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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, Thursdays, & Fridays.


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 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 February’s

Green Thumb Gardening classes!

February Classes


Making Plans to Make Plants

Dates Offered:

Ages 5 – 8: Monday, February 5

Ages 9 – 12: Thursday, February 8

Mixed; Ages 5 – 12: Friday, February 9

Class Description:
We will begin our month of gardening by starting our very own GRPC Homeschool garden! We will discuss what our new plants need to survive and begin a set of experiments to find optimal growing conditions.
Topics We Will Cover:

Planting seeds, soil types, ideal growing conditions

Power Plants
Dates Offered:

Ages 5 – 8: Monday, February 12

Ages 9 – 12: Thursday, February 15

Mixed; Ages 5 – 12: Friday, February 16

Class Description:
This week we will be discussing plant structures and processes related to plants, which will enable students to more successfully look after our garden. We will analyze the results of our various plant experiments and discover which characteristics can indicate plant health.
Topics We Will Cover:

Xylem and phloem (water and sugar transport), photosynthesis, weeding

Gigantic Gardens
Dates Offered:

Ages 5 – 8: Monday, February 26

Ages 9 – 12: Thursday, March 1

Mixed; Ages 5 – 12: Friday, March 2

Class Description:
Today we will be focusing on gardening on a large scale… also known as agriculture! We will learn about why farmers decide to grow certain plants, and different techniques that they employ to grow successful and delicious food for many people.
Topics We Will Cover:

Native vs. non-native plants, grafting, organic farming and pest control

January Classes


Food, Dude
Dates Offered:

Ages 5 – 8: Monday, January 22

Ages 9 – 12: Thursday, January 25

Mixed; Ages 5 – 12: Friday, January 26

Class Description:
In this lesson we will learn all about food and the environmental issues pertaining to it! Students will discover how different communities have varying access to healthy food, in addition to learning about food waste. We will also learn about tree health and why it is vital to the health and feeding of humans! Students will have the opportunity to explore these topics with games and hands-on activities, and brainstorm ways to solve some complex problems related to our food system.
Topics We Will Cover:

Nutrition, food inequality (“food deserts”)

Wildlife Matters
Dates Offered:

Ages 5 – 8: Monday, January 29

Ages 9 – 12: Thursday, February 1

Mixed; Ages 5 – 12: Friday, February 2

Class Description:
What effects do humans have on different animals? This week we will learn about various ways in which humans negatively impact wildlife, and discover things we can do to stand up for the different kinds of organisms affected by these environmental obstacles and harms through integrative games and activities.
Topics We Will Cover:

Wildlife ecology, effects of noise pollution, spread of invasive species, macroinvertebrate biology


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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