Education & Research

Environmental Education

Palos Verdes Peninsula kids in a circle

Southern California is one of the richest and most threatened reservoirs of plant and animal life on earth. Our education programs help children and adults understand the beauty and significance of the Palos Verdes Peninsula's natural areas and empower them to play a role in its preservation.

From elementary school science programs and student research projects to public hikes and family activities, the Conservancy's goal is to create a commitment to science and nature, and inspire excitement about the outdoors.

Partnerships with local schools provide learning opportunities for many students, including exciting projects with area high school science classes and Scout groups that help them achieve their awards while benefiting the local environment.

 School Programs

Our current school-based programming addresses the California state curriculum standards and brings schoolchildren out to the preserves for meaningful first-hand experiences with the natural world.

 Third-Grade Naturalist Program
StudentsTaught by trained docents, this school program has been serving students in the local area since 1995 (for more than 20 years) and consists of five sessions, four in-class visits, and one field trip. The first four sessions are interactive discussions in the classroom on the natural history of the area, complete with touchable objects and dynamic visual aids. Topics covered include geology, birds, invertebrates, Tongva culture, reptiles, mammals, and native and exotic plants. The final session culminates in a field trip to a local open space, where students put their new knowledge to the test on an educational nature walk. Parents can volunteer on field trips as trained trail docents. For more information about this program, please call: (310) 541-7613 or email:

Click here to download a student notebook on the Peninsula's natural history, Nature Handbook for Third Grade Naturalists [PDF: 2.58MB]

 Science Students as Stewards (S3)
This innovative program provides an opportunity for grades K-6 to visit the Conservancy’s nature preserves to participate in interactive science lessons in the field. Through a curriculum designed to address California Content Standards in Science, activities place the tools of science into the hands of the students, asking them to lead their own investigations and experiments, to collect information and explore. While increasing student literacy in the sciences, this program aims to expose students to the natural environment in meaningful and engaging ways that foster a strong sense of stewardship and connection with the natural world.  Originally guided by Land Conservancy Staff, the program is currently expanding to provide a self-guided component to all schools interested in visiting the Conservancy’s Nature Centers and adjacent preserves.

PVPLC Staff Guided Fieldtrip Grades K-6 ($6 per student):   Join our staff for a three hour, grade level specific fieldtrip to George F Canyon or White Point Nature Preserve.

Self- Guided Fieldtrip Grades K-6 (Free): Borrow our education kit to guide your students on a grade level specific field trip to George F Canyon or to White Point Nature Preserve.

Download Education Guides and Student Notebooks

For more information about this program, please call: (310) 541-7613 or email:

 Public Programs

 Monthly Nature Walks
Beginning in 1993, this volunteer-led program has welcomed thousands of visitors to the open spaces of the Palos Verdes Peninsula. Each walk provides participants with opportunities to learn about local geography, geology, flora and fauna, and natural history of the area to create a unique outdoor experience. Held on the second Saturday of each month, with most beginning at 9am. Some walks will start later in the afternoon to take advantage of possible low tides or spectacular sunset views.

pdf2017 Nature Walk Schedule [PDF: 520KB]

 George F Canyon Nature Center Hikes
The George F Canyon Nature Center in Rolling Hills Estates is the base for a number of regularly scheduled hikes and activities each month on the Preserve including canyon hikes, guided bird walks, full moon hikes and special birthday parties. (View our Activities Calendar)

Woods Elemntary Students at George F CanyonThe Nature Center overlooks a restored native plant demonstration garden that boasts a rainbow of wildflowers in the spring. Inside, visitors can view exhibits, books, and other information on the plants, animals, insects, geology and natural history of the canyon. The Center also houses a small living animal collection that allows people to have a close view of some the wildlife that live in or near the canyon.

The George F Canyon Nature Center is open to the public Friday from 1pm to 4pm and Saturday and Sunday, 10am to 4pm. It is located at 27305 Palos Verdes Drive East, Rolling Hills Estates CA 90274 at the southwest corner of Palos Verdes Drive East and Palos Verdes Drive North.

Read more about the George F Canyon Nature Center. For information on all activities and programs, please call (310)547-0862 or email:

 White Point Nature Education Center
The White Point Nature Education Center is a new educational facility located on a beautifully restored 102-acre preserve in San Pedro. It is housed in a sustainably renovated structure surrounded by a California native plant demonstration garden built as an educational and interpretive model of our local plant communities.

White Point Education Center mural restorationInside the Center, multi-media exhibits move visitors through a timeline of sequentially arranged exhibits and displays that tell the story of White Point’s cultural and natural history, spanning the Pleistocene age through the present. Noted muralists Robert Reid and Nelly Schouest from the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County in consultation with paleontologists, paleobotanists and entomologists created a mural depicting the area during the last ice age.

Activities include free guided nature hikes by LA City Rangers every fourth Saturday at 10am except holidays. The Conservancy also uses the facility for scheduled class visits during the week. Community groups interested in the use of the facility may make a reservation through the City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks by contacting: (310) 548-7675.

Kids at White PointThe Nature Education Center is open to the public from 10am to 4pm on Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday. For more information, contact White Point Nature Preserve at (310) 561-0917 or email:

White Point Nature Preserve is located at 1600 W. Paseo del Mar, San Pedro, CA 90731. Parking is available in the lot along Paseo del Mar from sunrise to sunset during Preserve hours.

Read more about the White Point Nature Education Center.

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