Volcan Mountain Foundation

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San Diego County, California

Ages 14-17/Grades 9-12

The Volcan Mountain Foundation offers transformational outdoor experiences for schools and youth groups on the beautiful wild lands of Volcan Mountain and at the Volcan Mountain nature center. We offer a variety of field trips year-round for children in grades 1-12. The following is a list of the nature classes that we provide for grades 9-12. Contact Us to Learn More and Schedule Your Nature Adventure!
Citizen Science for Beginning Birders
2.5 hours
Introduce the wonderful world of birding to your students in this exciting hands-on introduction to bird watching. This field trip teaches beginning birders about bird adaptations and techniques to observe birds in the wild. Data recorded by student observations will provide critical scientific information about the birds on Volcan Mountain.
Students will learn through games and activities exactly what makes a bird unique from other animals and the amazing adaptations birds have to help them survive and thrive in their habitats. They will play a migration game and “eat like a bird” in the Bird Beaks game. Then the students will borrow our binoculars and go bird watching with our guides to spy on all the feathered friends they can find and identify. Students will be empowered to continue to use their new scientific skills at school, home, or elsewhere. All recorded bird observations will be uploaded to the eBird citizen-science project at Cornell Lab of Ornithology one of the world’s largest citizen-science databases.
Headwaters of Hahachepang on Volcan Mountain
4.0 hours
Volcan Mountain stands tall at 5,200’ elevation and feeds fresh water to four of San Diego’s watersheds and is the headwaters of the San Dieguito River that flows all the way to the Pacific Ocean in Del Mar. On this exciting adventure, students will discover where the water comes from on Volcan Mountain and how it travels through watersheds or “waterhoods” of diverse plants, animals, and people on its way to the ocean.
Students will create a “rainstorm” on our 3D map of Volcan Mountain and conduct scientific investigations to determine water quality. Students will travel to the ancient headwaters at Ironside Spring to see where San Dieguito River begins. After lunch, the hike on the Sky Island Trail culminates in a spectacular view of the San Dieguito River watershed. On a clear day it is possible to see the ocean ― the final destination of the water that originates on Volcan Mountain!
The native Kumeyaay people have long-known that Volcan Mountain is an ancient and magical life-giving place, naming it “Hahachepang,” “where the water comes from”.