Our goal is to connect, educate, and engage the community to act to ensure the health and wellbeing of their watershed. 


Grades K-3
Exploring Habitats (Teachers' Guide)

Use sight, smell, touch, and sound to explore the different plants and animals
of the lagoon and the habitats on which they depend. In order to survive, all living
things need a place to live—a habitat, or home—that provides air, food, water, and
shelter. A special emphasis is placed on the fiddler crab and its life cycle, and how
it relies on both the lagoon and the ocean to survive. This hike is only offered at

San Elijo Lagoon Nature Center.

Grades 3-4
Adaptations (Teachers' Guide)
Uncover the physical and behavioral adaptations that allow many different organisms
to live side by side, whether in the salt marsh, the freshwater riparian woodland, or the
dry coastal sage scrub. We will also discuss how changes in the environment might
affect an organism’s chance of survival. This program occurs at the
San Elijo Lagoon Nature Center. (Teachers' Guide)
Grades 3-5
Kumeyaay (Teachers' Guide)
Discover how indigenous peoples, primarily the Kumeyaay, thrived from natural resources
found right here in this lagoon. Living in harmony with the environment, the Kumeyaay 
relied on many plants and animals for food, shelter, and medicines. Recommended trailheads
for this hike are at 
Rios Avenue and Santa Carina
Grades 3-5
Rhythms of Wetlands (Teachers' Guide)
Get to know the many important functions of a wetland and its exceptional variety of plants
and animals that rely on this ecosystem for survival. Coastal wetlands are one of the most 
endangered ecosystems in the world. Experience the lagoon’s sights, sounds, and tranquility
while learning about the reserve’s sensitive habitats.This program occurs at either the 
San Elijo Lagoon Nature Center or Rios Ave trail
Grade 3-5
Food Chains & Food Webs (Teachers' Guide)
Explore how organisms depend on one another and their environment for survival.
Examine the different components of an ecosystem, both the living and non-living,
and determine which plants and animals can survive in a particular environment.
The terms producer, consumer, and decomposer will be introduced, with examples
of how they fit into the food chain and web. The recommended trailhead for this hike
is at
Rios Avenue




Grade 5
Watersheds and Water Resources (Teachers' Guide)
Learn about the distribution of Earth's fresh water and salt water, and how valuable 
fresh water is to all communities. You'll discover the origin of fresh water and where
it flows. Did you know San Elijo Lagoon helps clean water that runs through it, and
provides many other beneficial functions for wildlife habitats? This program meets
at the San Elijo Lagoon Nature Center

Grades 6-8
Watershed Biodiversity (Teachers' Guide)
Explore and learn about the incredible biodiversity of the Escondido Creek watershed by
visiting four distinct habitats. During the full-day field trip, students will engage in conservation
activities, participate in water quality testing, gain a better understanding of nature's benefits,
and the human impacts that can affect our lands, air and water. 
Grades 9-12
Native, Invasive & Endangered Species (no Teachers' Guide).
High school programs are designed for Advanced Placement Environmental
Science classes. Popular topics include biodiversity, endangered species,
invasive species, and wetland ecosystem functions. The program is hands-on.
Students may participate in habitat restoration, conduct plant transects, and
learn how to identify unique plants and animals observed in San Elijo Lagoon.
Programs are customized.






We recommend a suggested donation of $10/student to help support the Conservancy’s education program. Every year our program provides thousands of students the opportunity to engage in science practices through unique field experiences in the reserve. To enquire about scholarship opportunities please contact education [at] sanelijo [dot] org.


Growing Future Stewards (2:45)
View video that reveals students' inspirations about their watershed, and ways to conserve resources, through conservation education at San Elijo Lagoon.



School Programs (13:00)
This video provides an overview of school programs lead by our trained naturalists. We recommend this video for classes preparing for their field trips. Ecology concepts and an overview of the habitats are introduced. 



The Escondido Charitable Foundation, an affiliate of The San Diego Foundation, with support from 
The McLaughlin Endowment Fund of the San Diego Foundation

City of Encinitas Mizel Family Foundation

Elayna Flanders, Education Coordinator
760-436-3944 x 702
elayna [at] sanelijo [dot] org