Eccles Wildlife Education Center education programs
Learn about field trips and other educational programs
Thank you for your interest in visiting the Eccles Wildlife Education Center with your school group. We currently offer two types of field trips: a partially guided option and a self-guided option. All field trips must be scheduled in advance.
We are currently taking reservations for spring and summer 2019 field trips. We will begin taking reservations for fall field trips (September through November) on August 1, 2019. Time slots are reserved on a first-come, first-served basis. Due to our facility’s size we recommend that groups do not exceed 60 students, but we can accommodate groups of up to 100 students per field trip depending on our staff and volunteer availability. You must have at least 20 students before requesting a reservation.
How to reserve a field trip
Reserving your time slot helps us ensure that your visit won’t conflict with any other major uses of the facility. We are not able to accommodate any school groups that arrive without a reservation.
To reserve a field trip, follow the steps below:
Step 1: Pick your preferred date to visit and type of field trip
Field trips are typically available on Tuesdays and Thursdays in either the morning or afternoon. Morning slots begin at approximately 9:30 a.m. and afternoon slots begin at approximately 1:00 p.m. Expect the field trip to last one and a half to two hours. Exact start and end times can be flexible to accommodate your schedule.
We offer a partially guided field trip or a self-guided field trip.
- The partially guided option consists of three activity rotations: two led by DWR staff or volunteers, and one that is led by the teacher. Upon arrival, an employee or volunteer will welcome your group, provide an introduction to the site and answer any questions about the site.
- The self-guided option consists of you and any other teachers accompanying you leading the field trip. Information on how to prepare your students for their trip to the wetland and instructions on how to conduct a nature trail wildlife identification activity will be provided prior to your visit. On the date of your field trip, there is limited interaction with your group and our staff or volunteers. Upon arrival, an employee or volunteer will welcome your group, provide an introduction to the site and answer any questions about the site.
Step 2: Request a field trip at least two weeks in advance.
To help speed along the reservation process, including the following information in your field trip request is also helpful:
- The type of field trip you’re requesting: partially guided or self-guided.
- The number of students in your group and their grade level or age range.
- The primary contact for the field trip: name, email address and best phone number.
- The date you’d like to visit and your preference for the morning or afternoon time slot. You might want to include one or two backup dates in case your first choice is already reserved.
When your time and date are finalized, you’ll receive a confirmation email that contains all the details of your trip.
Step 3: Plan your field trip for success.
Although we don’t charge any fees for field trips, you’ll need to make your own travel arrangements for your group, such as reserving buses.
Be sure to recruit parents to act as chaperones if you have a large group. A minimum of one adult chaperone is needed for every 10 students (teachers included). More chaperones are recommended for younger students. For example, one chaperone for every six students is ideal for a typical fourth grade class.
We do not have any lunchrooms or picnic areas available for students to eat their lunches at the Eccles Wildlife Education Center. Please plan for your students to eat lunch off-site.
Step 4: Explore the wetland!
An Eccles Wildlife Education Center volunteer will welcome your group upon arrival, help familiarize you with the facility and provide an overview for your students.
We hope you enjoy your field trip at the Eccles Wildlife Education Center. This new facility is here for everyone to explore the wetland, and you can do your part to help us keep it in good shape. Even though our staff members are trained in group management techniques, the teachers and chaperones of your group are responsible for student behavior. Please ensure that students are respectful of the facility, trails, wildlife and staff members at all times. Groups that display significant negative behaviors may be asked to leave early.
Will staff visit my school?
The Eccles Wildlife Education Center does not offer in-school visits from staff or volunteers for activities or presentations.