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Outdoor Environmental

Science Program (OESP)


Program Summary

Our engaging homeschool Outdoor Environmental Science Program (OESP), provides an interactive, outdoor environmental education experience. This is a drop-off program. We utilize our river, famous Heritage Rose Garden, Historic Orchard, and exhilarating park as tools to teach exciting educational themes.


Students will explore the natural world through a variety of topics covering everything from the smallest pollinator to the tallest trees. Our lessons structurally encourage students to form their own connection with nature, while reinforcing environmental objectives and concepts.


The OESP is proud to be an activity-based, question-driven program with the newest Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) as a model.


Program Themes & Details


2017 – 2018 Class Themes

September: Wacky Water Systems

October: Adaptations

November: Super Sustainability

December: Jr. Geologists

January: Environmental Truth Seekers

February: Green Thumb Gardening

March: Fantastic Flora

April: Climatic Curiosity

May: Biodiversity



Program Details



Classes are held on Mondays and Thursdays


1:30 – 3:00 PM


Guadalupe River Park & Gardens Visitor and Education Center, 438 Coleman Ave., San Jose, CA 95110


Designed for children ages 5-12.


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

Other Important Information

This is a drop-off program. The same lesson is taught each day of the week; lessons change on a weekly basis.



Welcome Ocean Grove, Connecting Waters, and Valiant families! GRPC is a registered vendor. If you’re interested in using these 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 May’s

Biodiversity classes!

May Classes

Discover Diversity
Dates Offered:

Ages 5 – 8: Monday, May 7

Ages 9 – 12: Thursday, May 10

Class Description:
In this lesson we will have the opportunity to explore biodiversity within our very own Guadalupe River Park! We will discover many different species of producers, consumers and decomposers present in the park, determine how they are all connected, and predict what might happen to them in various potential situations.
Topics We Will Cover:
Food webs, nutrient cycling, species identification, biodiversity within our park
Very High Variation
Dates Offered:

Ages 5 – 8: Monday, May 14

Ages 9 – 12: Thursday, May 17

Class Description:
There was once one species, then one became two, then two became 4, now there predicted to be 8.7 billion species of life on earth (billion with a capital B!) This week, we will discuss the processes of speciation, evolution, and natural selection and how they have shaped the biodiversity we see in the world today.
Topics We Will Cover:

Evolution, speciation, natural selection, habitat variation

Biodiversity Benefits
Dates Offered:

Ages 5 – 8: Monday, May 21

Ages 9 – 12: Thursday, May 24

Class Description:
Biodiversity is cool. Isn’t it great to see so many different plants and animals when we go outside? However, Biodiversity is important for more than just its aesthetic, it has real benefits for the ecosystems it is seen within and for the humans that visit! This week we will discuss how biodiversity impacts ecosystems, humans, and the natural resources we rely upon!
Topics We Will Cover:

Biodiversity throughout the world, human uses of various species of plant and animal, beneficial species

April Classes

Emotions About the Ocean
Dates Offered:

Ages 5 – 8: Monday, April 16

Ages 9 – 12: Thursday, April 19

Class Description:
This week, we will dive into ocean related climate concepts! How does the ocean affect climate and how is the ocean affected by our rapidly changing climate? We will discuss the answers to these through analyzing salinity of water and learning survey procedures.
Topics We Will Cover:

Ocean currents, ocean acidification, survey methods

Positive Possibilities!
Dates Offered:

Ages 5 – 8: Monday, April 23

Ages 9 – 12: Thursday, April 26

Class Description:
In the happiest lesson of the month, we will discuss what solutions humans are coming up with to combat anthropogenic climate change! Put your thinking cap on to form ideas and hypotheses about reducing our impact on the climate and how to cope with the effects!
Topics We Will Cover:

Climate change solutions: mitigation vs. adaptation, creative climate solutions


Membership Pricing and Opportunities

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


Homeschool Programs Sign-up Form

Sign Up Today! To add more than one class, fill out the form below for the first class and click “Sign Up.” You will be taken to the cart page, where you can click “Continue Shopping” to come back here and add more classes. You can also sign up for the whole series!

Please indicate the number of students and select the class(es) you’d like them to attend. Response required.
Please write the names and ages of attendees. Response 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 the officers, employees, volunteers and agents should any accident occur requiring medical care above-named person(s). I give full consent to the providing of such care by a licensed physician. Further, I hereby grant full permission for 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. Response required.
I am aware that this is a drop-off program. Response required.
Which session are you signing up for? Response required.
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


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.


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