Placer Nature Center
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Organization Details

Programs

Description
After school and Little Tyke preschool programs are offered 3 days a week for two hours a day. Each day has a new theme and children are welcomed to come one day or all days. Docent lead lively and entertaining subjects from Geology to Habitats and a multitude of fun topics. Art projects and puppet shows as well as many diverse learning tools are used to keep kids learning and having fun. Daily fees and scholarships fund the program. After school is for ages 5 to 12 and Little Tykes is for ages 2 to 5.
Budget
$10,000
Program Successes
Parents and children learn together and everyone has fun.
Description
Placer Nature Center provides engaging interactive outdoor programs for preschool through high school students. We engage students in learning through real-world, hands-on experiences with a focus on environmental literacy, science, and nature. The programs are designed to meet the California Content Standards in science, natural and cultural history, and social studies. All programs relate lessons to natural resources with special focus on how humans interact with our environment and our watershed.

Programs are given at the nature center, in a local nature preserve, or at the school or community center. Every program builds awareness about the local environment through trail walks and theme-related interactive activities. Customized programs are given for Girl and Boy Scout groups working on badges. Programs are delivered by staff naturalists, senior citizens, and college students.
Budget
$20,000
Program Successes
The Placer Nature Center celebrated it's 29 year anniversary in 2020, a clear sign sign of the success of the center and it's programs serving over 180,000 children since it's inception.

Many past students have been inspired to pursue scientific, public service, or teaching careers. Other students have applied stewardship attitudes to decision-making in both general business and commerce, returning to participate in college-level internships or high school projects. Education obtained through our programs instills a sense of personal responsibility in each student to the natural world. Our community will become increasingly more sustainable and be preserved for future generations. Parents and teachers of students who attended school field trips return to become docents and board members.
Description
Programs offered to the community provide environmental education on local and regional topics. Programs include organized events such as Science Saturdays (family-orientated, all ages), Green Gardening (adults, seniors), Astronomy & Star Gazing (all-ages), various one-time events and on-going drop-in activities at the nature center (all-ages). Every month Science Saturdays engage families in outdoor discovery and hands-on activities in seasonal fun. Star classes for the budding astronomers and gardening classes for the gardener add to the list of provided programs. Free classes are given for parents and their preschoolers giving parents the skills and confidence to bring their preschoolers outside for experiences essential to their development. All programs are either free are low-cost. Members of the nature center get into these programs at greater reduced cost or free.
Budget
$10,000
Program Successes
Participants will have a greater understanding of their connection to the environment. This awareness will influence changes in day-to-day behavior and consumer habits. Participants will also continue learning about and engaging with their local environment through returning to the nature center's programs, self-guided learning, citizen science activities, and sharing new knowledge with loved ones.
Description
Placer Nature Center provides continuing education workshops for teachers to augment their curriculum with local environmental and science knowledge. These programs are often free to the teachers and provide required professional development units. Project Learning Tree, and Project WILD, are examples of the workshops we facilitate. Annually, the Placer Nature Center collaborates with Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) for a PLT Energy and Society work shop. The Discovering Nature with Children, (for early childhood educators) workshop.

Six workshops focus on the integration of nature play into their curriculum. Teachers become aware of tools and resources to enhance their lesson plans using the local environment as the context for learning.
Budget
$2,000
Program Successes
Teachers will actively incorporate nature and science education in their classrooms. Students will benefit with higher reading and math scores as science encourages cross-curriculum learning and discovery.
Description
Placer Nature Center offers opportunities for community members to give back through volunteer programs. Family and Community Volunteer days are promoted a several times a year with themed activities that enhance the Nature Center's facilities, from its garden, buildings, and trails. Projects incorporate education about the local environment, guided by staff and college interns.

Docent has long been the most popular volunteer opportunity. Docents are trained to facilitate school programs given throughout the school year. Other volunteers are trained to host outreach venues, like fairs, while others devote their energy to trail and garden maintenance.

Scouts troops, Eagle Scouts and senior projects are also hosted at the nature center. Internships are promoted to college students. Interns from a variety of fields are able to enhance their career goals through hands-on experience in the field. Internships are evaluated by the participants, and local college partnerships sustain the intern program.
Budget
$2,000
Program Successes
- The PNC has been very successful in recruiting and working with volunteers.
- Over 2,500 hours of service were provided to the Placer Nature Center from volunteers during 2019-20. While giving of their time, energy, and knowledge the volunteers received the pride of giving back the community they love.
- Success is clearly demonstrated by the number of hours dedicated and the smiles of the children who received the volunteers efforts.
- We look forward to another year of new volunteers and service.
Description
Day Camp is hosted for children 6-12 years old. Each seven weeks has a themed camp such as sunlight, starlight and orbs, flutterbys, howlers, geology rocks, and water wizards. Children pay a fee for the camp unless grant funds are available for scholarships. In this program, camp counselors are teen volunteers that also acquire knowledge, experience, and volunteer hours working with these children. Funding from grant sources help sustain this program along with camper fees. Staff and parent feedback and the enthusiasm of the campers drive the development of new topics and the improvement of the popular ones.
Budget
$15,000
Program Successes
- Children become life-long learners incorporating the scientific method into their learning patterns.
- Children also develop environmental leadership skills to help their decision-making.