Introducing young people to the wonders of nature has been shown to improve their overall well-being and readiness to learn and places them on a path to becoming good stewards of the natural world as adults. Whether you are a teacher or a parent, Point Lobos offers magnificent opportunities for both an introduction to the environment and for continued learning.

Staff and volunteer docents offer guided on-site or virtual field trips for schools, and an intensive summer camp called Summer Adventures. Additionally, young people can now learn more about the wealth of natural resources in Point Lobos from their iPad with the Discover Point Lobos app. Find information about each of these resources below.

Point Lobos is a natural reserve, not a park. Afforded the highest level of statewide protection, the purpose of a reserve is to forever protect an area of unique natural beauty and ecological significance. Stay on marked trails, do not collect natural objects of any kind, and please do not disturb wildlife in their natural habitat.

General Information for Teachers

To visit Point Lobos with your students, please submit the online Reservation Request at least 15 days in advance of the requested date of your visit. The form must be completed in full, including approval by the principal of the school. Point Lobos State Natural Reserve is able to accommodate a maximum of 120 students per day and two school groups.

School groups must be accompanied at all times by enough school-appointed adult escorts or teachers to maintain order. Expectations for chaperones are laid out in Guidelines for Chaperones (Spanish version of Chaperones Guidelines). Please print these out and give them to each chaperone. A ratio of at least one adult for every ten students is required.

All school buses and private vehicles bringing students to Point Lobos must park in the Piney Woods picnic area. School buses should not leave their parking spaces, as other visitors may park in the area designated for buses. Buses and other vehicles over 20 feet in length are not permitted on weekends, holidays or during the summer months.

If you are interested in visiting Point Lobos with your students and have questions, please contact Melissa Gobell, Docent Coordinator and School Walk Coordinator, at (831) 625-1470 or melissa.gobell@parks.ca.gov. Confirmation of your scheduled field trip will be sent by mail. No commitments or confirmations are made over the telephone.

School Group Reservation Form

School Outreach Program

Point Lobos has developed a wonderful nature program for young people aged eight to twelve. Experience Point Lobos offer Point Lobos as an outside classroom to support and achieve California Science Content Standards. A second purpose is to instill in our youth the enjoyment, appreciation and awareness of our natural environment and to practice and foster a conservation ethic. If you are interested in having this program presented to your class or youth group, contact Melissa Gobell, Park Interpretive Specialist, at (831) 625-1470 or melissa.gobell@parks.ca.gov.

Long Distance Learning

If a field trip to the Reserve is not possible, but you would like to expose your students to Point Lobos, consider a long-distance learning option. PORTS is a free program operated by California State Parks that uses the power of interactive video conferencing to help K-12 schools teach common core state standards in the context of California State Parks. Discover Point Lobos is an interpretive and educational iPad app, developed for seven-twelve year olds, that can be used anywhere to enhance learning. It’s a wonderful pre-visit orientation tool. The app is free and available on iTunes.

Checklist

  • Get administrative approval from your principal.
  • Fill out the reservation request completely. When you submit your reservation online, you will receive an email response to your request. Requests for school-led walks must be submitted at least two weeks in advance. If you are requesting a docent-guided walk, please submit at least four weeks in advance.
  • Arrange transportation. Transportation grants for Title 1 schools are available from the Point Lobos Foundation. Contact Melissa Gobell for information.
  • Review online resources for teachers. Develop a lesson plan and activities schedule. Consider activities such as dividing into smaller study groups, lunch and an alternative plan for rain or other inclement weather.
  • Recruit parents for adult leaders and chaperones. At least one adult for every ten students is required. For guided walks, one adult for every 6 students is required. However, any additional adults above the required ratio are expected to explore the reserve on their own.
  • Share your lesson plan, the Guidelines for Chaperones document (Spanish Guidelines for Chaperones), and field trip activities with the chaperones. Make sure the adults understand their roles and responsibilities, and, in particular, how they can assist the docent who is leading the walk by reminding students to remain focused on the task at hand. Finally, please make sure that all participants wear easily visible name tags to facilitate the interaction between the docent leader and your students.
  • Prepare students for the trip. Let them know where they are going, the difference between a reserve and a park, appropriate behavior when visiting and what they may encounter. Discover Point Lobos is a terrific educational and interactive tool (available for free on iTunes) to prepare students for your visit. Have them bring appropriate clothing and shoes. It is frequently cool and windy at the Reserve.
  • Lunches: Eating is allowed only at picnic tables in Whalers Cove, Piney Woods, and Bird Island. No food or drinks may be taken on the trails. Restrooms are located at the picnic areas.
  • It is helpful to bring a list of children with special medical needs (allergic to bee stings, etc) and a first aid kit for small problems. Garbage bags are great to sit on if it is wet and can be used as rain slickers. Have someone bring a camera!

All school buses and private vehicles bringing students to Point Lobos must park in the Piney Woods picnic area. School buses should not leave their parking spaces, as other visitors may park in the area designated for buses. Buses and other vehicles over 20 feet in length are not permitted on weekends, holidays or during the summer months.

Please contact Melissa Gobell, Docent Coordinator and School Walk Coordinator,
at (831) 625-1470
or melissa.gobell@parks.ca.gov
with any questions.