

Hike the moderate backcountry 3-mile loop trail and learn about native plants and animals, some indigenous uses of the plants, and the problem with invasive species while enjoying beautiful panoramas and canyon views.
BEST FOR GRADES 4th AND UP. 30 HIKERS MAXIMUM

BLUFF & BEACH WALK

Walk along the coastal bluffs, the wooden boardwalk, down to the beach and along the tidepools, while learning about plants, birds, marine mammals, intertidal organisms, and whatever else we might see along the trail.
BEST FOR GRADES 4th AND UP. 30 PEOPLE MAXIMUM