Bear Valley Visitor Center ranger program
This program gave students the opportunity to use their water quality monitoring skills in a real world situation. This program comes with a superb hands-on curriculum for use in the classroom before and after the program. Students create a map, measure the temperature, measure pH, measure dissolved oxygen, measure the channel width and depth, measure the velocity of the water, and survey the insects present in the creek. They briefly discuss their results as a group with the ranger but the bulk of the discussion happens when the data is brought home to the classroom. The Post-Visit Activities included in the curriculum are both excellent and essential to bring closure to the experience. The creek monitoring experience provides a springboard with which to plan a water and soil monitoring program at a local creek near the school.
You must make reservations in advance to participate in the park's ranger led programs. In addition to Monitoring Creek Health, there are a number of other ranger led programs focusing on different aspects of geology, ecology and natural history. Reservation forms can be found on the Point Reyes website. Reservations must be in writing and are accepted on a first come first served basis. Call 415-464-5139 for available dates and more information.
Camping at Olema Ranch Campground
Olema Ranch Campground is a privately owned campground located half a mile from the Park. Several large group sites are available. Tent sites start at $25 per site. Each site accommodates up to 6 people and 2 cars. The facilities have showers, fire pits, picnic tables, and a general store. They also have games you can borrow such as horseshoes, croquet, shuffleboard and others. For more information, call (415) 663-8001 or e-mail the campgrounds at [email protected].
Kayaking with Blue Waters Kayaking
Our school has gone kayaking with Blue Waters Kayaks for many years - always with the greatest success. The program I can heartily recommend is the 6 hour paddle out of Inverness. Students learn the basics of handling a kayak then slowly make their way 1.5 miles along the bay to a lovely beach. There, students have lunch and explore the estuary and its wildlife before returning. While I personally have only been on the 6 hour kayaking programs with my students, Blue Waters can also arrange kayak camping trips along Tomales Bay. The prices for groups varies so contact Blue Waters directly for rates and information 415-669-2600.