Anza Elementary students learn about the watershed.

Anza Elementary students learn about the watershed.

Program Details

Urban Wildlife Refuge Project - with support from US Fish and Wildlife Service students will learn about local refuges, conservation, local habitats and watershed health through hands on activities. Students will receive a classroom visit prior to the first field trip where they will receive an introduction lesson to SD Habitats as well as completing a Pre Survey. The first field trip will be to Crestridge Ecological Reserve and the second trip will be to SD Bay National Wildlife Refuge. Students will be asked to complete a Post Survey upon completion of second field trip.

Sweetwater Stewards: Community River Restoration - with support from Southern CA Wetlands Recovery Project

Teacher Responsibilities

  • Available Dates can be found here or under the Education Calendar tab. Field trip dates are posted as available on Wednesdays and Thursdays. Dates will be honored as first come first served using dates and times of emails. The Education Coordinator will request your preferred dates via email after receiving your form submission. Please note that we only accept one bus per day per trip (max 64 students).

  • Field Trip Times will be drop off starting at 9:45am and pick up no later than 12:45pm. EDI will not be responsible for activities once students are returned to lunch areas.

  • Lunch Area will be provided at each site, but it is up to the teachers to provide lunch for the students. Please note that there is no refrigeration at any of our sites.

  • Bus Transportation will need to be arranged through the district. Bus invoices can be mailed to Earth Discovery Institute 120 North Park Drive El Cajon, CA 92021 or emailed to It is the teachers responsibility to inform the correct school personnel to submit invoice in a timely manner.

  • Locations for Bus Drop Off Pick Up

    • SDNWR - Sweetwater Interpretive Loop 11970 Singer Lane Spring Valley, CA 91978 Bus drop off at parking lot of Sweetwater River Trail.

    • Crestridge Ecological Reserve 1171 Horsemill Road El Cajon, CA 92921 Bus drop off at end of cul de sac by reserve entrance

    • SDBNWR - Sweetwater Marsh Unit 1080 Gunpowder Point Drive Chula Vista, CA 91910 Bus drop off will be in front of USFWS building. Information is located on the gate for entry to the refuge.

Grassland Habitat Restoration at Crestridge Ecological Reserve

Grassland Habitat Restoration at Crestridge Ecological Reserve


Field Trips 

Field trips are available for 4th grade (some 5th grade) elementary classrooms. Our field trips are funded by various grant organizations and may have specific qualification criteria and are based on availability. To see if your classroom qualifies please contact the education coordinator via this form. If you have a specific question about the form please email the education coordinator at

We use a two contact field trip model* in most education programs. This model includes two field visits to one or more of our many partner sites. During these visits students will engage in fun and exciting hands on activities that cover various standards such as habitat restoration, watershed water quality, adaptations, food web, climate science and many others.

*based on funding guidelines some may or may not include a classroom visit or second field trip. Please read carefully.



What Can You Eat With That Beak? #adaptations #birdbeaks

What Can You Eat With That Beak? #adaptations #birdbeaks

  • Teacher Surveys for teachers will be provided at the end of the field trip experience. This feedback is important to us so that we can ensure that the activities we share with the students are meaningful and help teachers meet state science standards for science.

  • Student Pre and Post Surevey may be required* for students. A link will be provided and will be the responsibility of the teacher to ensure that students complete it in a timely manner before and after the visits. *based on grant guidelines. Failure to complete these requirements may affect your chances of attending future EDI field trips.

  • Photo Release Forms should be printed and sent home with students prior to first field trip visit. It is important to EDI to share photos with grant partners to see progress of our programs and to apply for future funding. Forms can be found here.

  • Chaperones are LIMITED TO ONE PER CLASSROOM. If you have a special situation please contact the education coordinator at It will be your responsibility to inform the chaperones of their duties. Unfortunately, we have had several disruptive chaperones and would like to avoid these situations when possible to ensure the quality of the experience for all students. Please choose wisely.



9:45 am    Bus arrives to location
10:00 am  Introduction and Safety Talk
10:15 am   Students rotate through 4-5 activities in small groups with an EDI Field Instructor
12:15 pm   Lunch
12:45 pm   Bus Arrives
1:00 pm    Bus Departs