The Coast News Group
Escondido Creek Conservancy volunteers lead third-grade students along The Way Up Trail at Elfin Forest Recreational Reserve. Courtesy photo

Escondido Creek Conservancy’s outdoor classroom connects students with nature

ESCONDIDO — Imagine a world where every student, in every grade, receives a field trip in nature. Escondido Creek Conservancy is well on the way to making this a reality.

Last school year, The Escondido Creek Conservancy (Conservancy) brought all third-grade students in the Escondido Union School District out to the Elfin Forest Recreational Reserve to learn about habitats. Our partners at San Diego Zoo Global and Nature Collective brought all fourth- and fifth-grade students and half of sixth-grade students in the district out into nature as well. This year, the collaboration has expanded to include all seventh-grade students in Escondido.

The Conservancy’s Habitats program involves a series of classroom lessons followed by a field trip to the Elfin Forest. Immersed in nature, students engage in STEM science while learning about local wildlife that live in and around the creek. After the trip, the children write letters to corporations and local government representatives to address the problem of litter in their community and propose solutions.

“Many of the students that come out to Elfin Forest have never been outside the urban center of Escondido,” said the Conservancy’s Education Manager, Jennifer Imm. “These field trips are an opportunity for students to experience the natural world for the first time and learn what they can do to help protect it.”

You can help instill a passion for nature in Escondido students by volunteering to help with the Conservancy’s field trips, on weekdays from 9 a.m. to noon. If you are interested in volunteering, contact Education Director Simon Breen at [email protected]. You can also help our education programs by donating to the Eichen Education Fund. Visit for more information.