The Living Coast - Field Trips - Chameleon

Educational Programs for All

Since opening in 1987, the Living Coast Discovery Center has offered a variety of educational programs right here on the San Diego Bay National Wildlife Refuge, Sweetwater Marsh.

living coast discovery center

Education Department Contact Info

education@thelivingcoast.org | (619) 409-5908

Registering For Your Field Trip

Register Your Class(es) Online

Please note, you will need to sign up for an account through our booking system, Explorable Places, before you can book a program.

Flag Your Confirmation Email(s)

Please print or save your confirmation emails which include important information such as program costs, gate code access, and requirements for sponsorships.

Reserve Your Bus(es)

Failure to arrange your transportation will result in the loss of your dates, sponsorships, and potentially future dates to attend. There is also a $50 cancellation fee payable to the Living Coast Discovery Center for all cancellations less than 7 days out, and a $100 no show/no call fee for failing to attend your field trip.

Planning for Your Field Trip

Explore Program Resources

Send Field Trip Packets Home

In accordance with your school or district policies, make sure to have all field trip paperwork filled out and filed with your school secretary, principal, or district office.

Collect Money for Program Fees

Please remind parent chaperones that memberships, groupons, coupons, or other deals do not apply towards program fees. No exceptions. One payment accepted for group at time of check-in. So if paying by cash, please collect ahead of time and have your group totals ready at check-in.

$300 per class (32 students & 3 adults) | $10 per extra chaperone | $50 per shuttle (for groups arriving by car or walking) | Student 1:1 aides free with credentials

Arrange Purchase Orders

If paying by purchase order, please submit the invoice you receive in your confirmation email to your organization, school, or district. Purchase orders must be received by the field trip date in order to be processed directly to your accounting department. All other invoices will be sent to the email of the teacher/leader that registered the program within 2 weeks following the conclusion of the final field trip on the order.

Arrange Chaperones and/or Parent Drivers

The Living Coast shuttle must be arranged for groups arriving by carpool or walking. $50 fee if you require use of the shuttle. Parents and Chaperones arriving by personal car, must park in the parking lot and wait for the shuttle or school bus to take them in. No exceptions.

Share Chaperone Expectations with parents.

Did you arrange your school bus?

Failure to arrange your transportation will result in the loss of your dates, sponsorships, and potentially future dates to attend. There is also a $50 cancellation fee payable to the Living Coast Discovery Center for all cancellations less than 7 days out, and a $100 no show/no call fee for failing to attend your field trip.

Complete the Requirements of Your Sponsorship

If you have been awarded through our sponsorship program, make sure to complete the requirements listed in your confirmation email. Failure to do so may result in the loss of your free admission sponsorship.

What to Bring

  1. Class list and group assignments
  2. Helpful chaperones, no siblings
  3. One payment per registration (change is not made for over-drafted checks)
  4. Total group numbers organized by students, adults (teachers+chaperones), aides (ID required)
  5. Sustainable lunches
  6. Prepared students  

After the Field Trip

Final Invoice

Any unpaid program fees will be invoiced to your school or district and emailed directly to the email of the person registering. If a PO was submitted ahead of time, the invoice may be directed to your accounts payable. However, it is the responsibility of the lead teacher/organizer to follow up on payments. Late payments may incur additional fees.

Complete the Requirements for Your Sponsorship

Make sure to complete the requirements of your sponsorship within 1 week of your field trip date. Failure to do so may result in the loss of your free transportation sponsorship.

Field Trip Survey

Help us improve our program by completing this 5-minute survey.

Frequently Asked Questions

How should we dress for the program?

All of our field trips at the Living Coast Discovery Center spend most of the programs outside (about 80%), with limited shade. Please come prepared for the expected weather for the day. This includes dressing in layers, wearing walking shoes, rain clothes if necessary and bringing a reusable water bottle. We have refill stations on site to refill throughout the day. Our programs happen rain or shine, so please come prepared!

How many chaperones can I bring?

We recommend there are 2 to 3 adults per class brought to the Living Coast. There is a maximum of 6 adults (including teachers) per class, any more than that is a distraction to students. 3 adults per class are included in the price of the field trip. Additional adults are $10 each. Teachers count in the adult ratios.

Are siblings allowed?

No. Please explain to parents that we want helpful chaperones that supervise student behaviors during the entire program. Siblings distract from that ability.

How is payment handled?

One lead teacher/organizer is responsible for knowing the total group numbers: children, adults (includes teachers), and one-on-one aides (requires ID). At check in, payment can be collected if paying at the door. All non-paid fees will be invoiced to the school or organization within 2 weeks of the final field trip on the order.

Do you accept checks?

Yes, but we do not recommend it for day of payments. We do not reimburse for overpaid checks. No exceptions. Cash or credit is preferred if settling program fees day of. Check is preferred if paying by mail after program. All payments must be received by 30 days of final invoice date.

What if I have a late parent chaperone?

Typically, we give the lead teacher or organizer the wristbands for all adults in the group. It is up to you to distribute appropriately. Late parent chaperones, with no wristband from teacher, will not be admitted into the program and may not even have access to the refuge if they miss the shuttle service.

What if the parent or class is arriving by car?

Park in our parking lot and wait for the shuttle. The shuttle operates Wednesday through Sunday, 10 AM – 5 PM. If you arrive before 10 AM or on a day without the shuttle operating, you must register for the shuttle service. There is a $50 shuttle fee.

What precautions are being taken due to COVID? (updated July 2022)

We continue to follow the latest updates in recommendations as set out by the CDC, California Health Department, and County of San Diego. Our facility is a City of Chula Vista owned property and therefore must follow the guidelines set out by City officials. Frequent cleaning of high-touch surfaces occurs throughout the day. Hand-sanitizer stations are available throughout the facility. Ventilation systems are equipped on our 30-passenger shuttle.

How do I comment on my experience?

The best way is to fill out a survey about your program experience so that we can continue to improve our efforts: Program Evaluation Form
If you had anything specific you needed to address, please contact the Education Department: education@thelivingcoast.org