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The City of Portland, Oregon

Portland Parks & Recreation

Healthy Parks, Healthy Portland

Phone: 503-823-7529

1120 SW Fifth Avenue, Portland, OR 97204

More Contact Info


2909 SW 2nd Avenue
Portland, Oregon 97201

503-823-PLAY (7529)

Chrissy Larson, Coordinator for Environmental Education


Environmental Education office,


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Field Trips and Group Programs

Organize a private, nature-based field trip for your classroom, organization, or club through Environmental Education!

Add to your students’ classroom experience with a hands-on field trip learning about ecology in a Portland Park. Our field trip naturalists have a background in science and teach in a creative, engaging way. Teaching techniques include educational games, inquiry, and scientific observation.

Lessons contain a combination of large group learning, small group exploration, and individual engagement. Each lesson is designed to fit into common science units for corresponding grade levels that meet Next Generation Science Standards.

What teachers are saying about our field trip 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 begins September 30, 2019! 

  • For participants Kindergarten through 8th grade, we work with groups of 12-45 students at a time (1 naturalist for every 12-15 students). See our Field Trip Options page for all details.
  • For young children (ages 2-5), we offer private, guided Ladybug Nature Walks. We can accommodate up to 36 children at a time, most days except Fridays. See the Private Ladybug Walk page for all details.
  • Programs for non-education-based organizations, high school students, and adults are possible but are custom designed to meet the needs of the group. Please call our office for more information (503) 823-3601 or email

Program Values

  • We value participants from all age levels, backgrounds, cultures, religions, gender identities, and sexual orientations. We believe that every person has an ability to connect to nature in a meaningful way, and our goal is to help nurture that connection and scaffold it to a new level whenever possible. 
  • We value engaging lessons that teach about local plants and animals, and are relevant to the learner. We understand that information is absorbed differently for each participant, so we create lessons with a wide variety of teaching methods to help bridge the learning gap.
  • We value experiential learning that keeps participants active, cognitively engaged, and tuned into their senses. 
  • We value our ability as educators to model true curiosity about the world, a deep love for nature, and a desire to use our words and actions to protect Portland's parks. 
  • We value the opportunity to begin to instill a deep sense of place in our participants. In our opinion, in order to care about something we have to love it first. We create experiences that help participants love their parks. 
  • We value the idea that humans can learn and have fun outside in any kind of weather! 


When are programs offered?

We are currently booking programs for the 2019-2020 school year. As groups are booked and confirmed, we update our Available Dates for Group Programs Calendar. This is the best way to see how many naturalists are actually available each day. Unfortunately, due to our summer camp schedule we are unable to offer field trips in June, July, or August. 

Where are field trips located? 

Some of our field trip options are best facilitated at specific parks, but many of them can be facilitated at a variety of places or even your neighborhood park. See the Field Trip Options page for all details. If you are wondering about suggested locations, see more about each park on our list of common Field Trip and Ladybug Walk sites

What topics are covered on the field trip? 

On our Field Trip Options page you can browse the full list of available topics in ecology for each grade level. Each field trip lesson gives information about cost, duration, suggested locations, lesson objectives, and NGSS standards covered.