With our on-site educational programs canceled due to the COVID-19 outbreak, Crystal Cove Conservancy and Crystal Cove State Park have launched new distance learning programs in Spring and Summer 2020!
These virtual education programs immerse science learners of all ages in exploring Crystal Cove’s diverse ecosystems, partnering with scientists to help with ecological research, and solving design challenges, all from the safety of your home.
Join Crystal Cove Conservancy to explore the world of plein air art from home!
During this nine week course, you’ll learn how to think like a plein air artist as you practice breaking down a photo into a drawing or painting. The program is designed for all ages (even adults!). We’ve tried to design it so that even the most beginning artist can participate — even if the only tool that you have at home is a ballpoint pen or a marker.
To participate, all you need to do is find your favorite artistic tool and get started!
Wednesday sea glass wrapping in the Historic District’s Commons has been a popular activity at Crystal Cove for nearly a decade. Because this activity is temporarily unable to meet in person, we’ve offered a virtual version instead! Enjoy the videos and use your own materials, or purchase one of our kits!
During our virtual restoration ecology programs, you and your family are invited to assist with ecological research in Moro Canyon! As you help UC Irvine, Crystal Cove State Park, and Crystal Cove Conservancy study the best way to restore Moro Canyon, you’ll learn about concepts like plant ecology, decomposition, and how we can use science ideas to protect our wild places.
Our virtual restoration ecology programs include:
- Virtual Project Crystal (5th Grade): During this online program, participants partner with Dr. Kimball from UC Irvine to investigate the best type of mulch to use in order to help native seedlings grow.
- Virtual Project Crystal Code (Middle School): How can we use technology to protect our wild spaces? Virtual Project Crystal Code builds on ideas from Project Crystal as participants use coding and build sensors to investigate how mulch decomposes.
If you are a teacher and would like to incorporate Virtual Project Crystal materials into your own classroom, please fill out our survey here to let us know. Teacher resources are also available for Virtual Project Crystal and for Virtual Project Crystal Code!
We need your help! Crystal Cove Conservancy partners with Crystal Cove State Park and local researchers to understand the best way to protect the park’s ecosystems, but we can’t do it alone. These Environmental Challenges might include analyzing a large data set and sharing your findings back with us or developing and testing solutions to an engineering challenge.
The different environmental challenges align with different Next Generation Science Standards for middle school and high school.
- Comparing Owl Limpet Populations
- Mapping California Gnatcatcher
- Analyzing Fish Data
- Monitoring Butterfly Populations
- Designing the North Beach Boardwalk
Family Community Science
Spend this summer becoming a Junior Ranger and a Community Scientist with your family! During Summer 2020, Crystal Cove State Park moved their Junior Rangers program online, including crafts, Jr. Ranger videos, scavenger hunts, virtual hikes and more. With each Junior Ranger program, we’ll be sharing a community science project that you and your family can help with from home or a park near you!
- Family Community Science: Monitoring Mammals with Camera Traps
- Animal Evidence Virtual Jr. Ranger Program with Crystal Cove State Park
- Animal Field Guide & Identifying Animals Slideshow
- Family Community Science: Monitoring Tidepool Organisms with iNaturalist
- Tidepools Virtual Jr. Ranger Program with Crystal Cove State Park
- Tidepools Field Guide & Identifying Tidepool Species Slideshow
- Family Community Science: Plant Adaptations
- Animal Adaptations Virtual Jr. Ranger Program with Crystal Cove State Park
- Plant Field Guide & Identifying Plants Slideshow
- Family Community Science: Backyard Bird Monitoring
- Beautiful Birds Virtual Jr. Ranger Program with Crystal Cove State Park
- Bird Field Guide & Identifying Birds Slideshow
Explore Crystal Cove State Park’s natural and cultural history from the safety of your home as you express your artistic side and add a splash of color to these scenes.
California State Parks’ PORTS program is offering free Home Learning Programs for students stuck at home and excited to learn!
In the coming weeks, PORTS will be featuring live K-12 programs on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. Participants must sign up in advance, and participation is limited.
Visit http://ports-ca.us to see the weekly schedule and sign up!
California State Parks Resources
We might not be able to visit parks as easily right now, but Orange Coast District’s interpretive team
is committed to bringing the parks to Southern Californians!
- On Orange Coast District’s new youtube channel, you can learn about the different parks in coastal Orange County and explore some of their natural and cultural resources, alongside our wonderful State Park interpreters.
- For Earth Week, Crystal Cove State Park invites you to participate in a nature-loving game of Earth Day Jeopardy!
- New mobile exhibits, Nature’s Jewels and Nature’s Families, bring Crystal Cove State Park wildlife to your home!
- Crystal Cove State Park Teaching Aids: colorful and interactive curriculum with instructional information and educational games that are specific to our park.