Learn About Nature

Kids are easily inspired by nature. From buzzing bees making honey to lakes and rivers sheltering fish to vegetable gardens feeding families, the natural world is ripe with educational opportunities. Our Youth Education Department offers classes and special events that serve families with children of various ages, including preschoolers and elementary school students.

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Bull frogs are sitting in a pond

Natural Science Classroom

The Natural Science Classroom (NSC) offers organized environmental science classes for students in kindergarten through grade five. Highly-interactive with a custom curriculum designed by The Gardens’ education team, these programs feature key study areas such as geology, plant anatomy, soil & composting, and wildlife habitats and can be held virtually, in the classroom at individual schools, or at The Gardens as part of a field trip. For elementary grades.

Learning about caves (Photo: Karen V. Chinn)

Nature Explorers

Nature Explorers offers eight months of weekly “parent & child” engagement focused on interacting with nature through teacher-led, hands-on activities, stories and songs. Our diverse garden landscape is the perfect outdoor classroom for fun, nature-oriented learning. Designed for toddlers and preschoolers, these programs also provide snacks and a social atmosphere for both parents/caregivers and kids. For ages two to five.

Teacher leading water class virtually

Contra Costa Water District

In partnership with Contra Costa Water District (CCWD), we offer programs for elementary grades three through five which focus on the process by which water flows through our local environment, from snow pack to kitchen sink. Programs are typically offered off-site at two county water treatment plants (in Concord and Oakley) as well as at the Interpretive Center at Los Vaqueros Watershed (Brentwood); however, these programs are currently being offered virtually. For elementary grades.

Special summer program for K-3


Join the Naturenauts! Explore the many habitats around our gardens including our aquatic ecosystem, plant diversity, insects, and geology. Discover how pollinators help keep our garden growing and how to identify different native plants that can be found throughout our community. Learn about our history including how Native Americans used plants to improve their everyday lives and how scientists use fossils to discover what plants and animals used to call our gardens home. For grades K-3.

“Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.”

Albert Einstein
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