Education Programs

Nature education for all!

Lessons are always hands-on, interactive, and conducted in our beautiful 254-acre open-air classroom. Programs are centered on the natural and cultural history of San Jose, protecting the Guadalupe Watershed, and cultivating awareness and creativity within our natural world.

Classes and programs meet at the Guadalupe River Park & Gardens Visitor and Education Center located at 438 Coleman Avenue OR at the Heritage Rose Garden picnic area located at 412 Seymour Street. Please check your confirmation carefully to ensure that your group meets at the correct place. In order to maintain appropriate student to teacher ratios and sufficient materials, advance registration is required for all programs except Beginning Environmental Explorers (BEE). The registration deadlines vary by program and are listed on the individual program listing. All programs must be reserved online; each class, workshop or program listing will have a link to click in order to sign up.

Field Trips for K-12

Discover lifecycles of salmon and trout, the history of Santa Clara Valley and San Jose, archaeology, flower anatomy and pollination, composting and vermiculture -that’s worms! School field trip programs meet California State Education Standards, and there are scholarships available for program and transportation for those who qualify. We are currently offering Virtual Field Trips only and are not offering In-Person Field Trips at this time, but hope to safely host groups at the beautiful Guadalupe River Park again soon!

In every station, my students were always engaged, excited, and asking a lot of questions. Those field trips ignite my students’ inquiry skills and help them extend their knowledge. We appreciate this program and we are looking forward to next year’s trip!

Field Trip Group, Third Grade
Other Education Programs

Beginning Environmental Explorers (BEE): An early introduction into environmental science for ages 3-6. This FREE program is taught by GRPC environmental educators. Topics include rivers, frogs, birds, and more! We now offer two classes: one in English on Wednesdays, and one in Spanish on Fridays. (Note: Currently we are not offering BEE due to COVID-19 restrictions on in-person gatherings)

Community Homeschool Investigators of the River Park (CHIRP): Our science class for homeschool students, with sessions for children 5-8 & 9-12. Themes change monthly, and every week is a different lesson! (Note: CHIRP is being offered virtually for the 2020-2021 school year due to COVID-19 restrictions.)

Our Small Group Programs are available for groups of 20 or fewer every day of the week! Are you the leader of a small group? Do you homeschool your children? Do you simply want to bring a group outside to learn? Sign up for a small group program and join us for an adventure! With topics ranging from salmon to compost to pollinators and more, there is sure to be a program that will suit your group!

Camp Guadalupe

Camp Guadalupe is a drop-in camp that provides participants with an educational, affordable, and engaging way to enjoy Summer months. Sessions can be purchased individually, weekly, or for the summer. Themes range from physics to snakes, and take place outdoors (weather permitting.) We use the historic orchard, heritage rose garden, GRPC backyard classroom, and Rotary PlayGarden as outdoor classrooms to teach a variety of interesting and engaging topics. Don’t worry, we also have a bunch of fun! Note: Camp Guadalupe will be online, using a distance learning model for June 2020, or until restrictions lift and we believe it is safe to move Camp back to the Guadalupe River Park and meet in person.

Programs for Groups with Special Needs

GRPC offers field trip programming designed for persons with special needs, including those with autism, Down syndrome, ADD, ADHD, deafness, blindness, and mobility impairments. The Open Space Authority has worked with us to create this program, funded by a generous grant from the Yahoo Employee Foundation and Open Space Authority. 

Adult and Family Programs

Taught by Bay Area experts, explore a variety of topics such as composting, grey-water basics, photography, flower arranging or wreath making. You can even practice yoga, take a guided hike or bike tour. Check back with us often to see what’s new!

Water Festival

The Water Festival is an educational festival designed to celebrate our local watershed. Every year, environmental education organizations from around the Bay Area come together at Guadalupe River Park & Gardens to teach local students important hands-on science lessons based on topics such as water conservation, pollution prevention, the value of water as a natural resource, and how people can affect their watershed.

Formerly the Water Wizard Festival, the event has drawn 300 students and their teachers annually to the park. The event is free to students, their teachers, and their chaperones; our generous funders allow us to also provide each school with a transportation scholarship to cover bus costs. (enter)

The 17th Annual Water Festival has been postponed to Spring 2022 due to Covid-19; stay tuned for more updates!

Internships

Are you looking to volunteer long-term with the Guadalupe River Park Conservancy’s Education Team? We have several internship positions available for dedicated volunteers aged 16 and up!

Whether you are interested in joining our Animal Care team, completing a Special Project with us, or just want to help us deliver meaningful educational experiences, we have an internship for you! Our internships are designed together with each intern to guarantee that the project helps both the GRPC and the intern. Reach out to us with your interest and we’ll work together to develop the perfect role for you.