Homeschool Programs


A new season of our Outdoor Environmental Science Program (OESP) for homeschool students has begun! Below you will find a listing of 2016-2017 themes, as well as the monthly class listings.


OESP classes are offered to members at a discounted rate of $15/class and are $20/class for non-members. For more information on membership, visit our membership page. In addition to the class

discount you will receive our monthly newsletter, announcements of special events and volunteer opportunities, and discounts at local nurseries. Your membership donation is also 100% tax-deductible and comes with a free annual subscription to Better Homes and Gardens.


But most of all, you will know that you are supporting a valuable community asset that will be enjoyed today and for generations to come.


Please contact us with any questions at 408-298-7657 or e-mail


2016-2017 Themes

(tentative; series have 4 weeks unless otherwise noted)

September: Mad Science (3 weeks) FULL
October: Spooky Critters (4 weeks)
November: World Water (3 weeks)
December: Keystone Species (3 weeks)
January: Physics of Play (4 weeks)
February: Gardening (4 weeks)
March: Birds of a Feather (4 weeks)
April: Life cycles (4 weeks)
May: Maker May (4 weeks)


All Classes Are Held :

Mondays, Thursdays, and Fridays

Drop-off classes

$15 per student per class for members, $20 per student per class for non-members

For 5 to 12 year-olds only


Welcome Ocean Grove families! GRPC is a registered vendor for Ocean Grove Charter School. If you’re interested in using Ocean Grove funds, please email us with the attendee names and class dates and request a purchase order from your ES. You do not need to complete the sign up form below.



Registration is now open for October: Spooky Critters!


Week 1: Itsy Bitsy Spiders

Dates: October 3/6/7

Class Description: Many people are scared of spiders—but they
aren’t all bad! Learn about the different 8-legged arachnids that roam in the
Guadalupe River Park & Gardens in this class during our spider-search,
discover the difference between arachnids and insects during a class discussion,
and learn the anatomy of a spider as we create a craft based around spiders and
their webs. The focus of this course will be spiders local to our area.

Concepts Covered: Spider anatomy, Local species, Differences between arachnids and insects

Week 2: An Owl’s Story

Dates: October 10/13/14

Class Description: Owls, known as “The Silent Killers,” walk a fine line between beautiful and deadly. “The Little Owl” was the companion of the Greek goddess Athena and was considered the protector of armies going to war. However, other cultures see owls as a bad omen. Which side will you be on? We’ll learn about owls throughout history, make an owl out of socks and felt, discover how owls hunt, and dissect owl pellets. Fly out into the Guadalupe River Park & Gardens to find the perfect nesting place for an owl!

Concepts Covered: Owl Mythology, Owl Morphology, Owl Ecology, Puppetry
Week 3: Cats: Cute or Creepy?

Dates: October 17/20/21

Class Description: Cats – are they always cuddly and cute or can they be creepy too? Just lucky with their 9 lives? Or maybe a bit… scary? Learn about some of the on-going problems both in our own backyard and around the world due to the introduction of cats to new areas (like islands!) and their feralization. Every problem has a solution though, which we will learn about when we make a craft to take-home for a fuzzy friend. We will end by taking a walk through the Guadalupe River Park and Gardens to determine how and why the cats choose to live here, and which species have been negatively impacted by their new neighbors.

Concepts Covered: Environmental impact of feral cats, Impacted species, Introduced species
Week 4: Beautiful Bloodsuckers

Dates: October 24/27/28

Class Description: It’s unfortunate that the first thing most people think of when bats are mentioned is Dracula. Bats are creatures of the night that have gotten a bad reputation. During this class, we’ll learn about different types of bats and how they’re essential to our planet’s health. Then it’s outside to play a game in the Guadalupe River Park & Gardens to understand how bats use echolocation to catch their prey. We’ll take a hike around the garden to search for perfect batty homes and finish up with a tasty treat to celebrate our new love for bats!

Concepts Covered:  Bat Mythology, Bat Morphology, Bat Ecology, Crafting


Cancellation & Refund Policy
GRPC cancellation policies are based on our investment in staff, course planning, as well as materials and equipment purchases before your course. We cannot recover our expenses if you cancel. Short-notice cancellations often prevent others from attending. Nevertheless, we understand that the needs of families may change during the year.

Program Refunds: All refunds and changes are subject to a $5 processing fee per program. There are no refunds, credits, cancellations, or changes less than two weeks prior to the start of the program. A full refund will be given for any program cancelled by GRPC. No refunds will be issued once a program begins.


Homeschool Programs Sign-up Form

Sign Up Today! To add more than one class, select class and number of students and hit “Sign Up.” Then from the cart page hit “Continue Shopping” to come back here and add more. You can also just sign up for the whole series!

# of Students:
Names — Please indicate the names and ages, separated by a comma, of attendees. (This field is required!)
(This field is required!) I, the undersigned, do hereby give my full consent for the above named person(s) to participate in Guadalupe River Park Conservancy’s Outdoor Environmental Science Program for Homeschool Students. I agree to hold harmless the City of San Jose and the Guadalupe River Park Conservancy and its officers, employees, volunteers and agents.Should any accident occur requiring medical care for my child, I give full consent to the providing of such care by a licensed physician. Further, I hereby grant full permission to any and all foregoing use of photographs, videotape, motion pictures, recordings and any other records of these events for education and public relation purposes. I have also read and understand the cancellation and refund policy should I need to cancel my registration for any class in the Outdoor Environmental Science Program for Homeschool Students.
(This field is required!) I am aware that this is a drop-off program.
Questions/Comments — Use the field below to leave any questions or comments you may have.

If this is your child’s first class at GRPC, please provide the following additional information. Otherwise, please scroll to the bottom and select Sign Up.

Emergency contact name and phone number
Allergies, Medications, or Special Needs
Primary care physician name and phone number
Which session are you signing up for? (This field is required!)


A unique setting…
The Guadalupe River Park & Gardens is an education destination like no other. A natural oasis located in the heart of downtown San Jose, the Guadalupe River Park & Gardens features 254 acres of park that include the Heritage Rose Garden, the Historic Orchard, a community garden, and 2.6 miles of trail that runs adjacent to the Guadalupe River. The GRPG provides a natural outdoor laboratory for science experiments and offers a creative and dynamic atmosphere for learning.A customizable education…
The Outdoor Environmental Science Program’s core curriculum covers a wide variety of current environmental science topics. Each class covers a unique theme within the environmental sciences, but your child can sign up for an individual class depending on his or her interests, come to several classes to cover a unit, or attend all the classes to build an interdisciplinary understanding of nature and science.A learning adventure…
The Guadalupe River Park Conservancy’s classes are unique, interactive adventures – children won’t learn science by listening to lectures, but will learn through activity-oriented lessons, science experiments, and scientific observations out in the park. Your child will be challenged, but will move, talk, think and play to learn.A healthier community…
More and more studies are indicating that spending time outdoors is vital to children’s academic development and health. Spending time in nature allows children to develop a connection with their surrounding community and become early stewards of the environment.An ongoing interest…
When outdoors, children can see science playing out before their very eyes, develop powerful observational skills, and are exposed to the environmental sciences, an up-and-coming field worldwide. If your child’s interest is kindled by any or all of the OESP class topics, you can find more educational resources about that topic by clicking on the links that follow each class description, so you can be an active partner as your child explores their new favorite environmental science subject.
Resource Guides from the Past

Animals and Habitats

Food Systems


Math in NatureOhlone

Water for Life


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