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.
Third Grade Student 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