PLEASE NOTE: Through fall 2021, all trips to Bouverie Preserve in Glen Ellen and Martin Griffin Preserve in Stinson Beach are virtual-only. Beginning in spring 2022, we will offer both on-preserve and virtual visits in order to accommodate classroom preferences.FREE TEACHING RESOURCES AVAILABLE:We encourage teachers and families to explore our many nature-related teaching resources.


ACR School Programs — bolstering science and natural-history education for Bay Area students

Through our School Program, students are given an education-based, nature experience guided by trained docents who facilitate inquiry and investigation. The docents model curiosity, which leads the students to mine their intelligence, senses, and experience as they ask questions and propose answers based on their observations. As the students hike through a variety of habitats, docents facilitate inquiry-based learning associated with animals and animal signs, plants and botany, ecology and adaptations, food webs, watersheds and water cycles, weather and climate, and much more. Appropriate field procedures are introduced to students that encourage curiosity, inquiry, and appreciation of natural systems and habitats.

This field trip made our Environments Curriculum real to the students. It gave them a close look at one of our local biomes (actually several of them, and that was an important lesson). It gave a wonderful outdoor trip to kids, many of whom have never experienced one before. Fourth grade teacher, Novato

Since the beginning of education programming fifty years ago, ACR has provided this free program to more than 250,000 Bay Area children. ACR subsidizes bus transportation costs for classes in under-resourced schools, which eliminates the primary barrier to school participation and ensures that all students can take part. Our School Program consists of the following:

Nature Education Field Trips

Preserve: Martin Griffin Preserve, Stinson Beach Bouverie Preserve, Glen Ellen
Service Area: San Francisco, Marin, Sonoma (southern area), Alameda and Contra Costa (north - western area) counties Sonoma and Napa Counties
Grades:  Fall Season: 5th grade and 4/5th grade combination classes Fall Season: 3rd and 4th
  Spring Season: 4th grade and 4/5th grade combination classes, with a small amount of space for 3rd grade classes Spring Season: 3rd and 4th
Cost: Free Free
Time: virtual classroom visit and 3-hour hike at preserve virtual classroom visit and 3-hour hike at preserve
When: Fall and spring seasons Fall and spring seasons
Student to Docent Ratio: 6 students:1 docent 6 students:1 docent
Bus scholarships are available to alleviate the cost of transportation to the preserve. Bus scholarships are available to alleviate the cost of transportation to the preserve. Preference is given to schools in the Sonoma Valley Unified School District
To Apply, Email: [email protected] [email protected]

Overnight Field Trip Program

Established in 2000, our Overnight Program provides students from under-resourced schools with a deeper exploration of nature in a one- or two-night overnight experience at ACR's Martin Griffin Preserve. Along with a nature hike similar to the Nature Education Field Trips, students engage in bird watching, nature journaling, night hikes, science inquiry investigations, and activities that encourage team building and teach ecological concepts.

Since the overnight program has limited space, classroom teachers are invited to participate after experiencing the day program. If you are interested in the overnight program, notify your docent during your day program or email the MGP Education team.


"Quercus Quire" school performance

This choir of nature lovers brings the concepts of nature education to life through song and skit! Performances are free of charge. Check out the Quercus Quire's top hits and learn more about booking a performance >

Photo Credits: 

  • Jocelyn Knight