COVID-19 Update - Face Coverings
Due to Oregon state mandates, face coverings are required indoors and outdoors for everyone ages five and up, and are highly recommended for children ages 2 to 5 who can appropriately wear one.
Ladybug Nature Walks are small gatherings of children and adults where physical distance cannot be guaranteed and all participants are unvaccinated.
For more information, see Mask Recommendations and Requirements from Oregon Health Authority.
General Information - Ladybug Nature Walks
Ladybug Nature Walks are a way for children ages 0-6 (and an adult) to explore a local Portland park. Nature educators guide families to notice plants and animals. Walks are child-directed and open-ended. Nature educators walk with the children in small groups. Children learn through questions, observation, and play. Groups move slowly through the park, stopping often. In this way, children have time to notice the plants and animals around them. If we have extra time we might also read a story, sing a song, or use puppets for imaginative play.
Walks last one hour. Content is geared for children ages 18 months-6 years. (Younger siblings under 18 months are welcome. Please give us their names and ages when prompted during registration.)
While exploring with a nature educator, children borrow a small Ladybug backpack containing a few tools that are easy to clean:
- Magnifying lens
- Small plastic tub with a lid
- Metal Spoon
- Laminated color wheel for matching
- Plastic Bug box
- Plastic paintbrush
- Small toy insect for imaginative play
For more information, email email@example.com or call 503-823-1149.
We offer weekly walks for the general public, but we ask that preschool groups, classrooms, and organizations with more than five children schedule a customized group Ladybug Walk. Find information about customized group Ladybug Walks here.
COVID-19: Requirements and recommendations to participate
All children and adults will need to be able to follow these guidelines to participate in a walk:
- Face Coverings: Due to state mandates, face coverings are required indoors and outdoors for everyone ages 5+, and are highly recommended for children ages 2-5 who can appropriately wear one. Ladybug Nature Walks are small gatherings of children and adults where physical distance cannot be guaranteed and all participants are unvaccinated. For more information, see the State of Oregon Indoor/Outdoor Mask Mandate
- Contain the spread of COVID-19. If someone in the household of any participant (child or adult) has a positive or presumptive case of COVID-19, has a known exposure to COVID-19, or is awaiting results to a COVID test, please do not attend the walk.
- Please only attend if you are healthy!
- If you are sick with a new or worsening cough, fever, shortness of breath, or recent loss of taste or smell, please withdraw from the program to keep others safe. You will receive a full refund. Withdraw online or contact 503-823-1149.
- Check for fever before you arrive for the walk. Please take the temperature of all participants before arriving at the walk, and stay home if you are ill.
- Physical distancing of six feet is recommended on the walk when possible. Please keep in mind that due to the nature of outdoor exploration and the ages of our participants, we cannot guarantee six feet of distance during this program.
- Follow general sanitation guidelines. Please make sure to wash or sanitize hands when you arrive, after using the bathroom, and after sneezing or coughing.
Upcoming Walks: Times, dates, and locations
Walks take place rain or shine. We are outside 100% of the time. Please dress both children and adults in warm layers and rain coats and rain boots during the cold and wet months. We suggest hats and mittens and a full change of clothes just in case your little one is a puddle stomper.
Please arrive five minutes early to get screened, checked in, and connected to your nature educator. Locations vary each week. We try to schedule walks in Northwest, Southwest, North, Northeast, and Southeast Portland each month. Do you have a suggestion for a Portland park that would be a good location for your family? Let us know!
Register for a walk by clicking on the links below! When registering your child, you will be prompted to give the name and phone number of the adult attending the walk. Only children ages 2-6 will be charged the fee.
Fall Walks - August through November 2021
|Day of Week||Date||Time||Location||Meeting Spot||Activity Number|
|Wednesday||September 22||10:30am||Farragut Park||Meet at the trees near N Winchell Street and Kerby Avenue.|
|Thursday||September 23||10:30am||Laurelhurst Park||Meet at the brick bathroom building near SE Ankeny at Laurelhurst Place.|
|Wednesday||September 29||10:30am||Willamette Park||Enter the park on S Nebraska Street and turn right. Travel past the tennis courts and meet near the covered picnic pavilion.|
|Thursday||September 30||10:30am||Cathedral Park||Meet under the trees near the parking lot at the entrance of the boat ramp (N Baltimore Avenue and Bradford Street.)|
|Wednesday||October 6||10:30am||Forest Park - Holman Lane||Park along NW Aspen, NW Franklin, or NW Savier, making sure you are in a legal, public spot. Walk uphill on NW Aspen, turn right at Holman Lane park entrance. Look for signs!|
|Thursday||October 7||10:30am||Powell Butte Nature Park||Meet near the Visitor’s Center at Powell Butte (up the hill from SE 162nd Avenue and Powell Boulevard)|
|Wednesday||October 13||10:30am||Woodlawn Park||Meet at the Woodlawn Park amphitheater, at the northeast corner of NE Oneonta Street and Claremont Avenue.|
|Thursday||October 14||10:30am||Marshall Park||Meet near the cul-du-sac close to the playground at the east entrance of Marshall Park (just off SW 12th Drive).|
|Wednesday||October 20||10:30am||Lents Park||Meet near the community garden at SE Steele St and 89th Ave.|
|Thursday||October 21||10:30am||Irving Park - Tennis Courts||Meet near the tennis courts at Irving Park, near the intersection of NE 7th Avenue and Fargo Street.|
|Wednesday||October 27||10:30am||Wilkes Creek Headwaters||Meet at the entrance to the natural area just west of NE 154th Avenue and Fremont Street.|
|Thursday||October 28||10:30am||Kenilworth Park||Meet at the east side entrance to the park, just north of the intersection of SE Holgate Boulevard and 34th Avenue. (NOT by the main playground!)|
|Wednesday||November 3||10:30am||Overlook Park||Meet near the Overlook Park sign at the intersection of N Overlook Boulevard and N Longview Avenue.|
|Wednesday||November 10||10:30am||Gabriel Park - Tennis Courts||Meet near the tennis courts at Gabriel Park. Park in the parking lot near SW 45th Avenue and Nevada Street.|
|Wednesday||November 17||10:30am||Rose City Park||Meet under the trees near the intersection of NE 62nd Avenue and Thompson Street.|
|Tuesday (Note day-of-week change!)||November 23||10:30am||Mt Tabor Park||Meet at the picnic shelter across from the Visitor’s Center (turn right at the entrance at SE 69th Avenue and Yamhill).|
Park topography and trail information
Flat with paved paths, soft surface trails, and grassy areas. We plan to visit the nature patch!
April Hill City Park
Flat with paved paths, soft surface trails, boardwalks, and grassy areas.
Flat with paved paths, soft surface trails, grassy areas, and riverfront access. Area next to the river is all sand. There is water access but swimming is not allowed. Rain boots are recommended.
Columbia Park Tennis Courts
Flat with paved trails and grassy areas. We plan to visit the nature patch!
Flat with paved paths, and grassy areas. Some gentle hills circling through the Native Gathering Garden.
Gabriel Park Pollinator Meadow
Rolling hills with mostly soft surface trails in the pollinator meadow and natural area - some paved paths if we travel into Gabriel Park. We plan to visit the Nature Patch and see the pollinator meadow!
Irving Park Tennis Courts
Gentle hills and flat areas with paved paths and grassy areas. We plan to visit the nature patch!
Mostly flat with paved paths and grassy areas. Some small hills in one section of the park.
Lincoln City Park
Flat with paved trails and grassy areas.
Rolling hills and soft surface trails. Tryon Creek and some small tributaries flow through the park.
Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge
Significant hill from the parking lot to Tadpole pond. Mix of paved paths and soft surface trails. We will be visiting Tadpole pond - rain boots are recommended. Optional: bring light-colored plastic yogurt tubs or cups for dipping into the pond to find tadpoles!
Mostly flat with paved paths and grassy areas.
Powell Butte Nature Park
Significant hills with both paved paths and soft surface trails. One route to the top is stroller and wheel chair accessible but has a significant grade.
Sellwood Riverfront Park
Soft surface trails, grassy areas, and sandy riverfront. Mainly flat, but some slopes and exposed roots on the way down to the river. Swimming is not allowed. Rain boots are recommended.
Mostly flat with paved trails and grassy areas.
Whitaker Ponds Natural Area
Flat with only soft surface trails. We will have water access at the pond and Columbia Slough access using the floating docks. Swimming is not allowed. Optional: bring light-colored plastic tubs, measuring cups, old ice cube trays, nets, or ladles for looking for water insect larvae.
Flat with paved trails and grassy areas.
Pay What You Can pricing
As always, Ladybug Walk fees are based on "Pay What You Can" pricing. Walks are listed as $9 per child. When registering, use the available $3 discounts to reduce the cost to $6 or $3 per child (ages 2-6). Children 18-24 months need to register but attend for free.
When prompted during registration, please list the first name, last name, and phone number of the adult(s) attending with the child(ren).
List any younger siblings who will be coming along when prompted during registration.
Adults coming on the walk - we need your help!
When families arrive on site they will be assigned to walk in a small group of 3-5 children (and the adults attending with those children). Each group is led by one of our preschool nature educators. This will be your traveling group for the entire program.
As educators, we are good at what we do, but we are used to doing it right alongside the children. If you are registering your child for an upcoming walk, we plan to use you to help us bridge that six foot gap:
- Plan to be engaged the whole time. (Put aside your phone and mental to-do list. Explore along with your child.)
- Dress for the weather! Plan for rain. Add a layer. Arrive with footwear that can walk through wet grass or along a muddy trail.
- Get curious along with your child. Slow down, get down on the ground, and look around.
- Slow your pace. What a gift to have this time to explore together. Take advantage of it.
- Let go of having answers. Instead of trying to fill your child's head with facts or things that you think are interesting, follow their lead. Young children are more interested in the process of exploring than caring about names and nature facts.
We will be there alongside to guide, encourage, and get excited, but you will need to be our extended hands.