Anza Borrego State Park

Anza Borrego is the nation’s largest state park and is perfect for novice campers, wildflower enthusiasts, and desert oasis studies.

Anza Borrego State Park
Anza-Borrego State Park about three and a half hours southeast of Los Angeles) is an excellent outdoor education site.

Located along the transition between the Sonoran desert and the mountains of eastern San Diego County, the park is a wonderful mosaic of cactus covered desert, and sparkling wildflowers during the spring, and the exotic palm oasis . Animal life is abundant. Deer, coyote, bobcat, desert big horns, and a distinctive and diverse avian fauna inhabit California’s largest state park and the adjacent desert. The rich and varied human history of native Americans, ranching, and mining add interesting components to Naturalists at Large’s Anza-Borrego programs.

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Env. Science
Team Building

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Educational Overview

During the three to five-day camp, Natural­ists at Large will provide your students with a shared experience, enhancing the class’s sense of identity. All Natural­ists at Large programs give the students a “sense of place”. This is ac­com­plished by intro­ducing them to the natural and cultural history of the Park while they explore the trails, study the various habitats, and live in the area.

Naturalists at Large will establish a base camp for the students. We provide all group camping equip­ment as well as a complete outdoor program. Anza-Borrego is a wonder­ful place for first time campers; a beauti­ful setting combined with Naturalists at Large’s central kitchen to provide wholesome meals and snacks make a perfect combination ac­tivities. Evening ac­tivities can include; star walks, night hikes, campfires, and other programs developed with the school.

Natural History themes can include the desert community, adapta­tions of plants and animals for surviving this land of little rain, geology, the stars, and the environmen­tal influences on plant size and diversity during an examination of the Parks various environ­ments. We will also stress the importance of safe travel in a region with little water and extremes in temperature. Emphasis is tailored to complement the goals of the school

  • Desert biogeography
  • Grid study comparing different micro-habitats
  • Promote discussions on plant adaptations to heat/dry
  • Explain water tables and why there is an oasis
  • Effects of evapotranspiration in atmospheric moisture
  • Learn how desert plants obtain water from different sources
  • Observe morphological differences in species
  • Learning to identify plants or animals that may be harmful to people.
  • Use “Desert Tree Finders” to identify common woody plants
  • Night walk to learn constellations, observe star colors
  • Discussion of origin of the universe
  • Minimum Impact to walk softly in the wilderness
  • Leave No Trace practices
  • Use of map and compass to triangulate your position; set up a compass course, students Use compass bearings to get to a designated point in the desert