Service Area: San Francisco, Marin, Sonoma (southern area), Alameda and Contra Costa (north - western area) counties
Grades:  Fall Season: 5th grade and 4/5th grade combination classes
  Spring Season: 4th grade and 4/5th grade combination classes, with a small amount of space for 3rd grade classes
  Special Day Classes: 3rd-8th grades
Cost: Free
Time: 1.5-hour classroom visit and 3-hour hike at preserve
When: Fall and spring seasons
Student to Docent Ratio: 6 students:1 docent 
Bus scholarships are available to alleviate the cost of transportation to the preserve. 

About our Program:

At the preserve's magnificent 1,000-acre classroom overlooking the Bolinas Lagoon and Pacific Ocean, students are given an education-based, nature experience guided by our trained volunteer-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. Through our field trips, we hope to instill a sense of wonder and a desire to continue exploring.

In the spring students may see Great Egrets, newts, dragonflies, pond creatures and banana slugs. In the fall students may see spiders making webs and nests or sunning lizards. Any time of year, the coastal views are awe-inspiring.

It was truly amazing how detail oriented the students were in describing their observations of everything and retelling the stories they'd been told. They loved catching the newts.  - Fourth grade teacher, San Francisco

Special Day Classes

We are pleased to announce our 6th year of field trips for special day classes at the Martin Griffin Preserve. Our special day program materials are tailored from ACR’s full-length classroom program and are appropriate for children in special day classes with mild to moderate disabilities.While our school program focuses on third, fourth and fifth grade students, the special education program for special day classes welcomes students from third - eighth grades. Please contact if you have questions regarding your grade level.

About our Educators:

Docents of the Martin Griffin Preserve are devoted, enthusiastic nature-lovers who wish to help connect school children with the magic and mystery of the natural world. Docents bring nature into classrooms and guide children in exploring the wonders of our preserves.

ACR’s rigorous training program gives docent volunteers a firm grounding in local natural history and the ability to recognize and capitalize on teachable moments. Docents receive 24 weeks of core training in natural history, ecology and nature interpretation for children. Classes are taught by experts and run by experienced docents.


The application for the fall 2020 season is now closed. All applicants will be notified of their accpetance or waitlist by May 12th.

Please note: Fall programs may be altered or otherwise impacted by the situation related to COVID-19. All teachers will be kept informed of any changes to the program.

If you wish to be added to our teacher contact list, please email with your name, school and grade level.

Questions? Contact the Martin Griffin Preserve Education Team.