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K-6 Field Programs

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Jackson Bottom Wetlands Preserve trained staff and volunteers present a variety of science-based field programs that meet science standards and curriculum goals, are very hands-on and encourage students to be active, involved learners! Join us for a wonderful experience in the field learning about a variety of topics from Biodiversity to Insects. All programs are hands-on, interactive, educational and fun. For school groups, all of our programs are aligned with the Oregon Common curriculum goals and State benchmarks for education.

All Hillsboro public schools receive a 10 percent discount.

Field programs can be booked from the first weekday after Spring Break until the last day of school. Traveling programs can be booked throughout the school year and may be available during the summer months.

If you are interested in a Jackson Bottom Field Program, please contact Diane Kearns at 503-681-6278. 


Length: 2 hours
Fee: $150 per class
Students using scientific tools to collect ecosystem information at Jackson Bottom Wetlands Preserve

What is biodiversity? Why is it important to the world and you personally? Students will rotate through three different learning stations, using scientific tools to get a glimpse of ecosystem health through the study of water quality, wildlife habitat, soils and plant diversity, and the food chain. Students can then take these skills and ideas back to the classroom for a study of biodiversity at their own school site.


Length: One and one-half hours
Fee: $110 per class

Insects are all around us and have amazing adaptations and strategies to survive in their habitats. Students will learn the characteristics of an insect. How they are different from spiders, study their adaptations and solve five insect mysteries focused on identification, life cycle, adaptations, behavior and interaction with humans. They will also have the opportunity to use sweep nets to learn the correct technique for catching and releasing insects and go on an insect investigation walk in the wetland.

Jackson Bottom Wetland Birds

Length: One and one-half hours
Fee: $110 per class

Birds are some of the most fascinating and conspicuous animals on the planet. Join us at Jackson Bottom Wetlands Preserve for a two-hour exploration into the world of birds. Students will have the opportunity to use binoculars while on a bird watching walk, eat like a bird, handle feathers, bones and nests, and discover how birds fit into this wetland ecosystem.

Plants, Pollinators, and People

Length: 90 Minutes
Fee: $110 per class

Plants provide the foundation for our ecosystems. What adaptations do plants have that help them survive the floods at Jackson Bottom Wetlands Preserve? Find out about the relationship between plants and their pollinators and then have a chance to explore the world of seeds and how they are dispersed. Learn about how early residents of the area depended on the native plants to survive.

Students learning about the plants that grow at Jackson Bottom Wetlands Preserve.

Preserve Inquiry

Length: Four hours (fall, spring and summer seasons only due to winter flooding)
Fee: $225 per class

How do people find out things about the world? One major way is by the process of Scientific Inquiry. Let’s learn how to learn! We will practice framing a question, planning an investigation, collecting and recording data, analyzing data and sharing results with others. As students become more familiar with the process of scientific inquiry, they will learn how to follow up on their curiosity, excel at asking and answering questions and learn how to be a problem-solver.

Riparian Forest Inquiry

Length: Four hours (fall, spring and summer seasons only due to winter flooding)
Fee: $225 per class

Riparian forests are some of the most diverse ecosystems on earth. During this field experience, students will learn about these amazing ecosystems by conducting an assessment of the riparian forest at Jackson Bottom Wetlands Preserve. Students will learn about disturbances in an ecosystem and discover why canopy does matter! They will also conduct a wildlife survey, comparing diversity between two different habitat zones in the Preserve. This is a very hands-on program where students will learn to use various scientific tools and instruments and practice their inquiry and data collection skills.

Sensory Fun in the Wetlands

Length: One and one-half hours
Fee: $110 per class

Here’s an opportunity to check out your senses…sight, hearing, smell, touch and taste! We will discover what a wetland is, cool things about the critters such as Bald Eagles, bats, coyotes, raccoons, and insects that live here and explore how their senses are different than ours. How do bats catch bugs? How well do Bald Eagles see? How are insect eyes different than ours? Bring your eyes, noses, hands, and feet for some serious wetland fun! Young students having fun learning about Jackson Bottom Wetlands Preserve.

Wetland Exploration

Length: One and one-half hours
Fee: $110 per class

Explore the wetlands with a naturalist on a tour to discover the wonderful things that are all around us. Each tour will be unique and full of surprises. Staff will customize the tour depending on the interests and needs of your group.

Note: With programs of two hours or less, we can accommodate two classes from a school on the same day reducing travel costs. When two classes come to the Preserve on the same day, one class will participate in the program while the other class goes on a hike around the Preserve. Students will eat lunch together on the deck, then the classes will switch activities.”

Questions about Programs?

Contact Diane Kearns, Environmental Education Program Supervisor at 503-681-6278.

Cancellations & Other School Program Policies

Groups that fail to show up on the day of their reservation will be billed for the full program fee. Cancellations must be made in writing at least 14 days in advance.