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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) 

Thanks for a great 2017-18 school year of programs! Our 2018-19 field trip season will begin on Oct 1, 2018! 

  • For participants 2nd-8th grade, we work with groups of 12-45 students at a time (1 naturalist for every 12-15 students). For younger participants (K-1st grades), we work with groups of 12-35. 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 40 children at a time, most days. 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

How to Schedule

Please note - Plan ahead! Applications should be received at least 30 days before requested date. 

  1. Browse the Field Trip Options list for your grade level.
  2. Check our  Availability Dates for Group Programs calendar to find out how many naturalists are available to teach the days you are interested in.
  3. Decide where you would like to have the field trip. (Check our "Common Sites for Field Trips" page for ideas - we can also help you choose one.)
  4. Fill out the the Program Application: PRINTABLE VERSION  --  FILLABLE VERSION (Save first, then fill it out)
  5. Fill in the form and SAVE AS: "Your full Name_EE Program Application.pdf"
  6. After looking over the application, if you have questions call our office at 503-823-3601 or email Chrissy Larson at Messages will be returned in the order they were received.
  7. Attach the saved form in an email to
  8. If you are mailing the application, please send it to ATTN: Field Trips, 2909 SW 2nd Ave, Portland, OR 97201. 
  9. Once we have your application we will work to iron out the details and schedule your naturalists. When all details are complete, we will send you a contract.
  10. Read, sign, and return the contract with your partial payment to secure your dates! Partial payment and signed contract should be returned within 10 days. 

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 we believe that we can be a catalyst to developing that connection. 
  • 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 booked for the 2017-18 school year. Next year's field trip season begins on October 1, 2018, and runs through May 30, 2018. 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.