Outdoor Classroom

The CSU, Chico Outdoor Classroom at our Ecological Reserves provides a hands-on, outdoor classroom opportunity for all students. This program impresses upon the next generations the importance of being wise stewards of this valuable resource and the importance of respect, preservation and enhancement of this native land and the species living among it.

The program is successfully managed collaboratively by BCCER staff and students, Altacal Audubon Society, and many other community volunteers.  Our University interns and graduate students assist with teaching, curriculum development, pre-field trip classroom teaching, and post field trip assessments.
See recent story in the Chico-Enterprise Record.

 Bird Banding Field Trip


The curriculum builds through successive years so students gain knowledge cumulatively from 3rd grade as they participate in a multi-year program. Students participate in science activities in which they monitor plant and animal populations and establish trends from previous years’ data. Students are introduced to graduate student researchers who specialize in turtle ecology, birds and archeology. These 3rd and 4th grade students see new opportunities for education in these exciting areas of study.



Other field trip elements include:

  • Bird banding with the Altacal Audubon Society team
  • Archeology Explorers
  • Field ecology lessons
  • Nature hikes
  • Western Pond Turtle ecology
  • Native grass restoration
  • Aquatic insect study

Student participation:

Over 1,200 students from local 3rd, 4th and 5th grade classes will attend the Outdoor Classroom in 2012. The program is in such demand by local educators that it currently cannot accommodate all the requests from area teachers.

Approximately one half of the students served by this program are classified as under-represented.