How to schedule a field trip
- NEW! Reservations for fall and spring field trips are accepted beginning Aug. 1.
- Contact Sandra Jamison at 503-972-8543 or firstname.lastname@example.org for available dates or additional information.
- Once your date is confirmed you will be directed to complete an online application.
- One month before your field trip you will receive confirmation and a field trip packet.
- You will be invoiced for the field trip program fee. Program fee: one classroom = $50; two classrooms = $100
- Title 1 schools do not pay the program fee. If the fee is a hardship, you may request a program fee waiver. Ask Sandra Jamison for more details.
- We offer a bus reimbursement to schools that qualify.
Field trip locations
We invite you to come to one location or all three. Compare the locations in the fall and then in the spring.
Oxbow Regional Park
Focusing on the Sandy River and its wild spawning salmon, students will:
- gain an understanding of the amazing wild salmon life cycle
- do some fish watching
- learn salmon anatomy
- explore the river banks
- learn the importance of watershed health
- make connections between the terrestrial and aquatic food webs
This field trip is four hours in length including a lunch break and can accommodate one or two classrooms in one day. It is suitable for second through fifth grade levels; offered mid October to the first week of November.
With a focus on the ancient forest and tracking, students will:
- gain an introductory understanding of old-growth forest ecology
- increase their observation skills through identification of wildlife tracks and sign
- gain a deeper awareness of wildlife and their use of forest and riparian habitats
This field trip is offered for two hours or four hours and can be scheduled for a single classroom or two classrooms. With the two hour trip, you will only go through the Ancient Forest. In the four hour trip, you will do the Ancient Forest hike and do the tracking along the banks of the Sandy River. Spring trips run the first week of April through the last week of May.
Smith and Bybee Wetlands Natural Area
The wetlands are a fantastic place to visit. Students will:
- explore the wetlands
- make observations of plants and animals to compare the diversity of life in different habitats
- investigate what animals live in the water through a "critter catch" of aquatic insects and other small animals
- gain an understanding that everything is interconnected through a food chain activity
- discover the superheroes of the wetlands . . . decomposers
- identify wetlands animals and their habitats
- discover how the seasons affect the lakes
- native plants
This field trip is two hours in length for a single classroom. If two classrooms are scheduled in one day, the field trip extends to four hours with one classroom taking the field trip at a time. While waiting, the other classroom stays at the picnic shelter at Smith and Bybee for teacher directed activities. Fall trips run from mid-September through the first week of November. Spring trips run the first week of April through the last week of May.
Scouters Mountain Nature Park
Exploring at this extinct lava dome, the forest comes alive with mushrooms, vibrant green moss and lichen, and various animal residents. The focus is on:
- explore trails
- discover what mammals, amphibians, birds and insects make their home at Scouters
- identify habitats
- discuss life cycles and wildlife diversity
- identify plants, fungus and producers and consumers
- investigate the geology of the site and water cycles
- gain an understanding tht everything in the forest is interconnected
This field trip is two hours in length for a single classroom. If two classrooms are scheduled in one day, the field trip extends to four hours with one classroom taking the field trip at a time. While waiting, the other classroom can stay at the picnic shelter to eat lunch or work on other teacher directed activities like creative writing, art, history, geology or games in the grassy lawn. Fall trips run from mid-September through the first week of November. Spring trips run the first week of April through the last week of May.
Questions and answers
When should I book a reservation?
Reservations for fall and spring field trips are accepted beginning Aug. 1. Space is limited and popular dates are filled two to three months in advance.
What is the format for field trips?
Metro provides one staff naturalist and trained volunteers. Schools provide one adult (parent/helper) per eight children. Classrooms are divided into smaller groups, and students rotate through two or three hands-on activities led by Metro staff and volunteer naturalists. In some instances, the teacher or a parent helper will be asked to help lead an activity.
When two classes visit Smith and Bybee Wetlands Natural Area and Scouters Mountain Nature Park, teachers will need to be prepared to lead students with their own activities while the other class is with the Metro naturalists and volunteers.
How much time do I need to allow for the field trip?
Field trips to Oxbow Regional Park are usually a full school day (two to four hours in the park, excluding travel time to and from school). Field trips to Smith and Bybee Wetlands and Scouters Mountain Nature Park for one classroom can be done in a half day (two hours), not including travel time or lunch; programs for two classrooms require a full day (four hours) and the bus must stay with the group for the whole day.
What size group can I bring?
Metro's field trip program is designed for one classroom to be split into smaller study groups. Field trips can accommodate two classrooms: maximum 70 students at Oxbow, 60 students at Smith and Bybee Wetlands Natural Area and Scouters Mountain Nature Park.
Can our class visit your parks on our own?
If you would like to arrange your own field trip to a Metro park or natural area without our naturalists, you must obtain an education special use permit in advance. There is a $40 application fee, but the permit is free for most groups and is easy to obtain. For more information about the permit application, call Sandra Jamison.
What is the fee for field trips?
A flat $50 fee is charged for each classroom scheduled. You will receive an invoice from Metro for this fee. If your school is unable to pay due to financial hardship, you may be eligible for a program fee waiver.