Thank you for your interest in a Nature Awareness field trip with Tualatin Riverkeepers! Nature Awareness and Service Learning is a youth education program for students in grades K-8. Our program helps students learn techniques to understand and enjoy the nature in their neighborhood. Field trip activities are aligned with the Next Generation Science Standards and are designed to instill an early interest in conservation, foster scientific curiosity and build life-long stewards for local natural areas.
Below is information to help you plan your visit. Teachers do not have to register every student. Please register the lead teacher for every field trip day–this teacher will receive emails from the environmental education coordinator regarding the field trip.
What Teachers are Saying About TRK Field Trips
The students learned so much in just a couple of hours and were able to connect with nature within their community; this will allow them to teach others when they return! The scavenger hunt was great! I thought all of the events were appropriate and the kids really had a great time despite the cold and rain.
The field trip was engaging and informative! The kids loved making sound maps and exploring skulls. Thanks so much to the volunteers! The kids loved the field trip, and it was a great addition to our animal unit.
TRK Staff and Volunteers were experts on the material and did a great job talking to the kids and demanding attention. We want to return on this trip next year, and in the future. Thank you!
We appreciate the help with the buses a lot. We only get one trip paid for each year including buses, so having a free field trip with buses paid for allows us to have more than one trip a year. Our kids really lack life experiences, so anything we can to do to create them is important.
Field Trip Time Frame
Generally Field trips start between 9:00 am and 9:30 am with trips for K-1 lasting two hours, and all other grades lasting two hours and forty minutes. Dirksen Nature Park can accommodate ~60 students per visit. If your school has more than two classes per grade you will need to plan for multiple visits. You are welcome to stay onsite after your visit to eat lunch. There are also opportunities to complete a follow up service project on a separate date, such as an ivy pull or planting native plants. Read about one of our field trips in The Times.
At 48 acres Dirksen Nature park is the City of Tigard’s largest nature park, hosting six unique habitats and a diversity of Native plants and animals. Dirksen Nature Park‘s Education Center is located at 11130 Tigard St. in Tigard.
Field Trip Curriculum
The field trip activities are all linked to Next Generation Science Strands and aligned with the Oregon Environmental Literacy Plan. The objective of the field trip is to enhance classroom learning with hands-on activities and experiences. Activities are facilitated by the Tualatin Riverkeepers Education Coordinator and team of trained volunteer naturalists.
Cycles of Life: Grades K-1
Through exploring the patterns of change and growth, students will better understand the many natural processes that sustain the world around them. Students will discover the fascinating world of decomposers, become a living tree, and explore the changing landscape at Dirksen Nature Park
Wildlife Watchers: Grades 2-3
There is a lot to learn about animal behavior without actually seeing a live animal. Students will learn to see the natural world in a new way as they build skills to extend their senses and make exciting observations.
Water World: Grades 4-5
Everything needs water to survive, and everyone lives in a watershed. Students will gain an understanding of their influence over local and global water issues, while developing skills for monitoring and protecting water quality.
Restoration: Grades 6-8
Students will learn about the positive and negative impacts humans have on our ecosystems, while exploring strategies to repair and restore relationships to land. All students will participate in a service learning project, so prepare to get dirty!
Tualatin Riverkeepers offers field trips at no cost. However, a suggested donation of $5 per student is greatly appreciated, and helps ensure that this program is available to all students.
The participating school is required to arrange transportation and cover related costs. Transportation assistance is available for Title I schools.
Once on the registration page you can search for the dates that you would like to take your trip on the left of the page. Click the blue “ADD” button for your chosen date/dates. Once selected click the yellow “CONTINUE” button in the upper right corner, leave the quantity at 1. Dirksen Nature Park can accommodate ~60 students per visit. If you have more than two classes per grade level you will need to select multiple dates before clicking the continue button.
If you have any questions or need clarification, please contact our Environmental Education Coordinator, Charissa Jones.