School Field Trips

Students Learning in Marsh Environments

Sonoma Land Trust, in partnership with Sonoma County Ag + Open Space, provides educational in-person and virtual field trips for school groups at the San Pablo Bay National Wildlife Refuge at Sears Point. The Students Learning in Marsh Environments (SLIME) program is offered in both English and Spanish. SLIME invites elementary and middle school children to learn about tidal marsh ecology, biodiversity and adaptation, and climate change resilience at a 1,200-acre wetland restoration site. Students participate in a curriculum designed to enhance NGSS disciplinary core ideas and crosscutting concepts.

Field trips are scheduled during the school year between September and May and can be in-person or virtual. Onsite programs include a pre-trip one-hour introductory classroom visit and a 2−3-hour field experience. Field trips are offered on Wednesdays (virtual only), Thursdays and Fridays. Pre-trip classroom visits for in person field trips are offered in-person or virtually on Wednesdays and Thursdays to prepare students for the field trip by introducing key information, showing them what to wear/bring, and answer any questions they may have. It is recommended to have the pre-trip classroom visit the same week as the field trip. Our comprehensive curriculum covers conservation and restoration, marsh ecosystems and ecosystem services (recommended for third grade), and climate change and climate resilience (recommended for fourth grade). 

Sonoma County schools are offered transportation assistance through our partnership with Sonoma County Ag + Open Space. Transportation scholarships are offered to schools outside of Sonoma County through our transportation scholarship program. All scholarships are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis.  

You can keep your students engaged in what they learned with our supplemental activities! 

Save The Bay has wonderful videos and activities that pair well with our curriculum. Check out their Outdoor Learning Online educational portal here.

The Refuge is home to endangered animals and a growing marsh ecosystem, which is our first line of defense to a rising sea.

Questions? Contact us at or call (707) 596-6301.


  • What is the cost to attend? 
    • The SLIME field trip program is offered for free! The only cost associated with attending is transportation. 
    • Do you help with transportation costs? 
      • Yes! Transportation reimbursement scholarship awards are granted on a first-come, first-served basis. Thanks to our partners, Sonoma County Agricultural Preservation District, we provide transportation reimbursement scholarships to Sonoma County schools. Transportation scholarships for schools outside Sonoma County are supported by our funders and donors.  
      • How do I apply for a transportation reimbursement scholarship?
        • You can apply through the registration form. If you do not have all the information required, you can save your application and return to edit. You will need to know: 
        • Contact information for teacher(s) attending, account receivable contact, and Chief Business Official or someone that has the authority to agree to an award contract on your behalf. 
        • Number of chaperones and teacher(s) attending 
        • Transportation cost estimate 
            • How are the transportation reimbursement scholarships awarded? 
              • Transportation scholarships are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis and are reviewed by a panel. You will be notified if you have been selected to receive the award within two weeks by email or phone.  
              • I’d like my class to attend a SLIME field trip but they are not third or fourth graders. Can I still register my class? 
                • Although our field trip is designed for third and fourth-grade classes, we are happy to adapt our content to accommodate grades 2-12.  
                • What is the address for the field trip? 
                  • The entrance to the refuge is at the intersection of Lakeville Highway and Highway 37 (Sears Point Road). Buses and vehicles should park in the large gravel lot at the Sears Point Trailhead at the San Pablo Bay National Wildlife Refuge: 7699 Reclamation Rd, Sonoma, CA 95476
                  • I looked on Google Maps and there seems to be nothing around. Did I receive the right address? 
                    • Yes, this is where the trailhead is located. The San Pablo Bay National Wildlife Refuge has working farmlands at the entrance. The field trip is conducted on the Sears Point levee, a short walk from the Sears Point Trailhead. 
                    • How many chaperones can we bring? 
                      • We ask that you follow your district’s guidelines. Please try to limit chaperones to a maximum of six per class.  
                      • What do we need to bring? 
                        • Plan to bring lunch, water, jacket, hat, sunscreen, and comfortable shoes that can get dirty. 
                        • Is there somewhere students can sit to eat lunch? 
                          • Yes, there are a few benches on the site to enjoy the beautiful views. Program staff also lay out a tarp for additional seating. 
                          • What happens if it’s supposed to rain during our field trip? 
                            • We are happy to help reschedule your field trip should you decide that weather conditions are not safe or agreeable for your students.  
                            • Do you require liability waiver forms? 
                              • Yes, teachers will receive liability forms for their field trip no later than the week prior to their scheduled field trip date. Liability forms should be filled out for teachers, chaperones, and students that are attending the field trip.  
                              • Do you require insurance or certification to participate in SLIME? 
                                • We do not need to have on file any certification or insurance information. Please follow your district’s requirement to be able to attend the field trip. 
                                • Can we visit San Pablo Bay National Wildlife Refuge again without attending a field trip? 
                                  • Visiting the Refuge is free and is open to the public from sunrise to sunset. Check their website for up-to-date visitor information. We provide guided outings to the refuge as well – check our events page for the next scheduled hike!