Outdoor Classroom

The CSU, Chico Outdoor Classroom at our Ecological Reserves provides engaging hands-on, state standards aligned activities for elementary school aged students.  The program impresses upon the next generations the importance of being wise stewards of our valuable natural resources and the importance of respect, preservation, and enhancement of the land and its native species. 

Reserves staff, CSUC interns, and graduate students have partnered with the Altacal Audubon Society and many other community volunteers to create this dynamic program.  Interns and graduate students assist in teaching, curriculum development, pre-field trip classroom teaching, and post field trip assessments. 

Elementary 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, archeology, and more.  These 3rd-5th grade students experience the excitement of discovery as working scientists share their research. 


Past field tripBird Banding elements have included:

  • Bird banding with the Altacal Audubon Society team
  • Spawning Chinook Salmon Experience
  • Archeology Explorers
  • Native American Culture
  • Field ecology lessons
  • Nature Hikes
  • Western Pond Turtle ecology
  • Native grass restoration
  • Aquatic insect study




Student participation:

The Outdoor Classroom serves over 1,200 students from local 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade classes each year.  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.


Donations throughout the year support over 1,200 3rd, 4th and 5th grade students who participate in our outdoor education programs. Without the support of our donors, many of these young students would never experience a healthy, living, natural ecosystem.

For your contributions in monetary awards, grants, and services, our sincere thanks to some of our donors:

  • Butte Creek Foundation
  • Jack Rawlins Advisory Committee
  • California Deer Association
  • Altacal Audubon Society


Butte Creek Ecological Preserve Brochure and Guide

[an error occurred while processing this directive]