Environmental Education Helps Kids Fall in Love with Peninsula Nature

Date: November 20, 2018

Peninsula kids grow up in a very special place. The Conservancy’s environmental education programs are designed to help kids begin to appreciate the immeasurable value of the place where they live; with its vistas and winding trails, birds and wildlife, native plants, varied ecosystems, history and unique challenges.

For more than two decades, 24 peninsula schools have participated in the Third Grade Naturalist program, taking part in natural science lessons taught by a team of enthusiastic volunteer Education Docents. Children’s curiosity is ignited during four classroom sessions that immerse them in hands-on exploration of the natural world, using real world objects like fossils, plant samples, pelts and other artifacts. Students’ newfound naturalist skills are then put to the test during a final field study at either one of the nature centers, or in an open space adjacent to their school. This year, 12 additional schools will be invited to participate in a new, single visit fieldtrip that will be offered at George F Canyon Nature Center. It will include trail explorations, stewardship activities and art experiences that illuminate the importance of preserving and restoring land in urban areas for the benefit of ecosystems, wildlife, native plants and the human population.

In total, the various environmental programs seek to educate, inspire and influence as many as 3,000 children in the new school year in the hope that they will all fall in love with our beautiful peninsula.