Service Area: San Francisco, Marin, Sonoma (southern area), Alameda and Contra Costa (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
Cost: Free
Time: 1.5-hour classroom visit and 3-hour hike at preserve
When: Fall and spring seasons
  Upcoming fall 2019 season: Tuesdays through Fridays from September 24, 2019 through November 8, 2019
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, trained volunteer docents guide students are given an education-based, nature experience guided by our 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

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 period for our fall 2019 program season will begin on March 1st and end on May 3rd.

Due to the popularity of the program, we use a drawing system to select participants. Two weeks after the application period closes, teachers will be notified whether or not we can accommodate their class(es).

Fall 2019 program – Applications due in May 3, 2019

Questions? Contact the Martin Griffin Preserve Education Team.

To share this program with other teachers, please free to distribute our fall 2019 teacher letter: