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Field Trip

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Field Trip Information

The highly skilled River Authority education team offers free and original programming for K-12 students Tuesdays through Thursdays in Bexar, Wilson, Karnes and Goliad Counties. Education programming is aligned to Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS).

The River Authority education team is currently scheduling field trips that will take place from September 14th, 2021 through December 16th, 2021. Before filling out a request form, please read our new field trip requirements below.

It is our mission to engage, educate and empower students to make informed decisions about the conservation and protection of the San Antonio River watershed through thought-provoking, hands-on and inquiry-driven explorations. Nature-based and place-based programming are pillars in our field trip programming. We serve to augment what educators are teaching in the classroom with real-world examples that are locally relevant to the students. We encourage curiosity, observation, discussion, reflection, and action during field trips.

See below for information regarding your participation in a field trip curriculum evaluation study.

River Authority field trips are popular. Here is how it works:
  • In order to provide equal opportunity for all public school districts throughout Bexar, Wilson, Karnes, and Goliad Counties one grade level per school and up to 3 schools per district will be considered per year. Additional schools within a district wishing to participate will be placed on a waiting list and will be contacted if slots become available.
  • Homeschool groups and private schools are eligible for one visit per year.
  • All requests are evaluated on a first-come-first-serve basis and are accepted at the discretion of the River Authority.
  • Please fill out a Field Trip Request Form. River Authority staff will contact you within a weeks’ time regarding the request.
River Authority Field Trips
  • All field trips are free and booked on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • Field trips are only conducted on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays.
  • In order to ensure a positive, engaging experience for all students, educators and chaperones are expected to be engaged with their students’ experience and assist students with their challenges.
  • Field trips typically begin at 9:30 a.m. and conclude at 12:30 p.m. with 30 minutes allotted for lunch.
  • Transportation to and from the field trip site is the responsibility of the school. Please let us know if your school has a transportation barrier in the comment section of the Field Trip Request Form below.
  • All students should be prepared to participate in activities in an outdoor setting which may include adverse temperatures, uneven terrain, and potential exposure to biting/stinging insects. (Confluence Park is ADA accessible.)
  • When your school’s field trip reservation is confirmed, a River Authority field trip coordinator will provide additional avenues for communication for the day of the field trip.
  • Students, teachers, and chaperones are expected to complete River Authority field trip waivers.
  • Please keep smartphones out of sight.
Reservation Policy
  • Field trips must be requested at least one month in advance. For the best selection of dates and staff availability, contact us via the request form below as early as possible.
  • Field trip requests are pending until processed with confirmed dates by River Authority staff.
  • Confirmations and other important field trip details including pre- and post-field trip activities will be sent to the email address provided in the initial request.
NEW: Field Trip Curriculum Evaluation Study
  • This school year, the River Authority is calling upon our field trip attendees to participate in our field trip curriculum evaluation study that will examine how students’ perceptions and actions around litter change after their field trip experience.
  • In order to schedule a field trip, we require that teachers agree to administer a pre-field trip activity and survey and post-field trip survey to each student who attends the field trip.
  • The survey will take approximately 5 minutes to complete and may be completed online or by paper.
  • Parental permission for students’ survey participation will be included on the field trip waiver that every student must return. Survey results are kept anonymous.
  • By requesting a field trip, you are acknowledging that the principal of your school has approved of your involvement in the program.
  • Upon confirmation of your field trip, we will be sending additional information about the program.
Chaperone Requirements

For the safety of students and staff, River Authority requires that student groups be accompanied at all times by an appropriate number of adult teachers or chaperones. Teachers and chaperones are expected to ensure that students behave appropriately and are engaged in the field trip activities.

  • A chaperone-to-student ratio of 1:10 is required for all field trips. For every ten (10) students, there should be one adult actively monitoring the group.
Late Arrival & Cancellation Policy
  • If your group is running late, the River Authority cannot guarantee that all activities will occur as originally planned.
  • In the event that the weather, park conditions, or unforeseeable circumstances prevent the field trip to proceed as planned, the River Authority will contact the field trip organizer 24 hours in advance of the field trip.
  • A rescheduled field trip is not guaranteed.
  • If we must cancel a field trip, a River Authority educator will contact the field trip organizer to arrange a visit to your campus on the day(s) reserved for your field trip(s). It is preferable to have a vacant room where our educator will set up and present to student groups who rotate through.
Recommendations

Please ensure each student has their own lunch that meets their dietary needs. Lunch will be held in the middle of our programming time. Opportunities for a snack time are available if the school brings fruit or pre-packaged snacks for their students.

We request participants bring their own reusable water-drinking containers.

School staff is responsible for bringing and administering any items that your students need to stay safe, including sunscreen, insect repellant, and medication.

For educational resources and materials, visit: Education

What will students learn on a field trip?

River Authority field trips are designed to be grade-appropriate, hands-on, interactive, science driven and incorporate S.T.E.A.M. into the major themes of Watersheds, Ecosystems, and Resource Leadership. Depending on the students’ grade level, some of the topics may include:

Watersheds

  • Measuring biotic and abiotic factors as tools for assessing water quality.
  • How landscape use can affect water quality.
  • Point source and non-point source pollution.
  • STEAM related career development in watershed management and sustainability.
  • Erosion: causes, effects, and management.

Ecosystems

  • Restoration and preservation of natural areas.
  • Environmental services provided by native landscapes.
  • Endangered species conservation.
  • Scientific identification methods and classification of organisms.
  • Plant identification and diversity indexing.
  • Citizen science investigations.
  • Migratory species support (waterfowl, pollinators, and songbirds).
  • Evaluating biodiversity in riparian habitats.
  • Species adaptations and ecological relationships.

Resource Leadership

  • Freshwater impacts on coastal bays and estuaries.
  • How water resources can drive economies on multiple scales.
  • Community health and wellness as it relates to access to recreational opportunities.
  • Decision making on regional and global scales.
  • The infusion of art into public areas and green spaces.
  • Career paths in Watershed Stewardship.
  • Innovation in the field of sustainable practices.
Field Trip Request Form
Please select the field trip program that best suits your group size:

Maximum number of students: 75 students.

Do you have over 75 students? We may accommodate greater student numbers if the number of students can be divided across 2 days, and the number of students each day remains less than 75 students.

The Be River Proud Education Program is completely facilitated by the River Authority education staff at Confluence Park. A classroom-sized group of students will rotate through stations to participate in engaging hands-on educational activities. As they move between stations, students will take on the role of Nature Detectives as they are guided through a story walk, investigate plant and animal adaptations, and examine how litter affects the San Antonio River, San Antonio Bay, and the wide variety of organisms who rely on these precious water resources.
 

Maximum number of students: 150 students

The Free Flow Program is a program specific to Confluence Park and not facilitated by the River Authority education staff. Schools may utilize the River Authority’s online educational materials if they wish. They may also bring their own materials and curriculum.

Confluence Park and its facilities are available to be reserved for the Free Flow Program during the school year Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays, and Mondays. It may also be reserved 7 days a week for after school (after 3pm) education programming.

In order to participate in River Authority field trips, we require that all attending educators and their students be involved in our field trip curriculum evaluation study. This includes administering both pre- and post-field trip anonymous student surveys. Do you agree to these terms?