Session 3: Forests, Streams, and Beaches

Explore majestic forests and dip your toes in the cool Pacific...summer is finally here! 

After being cooped up in class all year long, it's time to explore redwood forests, the beaches along the San Mateo coastline, and run up-and-down Ano Nuevo's sand dunes. Perfect for kids that love to explore, build forts on the beach, and see wild marine life up close, get ready to explore nature with your friends.  Each day explore a different location. No two days are the same!

  • Monday--Ano Nuevo's famous elephant seals and sand dunes. 
  • Tuesday--Pescadero Beach and Marsh for a fun day of building sand castles, driftwood forts, and climbing trees.
  • Wednesday--William Cowell State Park for a day beneath the canopies of redwood trees.
  • Thursday--A hike to Sempervirons Waterfall.
  • Friday--Bean Hollow beach day and sand castle making competition. 

 

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Monday--Ano Nuevo's famous elephant seals and sand dunes. After a beautiful drive along the San Mateo coastline, we arrive at Ano Nuevo. As we hike through fields of wild blackberries and wild flowers, turkey vultures and kites glide through the air looking for their lunch. Soon we arrive at an interpretive center to find out information about elephant seals and sea otters before trekking across sand-dunes to see these powerful mammals sunbathing by the seashore. If the wind is just right, we will hear their sonorous roar from miles away. Surrounding this peninsula, we gaze back at the coastal mountains and can imagine how they capture the fog and the rain that comes in from the Pacific Ocean and fills the streams. 

 

Tuesday--Pescadero Beach and Marsh for a fun day of building sand castles, driftwood forts, and climbing trees.   Pescadero Beach, a wide and sandy beach, is the perfect place to build driftwood forts, sand castles, and to climb a tree. As we explore the trails, we will see great blue herons, egrets, swooping terns, and even a bird condo where birds nest during the spring and summer months. If we are lucky, and our eyes are keen, we may even see a tree frog resting on the spiky leaves of a blackberry briar, and if they are ripe and juicy, eat a few wild blackberries. Beneath the waters, we may see a gleaming steelhead hunting in the marsh. 

Wednesday--William Cowell State Park for a day beneath the canopies of redwood trees. Groves of ancient redwood trees tower above us. How did they get to be so tall? How have they survived through the ages? In the morning, if we are lucky, the last bits of wispy fog will still be present in the forest. This vital moisture is the key to the success of these amazing trees that have survived through the ages. Active explorers learn about how fragile the environment is by seeing these magnificent trees up close. As we climb through the forest, we begin to feel less humid air, and soon we no longer find massive redwood trees. Is there a link? An awe in spiring day, children will love spend time exploring this wonderful forest environment.  

Thursday-Bean Hollow beach day and sand castle making competition. Blissful beaches are places of beauty and creativity. Children will have time to look for shells, make forts complete with motes next to the stream flowing through the beach, and create intricate Goldworthy inspired art. After building driftwood forts, and decorating them, children will eat lunch. Children are allowed to bring Frisbees and kites.

Friday--A hike to Semprervirons Waterfall. If it hasn't rained in nearly 3 months, why are we going to a waterfall? After a beautiful drive through the Santa Cruz Mountains, we arrive at Big Basin State Park. From here, we explore a shaded forest of tall redwood trees as we make our way to a wispy waterfall. Even though it hasn't rained in nearly 3 months, the waterfall continues to flow. Children wonder why and explore the role fog plays in the health and well-being of this coastal forest. Many children return from this hike and want to take their parents to this beautiful and magical place.