Educational Activities

School-based Programs

Education Programs

Southern California is one of the richest and most threatened reservoirs of plant and animal life on Earth. The Conservancy’s education programs help children 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 to student research projects, the Conservancy’s goal is to create a commitment to science and nature and to inspire excitement about the outdoors.

Connect With Nature From Your Home!

Welcome students, teachers and parents! All of us at the Conservancy are working hard to develop materials to help you continue to connect with nature during these challenging times. Most of our content is designed for the 3rd grade level for our 3rd Grade Student Naturalist Program but can be adapted to a wide range of ages. Check back often as we will be adding more opportunities soon!

Education Video Lessons

South Bay Schools

LA County students, Teachers and parents yearly

visitors to the white point and george F canyon nature centers

participants for guided walks, workshops, family nature club and much more

Discover the Peninsula

The Palos Verdes Peninsula Nature Handbook for Third Grade Naturalists is a guide to help students learn about the wildlife, habitats, geography and history of this unique Peninsula. We are providing it here for FREE as a resource for you to use complete with illustrations and activities.

Ask a Naturalist

Send questions about what you have observed during your wildlife survey to “Ask a Naturalist” and Education Program Manager Holly Gray will provide an answer! If you are a teacher you are also welcome to set up a video conference or other group discussion with our staff to support this activity. Contact: Holly Gray

Meet Your Wild Neighbors

Conduct this 15-minute Wildlife Survey from your home to discover who your wild outdoor neighbors are!

Backyard Wildlife Tracking

Conduct this easy Habitat Survey from your home to learn more about the ways that your home provides habitat for wildlife!

Fun Home Projects

Learn simple projects you can do to make the habitat around your home more wildlife friendly.

Third Grade Naturalist Program

The program serves 24 schools annually, with approximately 2,000 youngsters coming from elementary schools in Palos Verdes, San Pedro, Lomita, Carson, Wilmington, Torrance, Redondo Beach and Los Angeles. About half of the students come from low income areas and Title One schools.

The Program is fully aligned to 3rd Grade “Next Generation Science Standards,” and takes place both in the classroom and brings schoolchildren out to the preserves for meaningful first-hand learning experiences with the natural world.

The program begins with a series of four carefully designed classroom lesson plans that inspire lively, interactive, and artifact-rich experiences. Children are immersed in the processes of scientific inquiry as they examine fossil specimens, native plants species, native animal pelts, mineral samples, and native Tongva tools. Emphasis is placed upon the geology, early inhabitants, history, native plants, insects, birds, reptiles and mammals of the Palos Verdes Peninsula. The critical role that humans play in the protection and preservation of these lands and the greater planet, is embedded throughout.

The final session is a field trip to a nearby natural area.  As children explore, education program staff, trained education docents and parent volunteers present activities at learning stations that help students enjoy learning experiences applied in the real world setting along with a stewardship activity for hands-on experience restoring native plants and supporting the survival of local wildlife.

Wilderness Discovery Fieldtrip

A new, single visit, 2.5 hour student fieldtrip is an excursion into the beautiful George F Canyon Nature Center and Preserve. This fieldtrip is designed for 3rd grade students and is aligned to the “Next Generation” Science Standards.  The experience includes a 45-minute naturalist guided hike through the scenic canyon where students enjoy exploring the unique habitat searching for wildlife and engaging in plant identification discovery activities. A guided tour through the Nature Center allows students to explore local wildlife exhibits, including live animals.  Beneath the Learning Tree, students work together to create models of the life cycles of rare local butterflies. Students also participate in a real habitat restoration task for a hands-on field experience they will never forget.

contact: Holly Gray, Education Program Manager