Friends of the Dunes offers fall and spring field trip programs designed for grades K-5. Our programs focus on giving students the hands-on experiences in nature that are crucial for developing a true understanding of the natural world. The trips are focused on local ecosystems and provide students with outdoor experiences in their own “backyards.” Trained volunteer guides lead students through educational games and activities in different habitats, and alter the activities to fit the age group.
Through partnerships with local organizations and agencies, we are expanding our field trip options and locations to better meet the needs of different schools. Scholarships and bus funding are available on a first come, first served basis.
Bay to Dunes – On classic 4-5 hour field trip is preceded by a classroom presentation with an interactive PowerPoint and hands-on activities. On field trip day, students spend half the day in small groups of 8-15 exploring the dunes, and half of the day at the bay and freshwater marshes, with a lunch break in between. At the bay we dip net for invertebrates in a freshwater pond, explore the saltmarsh & mudflats, and observe birds on the bay. In the dunes, we identify animal tracks, talk about plant adaptations, learn how the sand moves to form the dunes, pull invasive European Beachgrass, and have some free time at the beach. This field trip takes place at the Humboldt Coastal Nature Center and the Manila Community Park. We can accommodate 2 classes (about 50 students), per field trip.
Cows & Cattails - This three-hour field trip is a collaboration between The Northcoast Regional Land Trust (NRLT) and Friends of the Dunes. Students walk down the new trail at Freshwater Farms Reserve, a cattle ranch that has been restored to a saltmarsh, learning about watersheds, wetlands, salmon life cycle and integrated wildlife management. This field trip is designed to give students a hands-on experience in a wetland that is also a working land, with seasonal cattle grazing taking place on the property. Supplemental material is available to teachers on request. This program does not include a pre-trip classroom presentation, teachers are expected to prepare their students for the field trip by discussing what to bring and wear. We can accommodate 1 class (about 25-30 students) per field trip.