School Programs

Continuing in a long tradition of education, the Rotary Nature Center offers a variety of outreach nature programs instructed by our dedicated naturalist staff. Our interpretive programs can be held at the Rotary Nature Center or off-site at your location.

Our programs can be tailored to any curriculum or interest group: a field trip or presentation for your school, classroom, or extracurricular club.

Photo of a naturalist holding taxidermy specimens with a group of children sitting around her during a school program

All programs align with Next Generation Science Standards.

Contact us at (510) 238-3739 or to book a program. Please request your date at least two weeks in advance.

Cost for 1-hour programs:

  • At the Rotary Nature Center – $60
  • At your location – additional $10
  • For non-Oakland groups – additional $10

Program Offerings

Click here to download as a PDF.


Lake Merritt Animal & History Tour

This program covers a little bit of everything! Learn about the history of Lake Merritt, and walk outside to learn about the birds.


History of Lake Merritt

Learn about how Lake Merritt became America’s oldest wildlife refuge, its transformation over the years, and the wildlife that call it home.


Birds of the Bay

Learn about the Pacific Flyway and many of the different birds in and around Lake Merritt. Species focus varies throughout the year.


City Wildlife

There is wildlife in abundance all around us and many species thrive within city limits. Learn where they take shelter, what they eat and what they need to survive. Key themes of adaptation and migration.



Nature is all around us! Learn how to identify native plants and animals. May include edible and useful plants, animal behavior, and native ecology.


California Water

Understand the importance of water as a natural resource and how the geography of California influences water in the state through the past, present and future.



Learn about the skulls of different animals, and how each skull can tell you a story about the evolution and lifestyle of the animal.



Learn about this important relationship that helps keep us alive! Take a walk around the pollinator gardens and learn how you can help pollinators thrive in the city.



What the lives in Lake Merritt? See & learn about the hundreds of different species of fish and invertebrates that live in our urban estuary.



Trees from all over the world grow at Lake Merritt! Learn about some of the species, where they’re from, and how they got to Oakland.



What’s the difference between a turtle and a tortoise? What’s so special about the California desert tortoise? This program includes a visit with some of our live animals including Anthony, the desert tortoise that lives at the Rotary Nature Center.