Nature Programs 



The Riekes Center Nature Awareness Department


Announcing our NEW Saturday Expeditions Program, ages 14+ (this includes adults!)

On select Saturdays throughout the year beginning on September 30th, 2017 we will be hosting various nature programs from rock climbing trips to fire-making intensives, or even volunteer clean up days at the beach.  All expeditions will leave from the Riekes Center in Menlo Park unless announced otherwise. This program is designed for individuals with busy schedules who are interested in enjoying nature programs without the commitment to a full year program. Class prices are dependent on the expedition and range from $0-$100.  Please register here to be added to the Saturday Expeditions early email list to receive program announcements.  

We provide nature immersion opportunities that focus on fun, adventure, and life-long learning. We strive to build strong affinities between people and the natural world. We provide participants from age 0 (yes we have pregnant moms in our programs) to 99 with the opportunity to explore an interest or pursue a passion in wilderness living, outdoor study, and recreation. Whether you want to backpack in the desert of Death Valley, surf the Pacific Ocean, study the natural history of California, track weasels along a river bank, make fire by rubbing two sticks together, teach your classroom more about their school’s “back yard” or enrich your personal nature hikes, we have the program for you.  

Our Approach

Creating deep connections to nature is the cornerstone of our department. We nurture these connections while helping students achieve personal goals in this environment. Whether it is learning to identify 20 species of birds by song, how to track coyotes, or how to build a debris shelter, each student follows their own passion in nature. Our instructors mentor students through the art of questioning and share their own individual expertise and passions in natural history subjects. Our curriculum draws upon the core routines of nature awareness as detailed in the recent book Coyote’s Guide by author Jon Young, one of our department’s founders. Richard Louv, author of the landmark book Last Child in the Woods, describes these mentoring techniques as “good medicine for nature deficit disorder.”