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CALIFORNIA STATE PARKS

Angel Island Immigration

Explore the topic of immigration through stories and lives of those who came through the US Immigration Station at Angel Island State Park. The Ellis Island of the West.

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Desert Stories - Today and Yesterday

Anza Borrego Desert State Park furnishes a spectacular setting for discovering natural history. The Desert Unit of Study is designed to connect the geologic and ecological stories of a changing land. In this unit, students will visit two areas of the park. Borrego Palm Canyon is the most popular hike in the park. Here, students view amazing natural resources. As they travel up the canyon students encounter endangered Desert Bighorn Sheep and learn about their successful story for survival. They are now protected due the hard work and years of study of many dedicated professionals. This canyon also contains extraordinary rock formations offering evidence of change caused by plate tectonics. Plate movement continues to affect the climate and ecology of Southern California. Travelling to the Borrego Badlands is a journey back in time. Students will see sedimentary layers revealing a stratified timeline and bearing an amazing fossil ice age record. The badlands help students understand concepts of ecologic change caused by geologic processes and changing climate. Fossil evidence allows us to step back in time to observe varied habitats and biodiversity that once flourished in Anza-Borrego. These same geologic processes affect habitats today as plates are always on the move and water and wind continue to reshape the desert landscape. Changing geology and climate dictate life everywhere. Desert ecosystems are extremely sensitive to change. Even small changes can permanently impact the future and forever destroy evidence of the past. The spectacular landscape and fossil collection here house several million years’ worth of stories, change and events. Preserving the desert preserves those stories and offers clues for our future.

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Discover The Giant Sequoia at Calaveras Big Trees

As one of the oldest and biggest trees on earth, there is no doubt their fascinating story of survival will delight and inspire students of all ages. Ranger Jenny will be your guide as your class learns about the history of these magnificent trees through the lens of conservation, as well as their relationship to the mixed conifer forest they live in, ultimately discovering what makes these trees such a BIG deal! (Due to park visitors, this program is not available in the summer starting June 14 through September.)

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Elephant Seals

This Program is not available during summer months (Starts again late September - Early October) The State of California maintains 278 state parks, of unique environmental, historical, and educational interest. One of the most interesting and unique, from the biological and environmental perspectives, is Ano Nuevo State Reserve, home of the largest rookery for northern elephant seals in the United States. This program introduces students to the evolutionary history and adaptations of the northern elephant seals of Ano Nuevo State Reserve. The highlight of the program is a video conference between students and a park ranger. The ranger acts as guide for a virtual tour of the rookery and discusses the evolutionary history and adaptations of elephant seals with you

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Gold Rush

Learn about the California Gold Rush from Columbia State Historic Park.On January 24, 1848 James Marshall discovered gold at Sutter's Mill along the American River. The discovery sparked the famous California gold rush. Between 1848 and 1852, California's population grew from 14,000 to 223,000. As thousands of people poured into the gold regions of northern California from throughout the world, they formed unique, diverse communities. Columbia State Historic Park preserves the historic remnants of one such gold rush community.

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La Purisima Mission State Park

Founded in 1787, the La Purisima Mission land holdings once covered nearly 470 square miles. Bordered by the Santa Maria River in the North and the Gaviota coastline in the South, the land was home to the Chumash people and Spanish settlers. The mission was best known for its hides and blankets, and at its peak inhabitants herded as many as 24,000 cattle and sheep. This Skype program presents the most extensively restored mission in the state, La Purisima hosts over 200,000 visitors each year.

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Redwood Ecology

Find out about the unique redwood forest ecosystems of Humboldt Redwoods and Prairie Creek Redwoods State Parks.

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Salmon Lifecycle

Students are introduced to the life cycle of salmon and the importance of watersheds for their survival at Del Norte Redwoods State Park.

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Tide Pools

Experience life at the ocean's edge and find out why life in the tide pools is no day at the beach.

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Visit a Northern Elephant Seal Rookery!

Piedras Blancas Northern Elephant Seal Rookery Located in Hearst San Simeon State Park, this rookery offers refuge to the largest population of Elephant Seals in the state of California. During this interactive program, students will hit the beach to uncover the secret life of the Northern Elephant Seal. December through March are the seals most active time.

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