The Sunol AgPark serves as a field trip destination for over 2,000 school children yearly. SAGE’s Education program focuses on serving low-income, public schools in the Bay Area where SAGE covers the costs of field trips, including helping to cover costs of transportation (as our funding allows). Education program fees are modest and based on a sliding-scale for schools.
The Sunol AgPark education programs make connections between farming, water, and food, aiming to:
- Inspire environmental stewardship in the next generation
- Connect urban residents and youth with their food and watersheds
- Improve community health through knowledge of good nutrition and access to fresh, locally produced food
- Provide experiential and service learning to students and community groups on sustainable agriculture, local foodsystems, and stewardship of natural resources and regional watersheds
- Offer green jobs mentorship, training and internships
- Focus on serving youth from diverse, low-income Bay Area communities
The 18-acre Sunol AgPark is located right next to the Historic Sunol Water Temple, which serves to anchor education content in watersheds and water as a natural resource. The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission is currently working on creating a Watershed Center Education Center located next to the Water Temple, which will itself offer educational opportunities for groups and schools.
The numerous AgPark farmers and farms provide a wide and diverse experience for students to interact with the land and crops. The farms’ diversity includes multiple mixed vegetables, squashes, leafy greens, flowers, ethnic crop varieties, native plants, and orchard trees. This diversity makes the field trip visit a different experience every season! There are various farm related chores or volunteer projects on the farms and AgPark site that get student’s hands in the dirt and amongst the crops.
SAGE’s Educational program included AgPark field trips, volunteer-oriented service learning field trips, in-school presentations on watersheds, and summer internships. If you are interested in a farm tour for your group or company, please visit the Sunol AgPark Transition page for more info.
We hope to see you out on the farm!
Field Trips for 4th-8th Grade School Groups
The three hour field trip includes an orientation to the AgPark and historic Water Temple, a hands-on lesson (about soils and water conservation, beneficial insects, or diverse AgPark crops), a lunch break, and a farm chore working on one of the AgPark farms (harvesting, planting or weeding).
SAGE developed a curriculum called “Farming in the Watershed” that engages children with the farmers and landscape of this unique, 18-acre organic farm through a variety of hands-on activities. The curriculum has 18 lessons in 3 units, which were all tied to the California State Standards at the time of publication.
Classes are taught by experienced agro-environmental educators and farmer-educators. The field trip program can accommodate up to 60 students and has a ratio of one SAGE teacher to 15 students. Adjustments in number of students is flexible, but cannot go above 75 students due to SAGE educator scheduling and the capacity of bus transportation. We ask that schools whose transportation is covered by SAGE or other funding opportunities to bring out a full field trip of around 60 students to make as best use of bus transportation.
Field trips generally run from 10 am to 1 pm, but start and end times are flexible to meet your scheduling needs. Field trips fill up fast. Field trips are offered Monday – Friday, from Fall through Spring.
Program fees for public and private schools are offered on a sliding scale, based on the school’s Free and Reduced Meal Plan rate.
- 70% FRMP Schools: $0-5 per student / donation based
- 40-69% FRMP Schools: $5-10 per student
- <40% FRMP Schools: $8-15 per student
- Private Schools: $15 per student
If you are interested in a field trip, please visit the Sunol AgPark page for new contact info and details on the management transition from SAGE to the SFPUC. The sliding scale is flexible as we aim to make our field trip opportunities available to schools throughout the Bay Area.
Transportation funds are available for low-income schools. Schools that can provide their own transportation or carpool are encouraged to visit the AgPark. Free transportation is available to all very low income schools (70% on free and reduced meal plans), and free or subsidized transportation is available to all low-income schools to the extent that our funding lasts.
There is also a partnership with Science By Nature’s Transportation Fund for 70%+ FRMP schools to receive a $500 stipend towards bus transportation. The Fund usually opens in the summer and disburses funds on a first come, first serve basis. Visit the Sunol AgPark Transition page for contact info to receive information on applying for the grant if your school is eligible.
In-School Programs for 4th – 8th Grade School Groups
In-school programs bring the Farming in the Watershed‘s experiential learning activities to the school. Students get an orientation to (or debrief about) the AgPark and then participate in hands-on activities on topics related to water, such as: the geography of watersheds, the relationship between soils and water, the water systems that serve both farms and cities, and the relationship of water to the production of the food they eat.
Our educator visits each class room for a one hour presentation. We strongly encourage teachers to schedule an in-school program either before or after the field trip as a way to deepen and extend the field trip experience. Presentations are ideally scheduled back to back for the classes, with 15 minutes in between each presentation for prep time. In-school programs are available at no cost to schools.