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.
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.
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.
|Day of Week||Date||Time||Location||Meeting Spot||Activity Number|
|Wednesday||May 5||9:30am||April Hill Park||Meet at the soccer field at the west entrance of the park (near SW 59th Avenue and S Miles Street)||1127917|
|Wednesday||May 5||11am||April Hill Park||Meet at the soccer field at the west entrance of the park (near SW 59th Avenue and S Miles Street)||1127918|
|Thursday||May 13||9:30am||Cully 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!
|Thursday||May 13||11am||Cully 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!
|Wednesday||May 19||9:30am||Sellwood Riverfront Park||Meet near the bathrooms adjacent to the parking log along SE Oaks Park Way (about a block north of SE Spokane Street)||1127921|
|Wednesday||May 19||11am||Sellwood Riverfront Park||Meet near the bathrooms adjacent to the parking log along SE Oaks Park Way (about a block north of SE Spokane Street)||1127922|
|Tuesday||May 25||9:30am||Overlook Park||Meet at the trees near the cul-du-sac on N Fremont Street, just west of N Interstate Avenue.||1127923|
|Tuesday||May 25||11am||Overlook Park||Meet at the trees near the cul-du-sac on N Fremont Street, just west of N Interstate Avenue.||1127924|
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|Wednesday||June 2||10:30am||Spring Garden Park||Meet at the entrance to the park along SW Dolph Court (between SW 30th and 35th Avenues)||1128179|
|Wednesday||June 9||Sorry!||No walk||Ladybug Walk Hiatus||(Staff not available)|
|Wednesday||June 16||Sorry!||No walk||Ladybug Walk Hiatus||(Staff not available)|
|Wednesday||June 23||10:30am||Fernhill Park||Meet near the tennis courts along NE 37th Avenue (just one block north of Ainsworth Street).||1128180|
|Wednesday||June 30||10:30am||Council Crest Park||Meet at the stone circle at the summit of Council Crest. (1120 SW Council Crest Drive.)||1128181|
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|Wednesday||July 7||10:30am||Luuwit View Park||Meet under the colorful shelter near the main parking lot entrance (NE 127th Avenue and Fremont Street)||1128182|
|Wednesday||July 14||10:30am||Maricara Natural Area||Meet at the trailhead at the northeast entrance to the natural area along SW 25th Avenue (approximate address 10440 SW 25th Avenue).||1128183|
|Wednesday||July 21||10:30am||Pier Park||Meet at the cul-du-sac at the intersection of N Bruce Avenue and James Street.||1128184|
|Wednesday||July 28||10:30am||Grant Park||Meet 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.
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.