Every year many K-12 and college science teachers schedule field trips to visit the ecosystems they teach in the classroom. Coastal state parks in San Mateo County—Half Moon Bay State Beach, Pescadero Marsh Natural Preserve, Bean Hollow State Beach, Pigeon Point Light Station State Historic Park, and Año Nuevo State Park—offer an exciting variety of wild places, native plants and migrant and indigenous animals that draw thousands of young scholars in school field trips. CSPA and its donors support these efforts with educational materials for students, docents, and all park visitors. CSPA also supports repairs and upgrades to trails, benches, signage and more.
Half Moon Bay State Beach
Want to know what that tiny bird is, scurrying across the sandy beach in Half Moon Bay? After learning to use binoculars and observe those birds, visiting the park’s wildlife museum and building a make-believe plover nest, a Hatch fifth-grader could tell you all about the nesting behavior of snowy plovers and how survival of the little birds is threatened.
To gather additional information or arrange tours at Half Moon Bay State Beach, please contact the volunteer coordinator via email at HMBParksVolunteer@Parks.ca.gov or by phone at 1-650-726-8819.
Pescadero Marsh Natural Preserve
School field trips to Pescadero Marsh are very popular. One or more school buses arrive in the central parking lot almost every morning during the week when schools are in session. These trips focus on the Great Blue Heron / Double-crested Cormorant rookery and native plant adaptations to brackish marsh waters.
For additional information or to arrange tours at Pescadero Marsh or Pescadero State Beach, please contact the volunteer coordinator via email at HMBParksVolunteer@Parks.ca.gov or by phone at 1-650-726-8819.
Pigeon Point Light Station State Historic Park
Pigeon Point Light Station State Park offers many discoveries to students, including migrating whales, harbor seals, sea lions, and shorebirds, along with sandy beach and rocky shore ecosystems. Most of the school groups come through the Pigeon Point Environmental Education Program (PPEEP) that uses the Pigeon Point Hostel as their base camp.
For additional information or to arrange a grounds-tour of the Light Station, please contact the volunteer coordinator by email at Volunteers.PigeonPoint@parks.ca.gov or phone 1-650-879-2120.
Año Nuevo State Park
Throughout the year, Año Nuevo State Park offers opportunities for school field trips on a multitude of subjects of ecological and historical interest. The park includes a nature preserve and a Marine Education Center housed in a former barn that contains educational displays about the elephant seals, the island, the animals living within the park, and the history of the early Ohlone inhabitants and of the Steele family who farmed the property through the 1950s.
Breeding season guided walk reservations and can be made through Reserve America. During the Molting Season (April 1 – November 30), docent-led tours can be arranged through the docent coordinator at no charge.