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Elkus Ranch Environmental Education Center provides experiential learning opportunities for students of all ages and abilities on a 125 acre working farm in Half Moon Bay.

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Address: 1500 Purisima Creek Road
Half Moon Bay , CA 94019
Email: kdbaxter@ucanr.edu
Phone Number: 650-712-3151
Ranch programs provide nearly 9,000 Bay Area children each year with the opportunity to explore the connection between themselves and the environment by learning how their food and clothing fiber is produced. Many Coastside schools schedule visits each year as a critical component of their science and nutrition instruction. Our experiential programs take children into our gardens, greenhouse and barns to learn about the basic needs of plants and animals, their life cycles, and our role in their daily care. Displays of bones, scat, nests, hides and owl pellets make our local wildlife more accessible and help us explain animal adaptations and predator/prey relationships. Tasting broccoli right off the plant, holding a freshly laid egg, and brushing our goats and donkeys provides each child with a lasting experience to help them understand the need for environmental stewardship. Summer and winter camps extend these learning opportunities to include active participation in animal and garden care, science instruction, nature crafts and cooking with ingredients harvested from our gardens. A nutrition program, Lunch at the Ranch, provides a true farm to table experience that includes harvesting fruits, vegetables, flowers and herbs, collecting eggs, and meeting our dairy goats before helping students prepare an entire meal for themselves and their chaperones in our commercial kitchen. Four days each year are set aside just for preschoolers and their caregivers to explore the ranch at their own pace supported by our staff. Sheep to Shawl, a public event held every year in June, is one of the few times the ranch is open to the public. Guests watch our sheep shearer and wool spinners at work, grind corn for the chickens, dye wool, wander through the gardens and visit with the animals. These opportunities to learn more about agricultural practices are informed by researchers and scientists at the University of California's Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources.
The most common response when children, teachers and parents are asked about their experience at the ranch is "it's the best field trip ever!"
"Thank you for our field trip to Elkus Ranch. It was a lot of fun. My favorite part was when we made a pizza with vegetables on top. - Second Grade Student
"My favorite part of when we picked lettuce and held the chickens." - Second Grade Student
"What an awesome experience! Not only for our children but also the parents!" -Bob D., Visiting Parent Chaperone
"We live close to the ocean yet many of our children have never visited it. Elkus Ranch is a great opportunity for these young children to touch, see, hear, smell and even taste to learn about nature from expert leaders. Elkus Ranch has been their favorite field trip - bar none!" - Elementary School Teacher