Field Trips to Dale Ball Trails (flyer)
The Santa Fe Conservation Trust is pleased to offer guided field trips on city trails for children in Santa Fe Public Schools and City Summer Camps, made possible through the support of the City of Santa Fe, the S.L. Gimbel Foundation, the Lineberry Foundation, the Frost Foundation, and Partners in Education.
As of December 2017, we have taken over 1,800 kids out to local trails! Field trips for grade-schoolers and trail work days for high schoolers in our first four years of this activity are summarized here: Summary of Field Trips, 2014-2017
We focused on trips to Dale Ball Trails for fourth-graders from El Camino Real Academy and for kids from City Summer Camps during the first year of activities, 2014/15. In the Summer of 2015, we made our first trip to La Tierra Trails, where we continued school field trips through Fall of 2015.
Thanks to increased foundation support, we tripled the level of activity in the Fall of 2015 by offering field trips to fourth- and fifth-graders at Camino Real Academy as well as to fourth-graders from a second south-side school, Nina Otero Community School. We also took Capital High School’s Outdoors Club out on a work day on Tierra Contenta trails.
Throughout 2016 we continued the expanded level of field trips, returning to Dale Ball Trails, adding visits to La Piedra and Little Tesuque Trails, and even making our first summits of Atalaya Mountain – first by a new school group from Tierra Encantada Charter School in May, and then by a group of City Summer Campers in July. Our final group of City Summer Campers in 2016 participated in a demonstration trail work day near Cerro Gordo Trailhead before heading off to “bag” Picacho Peak.
In Fall of 2016 we added returning Fifth Graders from Nina Otero Community School to the list of classes. By the end of the year, with 13 more outings to Dale Ball Trails, including another work day with Capital High School’s Outdoors Club, we had brought our 1,000th schoolkid to local trails!
May 2017 brought new records in number of field trips (14), number of kids (301), and number of adults (47) as we visited Dale Ball Trails’ Central Section, and the adjoining Santa Fe Canyon Preserve. We continued the fun in La Tierra Trails in Fall of 2017, and added a couple of student work days in Dale Ball Trails with The Masters Program, in collaboration with Santa Fe County.
All field trip participants in 2015-17 received our “Passport to Santa Fe’s Foothill Trails” with maps, descriptions, and incentives to visit all of our city trails. Many of the fifth graders have now completed four trips and redeemed the passport for a hydration pack!
The following links describe the fun we have had, which of course begins only after participants fill out a liability waiver (in English or Spanish) and receive an orientation on the trails and hiking safety.
Field Trips to La Tierra Trails for Camino Real Academy and Nina Otero Community School, Oct. 3 – Nov. 6, 2017
The Masters Program, Dale Ball Trails Work Days, with Santa Fe County, Sept. 15 and 22
Capital High School Outdoors Club, Dale Ball Trails Work Day, Oct. 14, 2016
Hike with City Summer Campers to Atalaya Mtn., July 11, 2016
Hikes with City Summer Campers, June 20 and 23, 2016
Hike with City Summer Campers, June 9, 2016
The Masters Program, Spur Trail Connector, with Santa Fe County, April 15, 2016