Projects and Activities

Oak Regeneration and Education

image-001-4What is so special about oaks? What kinds of oaks are found in San Luis Obispo County? What is oak regeneration and what are the challenges that an acorn faces in its journey to become a mighty oak? How can we help grow more oaks to replace the increasing number of old, tired oaks that fall each year? More info about oaks in San Luis Obispo County

Oak Ambassadors

image-000 (4)Oak Ambassadors are 5th and 6th grade Santa Margarita School students who’ve completed a specialized training program to serve as nature guides on the Learning Among the Oaks Trail. More info about Oak Ambassadors


Wildlife Camera Project

American BadgerThis project started in 2011 as a Cal Poly Senior Project and continues through the efforts of a dedicated team of trained volunteers and technical advisors. More info about the Wildlife Camera Project

K-6th Grade Guided Nature Hikes

image-000Providing high-quality outdoor learning experiences for K-6th grade students at Santa Margarita School has been our primary focus since our start in 2005. With help from Santa Margarita School faculty, staff, parents and community partners who share an interest in oak education, we’ve developed a full range of curriculum resources and trail study themes. As resources allow, we now offer these experiences through arrangements with outside schools and community groups.  More info about LATO guided nature hikes

Mustang Nature Challenge and LATO Lunch Club

School library based monthly nature challenges and annual nature detective awards program at Santa Margarita School.Nature education is alive at Santa Margarita School. The Nature Challenge started in 2005 and remains a popular activity for budding nature detectives. Founding Chief Nature Detective Marguerite Costigan has retired and is now C.N.D. Emeritus! Deputy Chief Nature Detective/Cal Poly Biology senior Ryan Russell has been keeping young nature detectives on their toes.More info about school-based nature education

Demonstration ForestFinal Demonstration Forest Logo

Classroom adopt-a-tree and school nature trail site on the way to Learning Among the Oaks.Planted by volunteers in 1997, the Demonstration Forest was designed with these goals in mind:

  • Educational – To provide a place for school children to learn about trees and appreciate the benefits trees provide for our world.
  • Practical – To provide a place where local residents can see living examples of trees they might want to plant in their own landscape.
  • Aesthetic – To provide a beautiful place for a quiet nature walk on the way to and from school.

The Demonstration Forest is home to a Little Free Library and will soon become home to another project, this one for the monarch butterflies who need our help to prevent further population decline.

More info about the Demonstration Forest