School and Community Programs are day and overnight environmental education workshops organized for groups of all ages in the spring and fall. Group program formats include short day (10am-12:30pm), full day (10am-2pm) and overnight programs.
Here's a summary of our approach to outdoor education and what our programs offer:
At Slide Ranch, participants experience both an organic farm, with goats, sheep, chickens, ducks and bees, and spectacular protected coastal lands, with trails and tidepools to explore. We are a community of perennial staff and Teachers-in-Residence (TIRs) who live at Slide Ranch for a year to develop as environmental educators and land stewards.
Large groups are divided into small teaching units with one Slide Ranch teacher for every eight to ten students. We tailor each program to complement your curricular goals and meet the group’s individual needs. Through hands-on learning, cooperative teamwork, and physical, multi-sensory activity, the children develop a stronger sense of self, respect for the natural environment, and tools with which to make choices about healthy food and healthy living.
Our teaching approach is experiential, student and nature-centered and values driven. We apply the over-arching theme of food as a universal springboard to cultivate appreciation for the people who grow and raise food, the soil in which it is grown, the animals that provide food, and the importance of composting and reducing consumer waste. When children make a sensory, positive connection with the natural environment and healthy food, the experience can transform their general approach to the outdoors, nutrition, health and themselves.
Slide Ranch curriculum aligns with Next Generation Science Standards and Environmental Principles & Concepts. Our student-centered approach focuses on active exploration and scientific practices: making observations, asking questions, connecting past ideas to new experiences, making evidence-based explanations, e.g.
See a summary of program areas and activities below. Note that a 4-hour day program typically includes 3-4 main activities.
Pasture: milk a goat, learn about ruminant digestion, compost and pasture management, sheep and wool crafts.
Chicken and duck coops: collect eggs, feed chickens, observe chicken and duck anatomy, learn about life cycle, the basics of egg production, choices that egg farmers make and what these birds need to be happy and healthy.
Bees: observe bees collecting nectar and pollen and buzzing by their hive, actively model the jobs that bees do, and appreciate their vital role in our food system.
Garden: multi-sensory exploration of flowers, herbs, fruits and vegetables growing in organic garden, build compost, sow seeds, and variety of garden stewardship projects that demonstrate the labor and magic of growing food.
Cooking: harvest vegetables for a stir fry or fresh greens and edible flowers for a salad, curdle milk to make cheese, grind wheat and shape dough into a roll, celebrate whole foods, community and the nourishment that comes from the earth.
Trails and coast: hike and explore coastal scrub habitat including native plants (lupine, coyote brush and coastal sage, e.g.) and animals (rabbits, bobcats, coyotes, lizards, quails, pelicans, turkey vultures, hawks, e.g.). On the rocky shore, observe a unique, ever-changing ecosystem of tides and fascinating tide pool organisms, algae, and marine species including seals and whales.
Check out our Online Curriculum!
Our online curriculum platform helps teachers and group leaders provide a deeper learning experience in connection with a visit to Slide Ranch, or to provide opportunities for schools and groups unable to visit Slide Ranch access to our environmental and agricultural education curriculum.
Enjoy a variety of engaging education modules to enhance your Slide Ranch visit before and after, as well as modules with curriculum on specific subjects that are core to the Slide Ranch experience such as Cooking at Slide Ranch, Tidepools and Goat Milking.
Slide Ranch offers group programs in the spring (mid February - May) and fall (mid September - November), with limited programming also available throughout the summer (mid June - mid August). We generally book programs 1-2 seasons in advance but may potentially have availability during the current season. Please complete the application form. Questions about group programs can be addressed via email to email@example.com.
Program Fees and Scholarships
Program fees are based on the program format (short day, full day or overnight) and average income level of participant families.
Slide Ranch awards scholarships on a sliding scale to schools and community groups that demonstrate financial need. To be considered for a group scholarship, please complete our scholarship application.
It is the policy of Slide Ranch to ensure equal treatment to all persons in matters affecting, but not limited to, recruitment, employment, compensation, benefits, promotion, discipline and employment practices, program participation and scholarship awards without regard to a person's race, color, religion, age, gender, sexual orientation, marital status, medical condition, disability, national origin or ancestry.
Transportation is an important consideration in planning your visit to Slide Ranch. Due to the rural (and beautiful) location of our site, public transportation is not available. Most commonly, and depending on resources available, groups travel to our site by car, vans, charter buses or school district buses. Slide Ranch staff are available to answer any questions you may have about transportation, and can share charter bus referrals and commonly used fundraising ideas with you. Slide Ranch may also provide a limited quantity of need-based scholarships toward the cost of transportation. For more information, please contact the program office at (415) 381-6155 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
There is a transportation grant available to low-income schools in the Bay Area. Through the Transportation Fund, the Environmental Volunteers provides affordable, easy-to-schedule, efficient and safe transportation for low-income youth (K-12) in the San Francisco Bay Area that facilitates access to science and environmental education field trips. Update: EVOLs is still accepting applications, but only for a spot on their waiting list. They are not approving new funding at this time.
There may be additional funding available from Youth Outside through their Outdoor Trips Fund.
Driving directions :
We are located at 2025 Shoreline Highway (which is another name for Highway 1) in Muir Beach, CA 94965. Our location is North of the residential community of Muir Beach - about 1 mile North of the Muir Beach Overlook.
To reach Slide from Highway 1 North (approaching Slide from most locations including SF, most of Marin and points North, East Bay, South Bay, etc):
• Take Highway 101 (Travel North over the Golden Gate Bridge from SF and the South Bay, travel West over the San Rafael Bridge and connect to 101 South from the East Bay and travel South on 101 from Marin and other points North), and take the Highway 1/Stinson Beach exit. Follow signs towards Highway 1, turning left onto Shoreline Highway, and staying to your left to continue on Highway 1 ("Shoreline Highway") at 3 splits that follow:
a) Beyond the 7-11 at 371 Shoreline Highway, and before the intersection at Panoramic Highway, Highway 1 curves sharply to the left
at an intersection with Loring Avenue. Do not continue onto Loring Avenue - bear left at this Split to continue on Highway 1 (following
signs toward Stinson Beach and Muir Woods).
b) Do NOT turn right at the Split with Panoramic Highway, and do NOT follow any posted detours toward Stinson at
this intersection. Proceed to your left at this split to continue on Highway 1, "Shoreline Highway," following signs towards toward
Muir Beach (not Muir Woods).
c) After passing the Pelican Inn, approximately 2.5 miles before reaching Slide, you will encounter a split where Highway 1 curves to
the left at an intersection with Muir Woods Road. Do NOT continue onto Muir Woods Road, and do NOT follow any posted detours
toward Stinson at this intersection - bear left at this split to continue on Highway 1, towards and past the residential community
of Muir Beach - we are located on Highway 1 ("Shoreline Highway") about 1 mile North of the Muir Beach Overlook.
• Our entrance driveway will be on your left, about 1 mile North of the Muir Beach Overlook, sloping downhill toward the coast.
To reach Slide from Highway 1 South (approaching Slide from further North in West Marin only - Stinson, Bolinas, etc):
• Proceed to Slide via Highway 1 South (which is open), being mindful of any areas of roadwork, including signals, signage and instructions from CalTrans. Our entrance driveway will be on your right, sloping downhill toward the coast - please be mindful not to confuse our "exit" driveway, which you will encounter first - continue South to reach our marked entrance driveway. If you've reached the Muir Beach Overlook, you've missed us and traveled too far - turn around and retrace your way North about 1 mile to reach us.
We can't wait to see you at the ranch!
Please note that bus drivers approaching Slide for the first time are often nervous about our driveway, fearing that they may not be able to turn around. Reassure them that there is enough space to return to the highway by using our ample parking lot and separate exit driveway. Buses up to 35 feet long are permitted to travel on all routes to Slide Ranch.
Please be in touch by phone or email with any questions or concerns: 415-381-6155 or email@example.com