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 > East Bay Regional Park District | Embrace Life! > Activities > Educator Resources > Field Trips to your East Bay Regional Parks

Field Trips to your East Bay Regional Parks

The East Bay Regional Park District offers unique opportunities to explore the natural and cultural history of the San Francisco Bay Area. Naturalists lead programs at a number of parks throughout Alameda and Contra Costa Counties.

Field Trip Programs

Click on the links below to find out about each Visitor Center and the field trip programs offered by each site:

Ardenwood Historic Farm
Highlights life on a late 1800s farm and features farm animals, historic farming, agricultural history, gardens and the Victorian lifestyle.
Address: 34600 Ardenwood Blvd., Fremont, CA 94555
Phone: (510) 544-3290
Email: awvisit@ebparks.org
Open Hours: Tuesday to Sunday, 10am to 4pm
Entrance fees apply. Parking is free.
See Ardenwood Historic Farm for more information.
Black Diamond Sidney Flat Visitor Center
Black Diamond Mines has two visitor centers: Greathouse Visitor Center, located inside the Hazel-Atlas Mine, is open weekends March-November; Sidney Flat Visitor Center, located at park headquarters, is open weekends December-February. Both centers contain displays relating to the area’s history and geology, and both contain a small gift shop.
Address: 5175 Somersville Road, Antioch, CA 94509
Phone: (510) 544-2750
Email: bdvisit@ebparks.org
Open Hours: Saturdays and Sundays, 10 am to 4:30 pm, year-round.
Fees: Parking fee is $5 per vehicle on weekends and some holidays.
See Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve for more information.
Coyote Hills Visitor Center
The exhibits portray the Ohlone way of life, and include a tule reed boat constructed by park staff and volunteers using native American methods. Other exhibits cover the park's natural history and wildlife.
Address: 8000 Patterson Ranch Road, Fremont, CA 94555
Phone: (510) 544-3220
Email: chvisit@ebparks.org
Open Hours: The Garin visitor center is open only on weekends in the summer. The Coyote Hills visitor center is open year-round, Wednesday-Sunday, 10:00 am to 4:00 pm.
Fees: Parking fee is $5 per vehicle.
See Coyote Hills Regional Park for more information.
Crab Cove Visitor Center
The Visitor Center features bay creatures in the 800-gallon saltwater aquarium system, use interactive stations for varying age groups to view microscopic animals, build a crab from the inside out, or get a lug worm's view of the mudflats. You'll see amazing depictions of the underwater world of San Francisco Bay.
Address: 1252 McKay Ave., Alameda, CA 94501
Phone: (510) 544-3187
Email: ccove@ebparks.org
Open Hours:
January - February:
- Wed. - Fri., 12 p.m. - 4 p.m.
- Sat. - Sun., 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
March - June:
- Wed. - Sun., 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Fees: Parking fee is $5 per vehicle.
See Crab Cove Visitor Center for more information.
Sunol Old Green Barn Visitor Center
The Sunol Visitor Center is located in the old Geary barn which dates back to 1895. Exhibits inside and outside the barn include a mortar and spear point that were found in Sunol, farm equipment that was used by the Geary pioneers, fossils, rocks and interactive collections, a floor mounted topographic relief of the over 6,000 acres that make up Sunol, a stuffed and mounted cougar, microscopes for viewing aquatic life found in the Alameda Creek, live snakes, frogs, toads and tarantulas in terrariums, and informational panels about the cultural and natural history of Sunol.
Address: 1895 Geary Road, Sunol, CA
Phone: (510) 544-3249
Email: svisit@ebparks.org
Open Hours: Open weekends from 10 am to 4:30 pm
Fees: Parking fee $5 per vehicle may apply.
See Sunol Regional Wilderness for more information.
Tilden Nature Area
Inside the Environmental Education Center (EEC) you can explore exhibits that tell the story of the Wildcat Creek Watershed, find information on park activities, and purchase nature-related books and materials at the nature center store.
Address: Located at north end of Central Park Drive, Berkeley, CA 94708
Phone: (510) 544-2233
Email: tnarea@ebparks.org
Open Hours: 10 am to 4:30 pm (closed Mondays)
Fees: None
See Tilden Nature Area for more information.
Big Break Visitor Center
Big Break Regional Shoreline is a part of the great 1150-square-mile Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta.
Address: 69 Big Break RoadOakley, CA 94561
Phone: (510) 544-3050
Email: BigBreakVisit@ebparks.org
Open Hours: 10 am to 4:00 pm (closed Mondays)
Fees: None
See Big Break Visitor Center for more information.

Naturalists are a wonderful resource for teachers who want to bring their students to the East Bay Regional Parks for field trips. In addition to the programs above, Naturalists are available to discuss teachers' objectives for their class and design programs to meet their specific needs. Environmental education is the perfect theme to make any subject come alive. For instance, if a teacher wishes to enhance a math program, activities with trees such as calculating the height, circumference, diameter, and age lend themselves to both math and environmental education.

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Field Trip Application Form

Naturalist programs are very popular and demand often exceeds availability. The staff will accommodate your request as scheduling permits. Requests are filled by lottery for each session (summer, fall and spring). Most naturalist programs are free of charge for Alameda and Contra Costa County public school groups-exceptions are noted in the field trip program descriptions. The hourly fee for private schools, non-District schools and other public or private groups is $40/hour for each District employee involved.

  • To Apply Online or Download (PDF) an Application, Click > HERE.
  • OR... If you need an application form mailed to you by U.S. Mail, Click > HERE
  • OR... Call the Visitor Center you would like to visit and ask for an application to be mailed or emailed to you.

Application Deadlines

  • For Summer Programs: Submit an application by 5 p.m. on the 1st of Monday in May.
  • For Fall Programs: Submit an application by 5 p.m. on the 1st of Monday in August.
  • For Spring Programs: Submit an application by 5 p.m. on the 1st of Monday in December.

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Field Trip Guidelines

You can enhance your upcoming field trip by taking a few moments to go over this checklist. Remember that pre- and post-trip activities are a very important part of the field trip experience, and we will be happy to provide you with suggested activities.

  1. Dress Appropriately
    • Shoes: Wear sturdy shoes that can get dirty and wet. No sandals.
    • Clothing: Wear play clothes that can get dirty or wet. Weather can be variable - dress in layers. Be sure students have jackets if necessary.
    • Rain Gear: Come prepared for the weather.
    • Name Tags: All students and adult leaders should wear visible name tags. Print legibly and large. Pin-on or stick-on tags are preferred.
  2. Bring Food and Snacks
    • Refrigerators are available for storing some lunch items if necessary (except at Black Diamond). If your group has special needs, check with the office.
    • Rest rooms, picnic areas, and drinking water are available at all parks.
  3. Arrive at the Scheduled Time: Late arrivals may cause conflicts with other scheduled programs.
  4. Collecting Is Not Permitted: All Parklands are protected. Collecting is not permitted. Help us by making your group aware of this. Our natural resources are limited and fragile. All rocks and animals must be returned to their original position.
  5. Supervision: Naturalists are a special resource and can do a better job if they are not dealing with discipline issues at the same time. At least one adult leader should be present for every 15 students.

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Cancellation

Call the visitor center where your program is scheduled immediately if you find it necessary to cancel. Rain will not cancel scheduled programs. We may have to alter your program, but we will be here to meet your group.

Parks Express: Apply for Low Cost Transportation to Our Parks

Low cost transportation is offered to school groups and non-profit groups that qualify through the Parks Express program. Information may be obtained by calling Parks Express at 510-544-2205 or...

Download: Parks Express Trip Brochure and Application Form (1.5 MB, 3 pp. PDF)

Apply online for: Parks Express

If you would like to coordinate a Naturalist Educational Program, contact the Visitor Center directly for more information on programs offered, application procedures, and deadlines.
See a list of our Visitor Centers

Note: Transportation and program reservations must be made separately. Reservations for one does not assure reservations for the other.

Public transportation to the parks may also be available. Please visit our Public Transit page for details.

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Other Featured Services

Naturalist-Led Programs and Consultations

Naturalists provide consulting services to conservation education organizations. Conservation education organizations can contract with naturalists to conduct docent training. For information about our docent training programs, click here.

Nature Stores

A selection of nature books, note cards, t-shirts, and other items are for sale at Black Diamond, Coyote Hills, Crab Cove, Sunol and the Tilden Nature Area. At Ardenwood, groups can pre-order individualized horse-shoes through the Blacksmith. For information email ardenwoodforge@gmail.com.