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

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)


Class Details:

OESP is held on Mondays, Thursdays, and Fridays from 1:30-3:00pm at Guadalupe River Park & Gardens Visitor and Education Center, 438 Coleman Ave., San Jose, CA 95110

The same lesson is taught each day of the week; lessons change on a weekly basis.

Class dues are $15 per student per class for Friends of GRPC ($50/year donation) or $20 per student per class for non-members

OESP drop-off classes are designed for children ages 5-12.


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 December: Keystone Species!

Please note that the Thursday & Friday sessions will skip the 22&23rd and be held December 29th&30th.


First Week – December 5/8/9

Class name: Guardians of the Forests

Class Description: Whether by land or sea, our apex predators are key to keeping our forests healthy. Without mountain lions, we would have no cottonwoods and without sea otters, we would have no kelp forests. Join us at the Guadalupe River Park & Gardens to play Webs and Chains, where students will play a game to fix an unbalanced food chain. Discover how sea otters eat by creating a sea otter puppet. Take a walk in the Guadalupe River Park & Gardens to explore how mountain lions have kept our forest healthy.

Concepts Covered: Biology, Ecology, Morphology, Dendrology


Second Week – December 12/15/16

Class name: Fluttering Food Saviors

Class Description: Without our keystone mutualist species, such as hummingbirds and bees, our crops would never be pollinated. At least 150 species of native flowering plants are primarily pollinated by hummingbirds. Bees have been found to be responsible for pollinating one out of every three bites of food we eat. Join us at the Guadalupe River Park & Gardens to take a walk in our Rose Garden. Help promote our hummingbirds by creating hummingbird feeders out of water bottles and Frisbees. Dissect a rose to understand all the parts of a flower and how the bees pollinate them.      

Concepts Covered: Biology, Morphology, Ecology, Dissections


Third Week – December 19/29/30

Class Name: Ecosystem Engineers

Class Description: Today’s class will focus on keystone species – the ecosystem engineers that can have a large impact on their surroundings due to their modifications. Recently beavers have come back to our area, and we have another modifier living right in our park! We will learn about the beaver and other modifier species inside the classroom, and then go to observe one modifier that lives right in our park! After our observations, we will go to the river and imagine what might change if a beaver were to set up camp right outside GRPC!

Concepts Covered: Keystone Species, Modifiers, Ecosystem


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.


OESP 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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