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
- Field Trip Application Form (Online & Acrobat PDF)
- Application Deadlines
- Field Trip Guidelines
- Parks Express: Apply for Low Cost Transportation to Our Parks
- Other Featured Services
Click on the links below to find out about each Visitor Center and the field trip programs offered by each site:
- Ardenwood Historic Farm (Fremont): Visitor Center Info | Field Trip Program Descriptions
- Big Break Regional Shoreline: Visitor Center Info | Field Trip Program Descriptions
- Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve (Antioch): Visitor Center Info | Field Trip Program Descriptions
- Coyote Hills Regional Park (Fremont): Visitor Center Info | Field Trip Program Descriptions
- Crab Cove Visitor Center (Alameda): Visitor Center Info | Field Trip Program Descriptions
- Southeast Sector (Sunol Area): Visitor Center Info | Field Trip Program Descriptions
- Tilden Nature Area (Berkeley): Visitor Center Info | Field Trip Program Descriptions
Phone: (510) 544-3220
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.
Phone: (510) 544-3187
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.
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.
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.
- 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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Arrive at the Scheduled Time: Late arrivals may cause conflicts with other scheduled programs.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.