Enrich your students learning with a visit to the Elkhorn Slough Reserve. We invite you to bring your students to walk the trails, explore the microscopic wonders in a drop of water, investigate an Elkhorn Slough food chain, and to ask questions about the marvels they encounter.

We encourage educators to consider their goals and objectives when selecting activities and to spend time reviewing each activity carefully. We encourage teachers to think about what they want their students to learn and do while visiting the Reserve. Ultimately, a field trip is about the experience, connections, and teaching moments you want to share with your students.

Attendance in a Teacher on the Reserve workshop is required to book a field trip, however arrangements can be made for those registered in an upcoming workshop.

There are three ways to bring your students to the Reserve:

Self-guided Reserve Trail Walk

The perfect introduction to the Elkhorn Slough Reserve for college classes, and K-12 teachers who just want to bring their students out for a hike.

Days: Wednesday – Sunday

Times: Open between 9:00am -5:00pm

Duration: Up to teacher

Group size: Less than 100 (dependent upon Reserve capacity on the day of the visit)

Chaperones: Minimum 1 per 6 students, please inform your chaperones that they are meant to be active participants.

Grade Level: K-College

Required: A 15 minute orientation with a naturalist before entering the Reserve.
This is a self-led visit; a teacher and/or chaperone is required to be with students and to lead them at all times.

Trail Walk: You can choose from any of the trails as long as conditions permit; educational kits and binoculars are available for check-out. Lunch and snacks can be taken on the Picnic tables.

Make a Reservation

Self-guided Reserve Explorations

Combine time in the Visitor Center with a Reserve trail walk. Students will learn about the habitats and wildlife found on the Elkhorn Slough Reserve while they explore exhibits, a touch table, and hands-on interactives in the Visitor Center before or after their trail walk.

Days: Wednesday – Sunday
Times: Open between 9:00am -5:00pm
Duration: Up to teacher
Group size: Less than 50 (dependent upon Reserve capacity on the day of the visit)
Chaperones: Minimum 1 per 6 students, please inform your chaperones that they are meant to be active participants.
Grade Level: K-College
Required: A 15 minute Orientation with a naturalist before entering the Reserve.
This is a self-led visit; a teacher and/or chaperone is required to be with students and to lead them at all times.
Trail Walk: You can choose from any of the trails as long as conditions permit; educational kits and binoculars are available for check-out. Lunch and snacks can be taken on the Picnic tables.
Visitor Center: You may bring up to 24 students at a time through the Visitor Center using your own team of teachers and chaperones to guide the students through one of our activities or one of your own.  We encourage you to come with clear goals and a purpose for bringing students into the Visitor Center.
Make a Reservation

Estuary Investigations Field Trips

Work with the Reserve Education staff to design a Naturalist led visit that complements your teaching goals with hands on activities that provide your students with time to experience and explore the wonders of the Elkhorn Slough Reserve.

Days: Wednesday-Sunday
Time: Open between 9:00am-5:00pm
Duration: Minimum 2 hours
Group size: Less than 100 students (dependent upon Reserve capacity on the day of the visit.) Students must be split into groups of 24 or less if using the Microscope Learning Lab.
Chaperones: Minimum 1 per 6 students, please inform your chaperones that they are meant to be active participants.
Grade Level: K-College
Required:  A 15 minute orientation with a naturalist before entering the Reserve
(You can mix and match from choices of naturalist led activities in the Visitor Center, a self-guided trail walk, or a naturalist led Microscope Learning Lab (3rd grade and older). Worksheets, educational kits and binoculars are available for check-out. Lunch and snacks can be taken on the Picnic tables.)
Download the Reservation Form

DOWNLOAD THE FIELD TRIP REQUEST FORM, fill out and email to twilson@elkhornslough.org.

We are excited to announce that all of our educational activities and kits have been evaluated through the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) lens. We have created an environmental education program that encourages investigation, exploration, analysis, and engagement, and moves students towards environmental literacy.

Our Estuary Explorations activities are organized by grade: K-5, 6-8 and 9-12
Below are descriptions for each Estuary Exploration Activity by grade.

Slough Sleuthing is all about observation; what can you see with your eyes and hear with your ears?

Trail Walk
Slough Sleuthing – Trail walk
Ask about available resources to enrich your walk

Visitor Center Activities (Staff Lead)
Slough Sleuthing – Visitor Center Exploration worksheets (Observe organisms in different habitats)
Predators and Prey (Grade 1-4)
Food Chain Investigation (Grade 5)

Microscope Learning Lab (Staff Lead)
Observing adaptations (Grade 3 and up)

Kits
For Use on Reserve only:
One Hundred Inch Hike
Insect Shake
Water Quality Monitoring (Grades 4 & 5)
Tide sticks and current meter stick
Quadrats

For use on Reserve or in Classroom:
Beaks and Feet
What Beaks Eat
Wetlands Metaphor

Through the exploration of Wetland Wonders middle schoolers learn to ask questions and investigate the world around them.

Trail Walk
Wetland Wonders – Trail walk
Ask about available resources to enrich your walk

Visitor Center Activities (Staff Lead)
Wetland Wonders – Visitor Center Exploration worksheets (Wetland and watershed benefits)
Food Chain Investigation (Grade 5 and up)

Microscope Learning Lab (Staff Lead)
Observing Adaptations
Form and Function Investigation
Plankton

Kits
On the Reserve:
Insect Shake
Water Quality Monitoring
Plankton Tow
Quadrats

For use on Reserve or in Classroom:
What Beaks Eat
Beaks and Feet
Build a Wetland

The Slough and You activities encourageHigh School students to pause and consider the human impacts they are observing around them and to discuss solutions and alternative scenarios.

Trail Walk
Human Impacts – Trail walk
Ask about available resources to enrich your walk

Visitor Center Activities (Staff Lead)
Visitor Center Exploration worksheets (critical thinking around environmental restoration challenges)

Microscope Learning Lab (Staff Lead)
Observing Adaptations
Form and Function Investigation
Plankton

Kits
For use on the Reserve:
Insect Shake
Water Quality Monitoring
Plankton Tow
Quadrats

For use in Classroom:
What Beaks Eat (Data Analysis)
Build a Wetland