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COVID-19 Risk Level for Multnomah County: High Risk

Ladybug Nature Walks | Public Walks (ages 0-6 with adult)

Information
Ladybug Nature Walks take place in Portland's parks and natural areas. They are perfect for toddlers and preschoolers who want to explore in nature with a trained educator. Children attend with an adult who assists in guiding them along as they explore.
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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 enviroed@portlandoregon.gov 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 WalkFind information about customized group Ladybug Walks here


Program changes during the COVID-19 pandemic

Ladybug Walks have guidelines that comply with COVID-19 protocols. If you are interested in participating, please read details carefully.

We will be offering two walks each day of programming in the spring (9:30am and 11am) and one walk each day in the summer (10:30am). Please make sure you are registering for the correct walk. There are 12 participant spots available for each walk (this number does not include the adults attending).

Walks last one hour unless otherwise noted. 

All children and adults will need to be able to follow these guidelines to participate in a walk:

  • Registration is required. All children 18 months - 6 years must register. List information about the adult attending and any younger siblings coming along during registration. 
  • Group sizes are limited. Walks are for children ages birth through 6 and their caregivers or parents.  
  • Physical distancing is required. Everyone must stay 6' feet apart from people not living in the same household. 
  • Face coverings are required for everyone age three and older (3+). Face coverings must cover the nose and mouth. If your 3-6 year old is not yet able to wear a mask, start practicing now so they are ready. 
  • Signed liability waiver is required. A COVID-19 waiver must be completed for everyone during the registration process. (A waiver signed for a child also covers the parent who signs the waiver. Adults who are not the parent will need to sign the waiver once on site.)
  • You will be screened for symptoms when you arrive. Our staff will be screening everyone arriving for COVID-like symptoms on the day of the walk. If you are sick, please withdraw from the program to keep others safe. You will receive a full refund as long as you withdraw before the start time of your walk. Withdraw online or contact 503-823-1149 . 
  • Children and adults will wash hands or sanitize hands before receiving and after handing in the backpacks. Tools are sanitized between walks and sharing is kept to a minimum. We will have hand washing stations and hand sanitizer available for use. 

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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. 

Spring and Summer Walks - May through August 2021

Site notes for each location are listed below. 

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Site notes

Is the location flat or hilly? Are there paved paths to bring a stroller or soft surface, rooty trails? Below is a list of our upcoming locations and any notes about the site that might help you make decisions about how you prepare. 

February 2 - Kelley Point Park

Generally flat with a mix of paved paths and soft surface trails. Areas by the river are steep with exposed roots. Area next to the river is all sand. There is water access but swimming is not allowed. Rain boots are recommended.

February 10 - Laurelhurst Park

Generally flat with a few gentle hills. Paved paths and grassy areas. We will visit the  pond and see the ducks!

February 18 - Marshall Park

Rolling hills and soft surface trails. Tryon Creek and some small tributaries flow through the park. 

February 24 - Alberta Park

Flat with paved paths, soft surface trails, and grassy areas. We plan to visit the Nature Patch!

March 2 - Lincoln City Park

Flat with paved trails and grassy areas. 

March 8 - Columbia Park Tennis Courts

Flat with paved trails and grassy areas. We plan to visit the Nature Patch!

March 16 - 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!

March 22 - 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. 

March 24 - Wallace Park

Mostly flat with paved trails and grassy areas.

March 25 - Woodstock Park

Flat with paved trails and grassy areas.

April 1 - 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!

April 7 - Irving Park Tennis Courts

Gentle hills and flat areas with paved paths and grassy areas. We plan to visit the nature patch!

April 13 - Kenilworth Park

Mostly flat with paved paths and grassy areas. Some small hills in one section of the park. 

April 19 - Cathedral Park

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.

April 27 - 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. 

May 5 - April Hill City Park

Flat with paved paths, soft surface trails, boardwalks, and grassy areas.

May 13 - Cully Park

Flat with paved paths, and grassy areas. Some gentle hills circling through the Native Gathering Garden. 

May 19 - 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. 

May 25 - Overlook Park

Mostly flat with paved paths and grassy areas. 

Day of WeekDateTimeLocationMeeting SpotActivity Number
Wednesday May 59:30amApril Hill ParkMeet at the soccer field at the west entrance of the park (near SW 59th Avenue and S Miles Street)1127917
Wednesday May 511amApril Hill ParkMeet at the soccer field at the west entrance of the park (near SW 59th Avenue and S Miles Street)1127918
ThursdayMay 139:30amCully Park

Meet at the grassy area next to the bathrooms. Park in the lot at the end of NE 72nd Avenue (about 3 blocks north of NE Killingsworth Street) -

**Participants are invited to join The Native Gathering Garden Coordinator after the walk to help tend the garden at 10:45am. If interested, bring food, water, and any gloves, trowels, hand rakes, and uprooting tools you might have!

1127919
ThursdayMay 1311amCully Park

Meet at the grassy area next to the bathrooms. Park in the lot at the end of NE 72nd Avenue (about 3 blocks north of NE Killingsworth Street)

**Participants are invited to join The Native Gathering Garden Coordinator after the walk to help tend the garden at 12:15am. If interested, bring food, water, and any gloves, trowels, hand rakes, and uprooting tools you might have!

1127920
WednesdayMay 199:30amSellwood Riverfront ParkMeet near the bathrooms adjacent to the parking log along SE Oaks Park Way (about a block north of SE Spokane Street)1127921
WednesdayMay 1911amSellwood Riverfront ParkMeet near the bathrooms adjacent to the parking log along SE Oaks Park Way (about a block north of SE Spokane Street)1127922
TuesdayMay 259:30amOverlook ParkMeet at the trees near the cul-du-sac on N Fremont Street, just west of N Interstate Avenue. 1127923
TuesdayMay 2511amOverlook ParkMeet at the trees near the cul-du-sac on N Fremont Street, just west of N Interstate Avenue. 1127924
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WednesdayJune 210:30amSpring Garden ParkMeet at the entrance to the park along SW Dolph Court (between SW 30th and 35th Avenues)1128179
WednesdayJune 9Sorry! No walkLadybug Walk Hiatus (Staff not available)
WednesdayJune 16Sorry!No walkLadybug Walk Hiatus (Staff not available)
WednesdayJune 2310:30amFernhill ParkMeet near the tennis courts along NE 37th Avenue (just one block north of Ainsworth Street). 1128180
WednesdayJune 3010:30amCouncil Crest ParkMeet at the stone circle at the summit of Council Crest. (1120 SW Council Crest Drive.) 1128181
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WednesdayJuly 710:30amLuuwit View ParkMeet under the colorful shelter near the main parking lot entrance (NE 127th Avenue and Fremont Street)1128182
WednesdayJuly 1410:30amMaricara Natural AreaMeet at the trailhead at the northeast entrance to the natural area along SW 25th Avenue (approximate address 10440 SW 25th Avenue). 1128183
WednesdayJuly 2110:30amPier ParkMeet at the cul-du-sac at the intersection of N Bruce Avenue and James Street. 1128184
WednesdayJuly 2810:30amGrant ParkMeet at the east side entrance of the park (at the intersection of NE 36th Avenue and Brazee Street). 1128185
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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 can register but attend for free. 

When prompted during registration, please list the first name, last name, and phone number of the adult attending with the child(ren). 

List any younger siblings who will be coming along when prompted during registration.

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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. 

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Meet the Educators! 


Pictures from previous walks

An educator works with a family on a walk at an urban park.
An educator works with a family on a walk at an urban park.
A child finds a small bug to put into a bug box.
A child finds a small bug to put into a bug box.
A child and parent use a magnifier to look at a bug on a nature walk.
A child and parent use a magnifier to look at a bug.
Children look out at a park wearing their ladybug backpacks.
Children look out at a park wearing their ladybug backpacks.
Children on a nature walk make noise with spoons on a fence.
Children experiment with sound using spoons and a fence

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Contact

Chrissy Larson

Environmental Education Coordinator, Early Childhood/Youth

Location

Park Location or Entrance
SE 60th Avenue and Salmon Street
Portland, OR 97215
Park Location or Entrance
SW 45th Avenue and Vermont Street
Portland, OR 97219
Park Location or Entrance
N Edison Street and Pittsburg Avenue
Portland, OR 97203
Park Location or Entrance
SE 7th Avenue and Miller Street
Portland, OR 97202
Park Location or Entrance
SE Spokane Street and Oaks Parkway
Portland, OR 97202
Park Location or Entrance
NE 141st Avenue and Failing Street
Portland, OR 97230
Park Location or Entrance
SE 92nd Avenue and Holgate Blvd
Portland, OR 97266

Pier Park

Park
Park Location or Entrance
N Lombard Street and Bruce Avenue
Portland, OR 97203
Park Location or Entrance
SE 44th Avenue and Powell Blvd
Portland, OR 97206
Park Location or Entrance
NE 37th Avenue and Ainsworth Street
Portland, OR 97211

Past Events

Ladybug Nature Walks take place in Portland's parks and natural areas. They are perfect for toddlers and preschoolers who want to explore in nature with a trained educator. Children attend with an adult who helps guide them as they explore.
Ladybug Nature Walks take place in Portland's parks and natural areas. They are perfect for toddlers and preschoolers who want to explore in nature with a trained educator. Children attend with an adult who helps guide them as they explore.
Location
Ladybug Nature Walks take place in Portland's parks and natural areas. They are perfect for toddlers and preschoolers who want to explore in nature with a trained educator. Children attend with an adult who helps guide them as they explore.
Ladybug Nature Walks take place in Portland's parks and natural areas. They are perfect for toddlers and preschoolers who want to explore in nature with a trained educator. Children attend with an adult who helps guide them as they explore.