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Field Trips and Group Programs

Organize a day of outdoor learning for your classroom, community group, or club through Portland Park's City Nature program!

Children learn about nature first-hand when they are surrounded by it! Ecology makes more sense when a person can physically touch their surroundings. Our field trip leaders have a background in science and education. Teaching methods are creative and engaging, and include games, inquiry, and observation. 

Lessons contain a combination of large group learning and small group exploration. Each lesson is designed with various learning styles in mind. Content is connected to state science standards. .

What participants are saying about the program... 
"Our field trip was very fun and met our science standards! The naturalists were very knowledgeable and engaging!" 
~(Amphibians field trip, Spring 2018) 

Our 2019-2020 field trip season end May 29, 2020 (And begins again September 21, 2020) 

  • FIELD TRIPS: Elementary and middle school age - groups of 12-45 (1 naturalist for every 12-15 students). Field Trip Options (by grade level).
  • LADYBUG NATURE WALKS; Early childhood (ages 2-6) - groups of 12-36. See the Group Ladybug Walk page for all details.
  • HIGH SCHOOL AND ADULT PROGRAMS: Call us! Maybe we can customize something for your group. (503) 823-3601 or email enviroed@portlandoregon.gov

In our nature program, we value...

  • all abilities, age levels, backgrounds, cultures, religions, gender identities, and sexual orientations.
  • meaningful nature connection.
  • a growth mindset: we meet participants where they are and help guide them to a new level of understanding.  
  • our local plants and animals.
  • relevant learning: we understand that learning styles are different for each participant, and we design lessons accordingly.
  • activities that keep participants active, thinking, and tuned into their senses. 
  • curiosity about the world, a deep love for nature, and a desire to use our words and actions to protect Portland's parks. 
  • the opportunity to instill a sense of place in our participants: in order to care about the world, we have to love it first. 
  • having fun and learning outside in any kind of weather! 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

When are programs offered?

Mid-September through the end of May each year. Check to see what dates are still available by clicking here. Due to our full summer schedule, we do not offer field trips in June-August. 

Where are field trips located? 

At any Portland Park (although some work better than others!) For suggested sites, see our list of common Field Trip and Ladybug Walk sites

What topics are covered on the field trip? 

On our Field Trip Options page, browse a list of ecology topics for each grade level. There you can find information about cost, locations, and content.