Virtual Education Program (Grades 3 and 4)
Nationwide, the National Park Service is making an effort to improve our capacity as an educational institution. Your students are our future leaders, and an early and well-rounded education in history and the environment will ensure a better and brighter tomorrow. Our rangers have designed a program that aligns with California state educational standards for 3rd and 4th graders. The skills and lessons utilized in our virtual program can be applied beyond the classroom and are designed to empower your students to create positive change.
Our virtual program is intended to be approximately one hour long and contains a mix of open-ended questions and virtual live interaction with one or more of our park rangers. We will discuss the importance of John Muir’s journals, books, and articles, and how they helped in the creation of the National Park Service and the importance of preserving public lands. We will be requiring students to journal during the program and encourage them to start and keep their own journals beyond the program.
During the program, students will watch three videos centering on a John Muir adventure. Links to each video will be shared in the chat at the appropriate time for students to watch on their own and rejoin the program when done.
Please contact us to schedule a date and time for the virtual program. You can reach us at (925)228-8860 extension 0 or email us at Eduardo_Chaidez@nps.gov.
School Group Tours
Bring your class to the John Muir National Historic Site. This is an opportunity to learn about the man, his life and his legacy. A ranger will explain the specifics of the program at the time you make your reservation. Schedule early! Spaces fill up very quickly, so schedule your tour as soon as you have a date in mind!
Field Trip Information for Teachers
Our educational program aligns with the California state educational standards and contains a mix of open-ended questions and interactive exercises. It consists of a small group activity about National Parks, an exploration of the 1882 Italianate Victorian mansion John Muir lived in for the last 24 years of his life, and a visit to the Giant sequoia John Muir planted over 130 years ago. In addition to these activities, we are in the process of implementing a new activity that focuses on the causes of and possible solutions to the growing threat of climate change.
Please be prepared to provide us with the following information:
- Contact Information: Name, Phone Number, and Email
- Grade Level and Preferred Date(s)/ Time: 10am to 12pm (upon request, program may be started as early as 9am)
- Group Size(s) including adults:
Monday/Friday—1 Class (max. 35 students),
Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday—2 classes (max. 70 students)
- How you plan to travel: Cars or Bus
- Special Needs Accommodation: The National Park Service makes every effort to accommodate visitors with special needs. Please inform staff of any special needs before you arrive. We offer:
- Easy access path from the Visitor Center to the Muir house
- Accessibility Cart
- Wheelchair lift for accessible entry to the Muir house
- Film of the upper floors of the house
- Assisted listening devices/Open caption film
Planning your Field Trip:
Film: We ask that prior to your visit that you view a 20 minute biographical film titled “John Muir: A Glorious Journey.” The film is available on our website.
Fourth grade teachers: Fourth grade students can get a pass that allows them and their family free entrance to all National Parks and Federal lands.
Drinking Fountains and Restrooms
There are two drinking fountains and three unisex restrooms. Restrooms are only located in the Visitor Center. Two restrooms will accommodate wheelchairs. One drinking fountain is located just outside the Visitor Center and the other is located on the grounds behind the Martinez Adobe. Both are wheelchair accessible.
The largest and most popular picnic area is in the pecan orchard near the Martinez Adobe. When picnicking in the orchard, please discourage students from climbing the fruit trees.
A smaller picnic area is directly outside the Visitor Center, providing easy access to restrooms.
All trash must be taken back to school. Unfortunately, we do not have sufficient trash storage capacity for all the groups that visit in a week.
- Teachers and chaperones are responsible for the attention and discipline of the students in their classes
- No smoking is allowed
- Recreational equipment such as Frisbees, bats, balls etc. are not permitted
- Please take only pictures and leave only footprints
Bus Parking Directions
After exiting Hwy 4, proceed northbound on Alhambra Ave. toward downtown Martinez. Do NOT turn into the Visitor Center parking lot. Instead, make a left turn onto K Street at the traffic signal. Make a right turn at Raap Ave., another right at J Street and finally turn right back on to Alhambra Ave. Continue south (back the way you came) on Alhambra Ave. to the bus parking area directly outside the John Muir NHS Visitor Center. You may park the bus and unload students and teachers here.
Parking for cars in our lot is limited: Please use the additional parking on Walnut Avenue across Alhambra from the Visitor Center.
Last updated: April 5, 2021