Berkeley Waterfront
Berkeley Waterfront

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Adventure Playground -   [more...]

Berkeley Marina Experience Programs -


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The City of Berkeley Marina Experience and Adventure Playground Programs  delight over 80,500 adults and children each year.

Children of all ages can come to play in the Adventure Playground. Come visit the Shorebird Park Nature Center. Our Strawbale building  shows how beautiful "Green materials" can be for your home and how good they are for the environment. Inside we have a Bay Aquarium, a fresh water tank, fish, birds, and exhibits. The new Classroom area is used to teach docents, teachers, and school children about the ecology of their estuary, watershed, and the Bay.

 Volunteers are encouraged to:
 * "Adopt a beach" and join our shoreline clean-ups the third Sat of each month.
*Help in the Adventure Playground passing out tools and paint and making it safe. If you have a skill in wood working, enjoy making toys or just offering to assist young carpenters, please come.

* Help us maintain our new native plant garden. We need help weeding and watering. 

* Help us teach our education programs. We provide a Volunteer Bay Interpretive Training Program for interested adults to help provide teachers and students with high quality environmental education programs. Gain skills in teaching outdoor environmental education.   Brochure available here 

Please go to the sub-pages of these sites below for more information. Please feel free to contact us at 981-6720 or email at  


What's New?  

Adventure Playground will be open ONLY weekends starting August 20.

 Jobs at adventure playground! .-We are  looking for subs and staff for weekdays and weekends . Apply NOW!
Adventure Playground Recreation Leader Part-time  $12.61- $26.24/hour (depending on experience). Application and Questionnaire Do you love working outdoors with kids? Like to build, paint and get really dirty? Come work at the Adventure Playground.

The Adventure Playground is a one-of-a-kind facility where staff encourage children to play and build creatively using tools and donated materials. We are looking for hard working people who enjoy helping children to use their imaginations to play and create projects using a variety of tools and techniques in a safe, resourceful and creative way. We are looking for people with sharp eyes, a willingness to take initiative, positive communication skills, and a great attitude.

Qualifications: Must be at least 17 years of age. Must have at least two years of progressively responsible experience in recreation, education, child development or related field. One year of college education can be substituted for one year of work experience

School Year Programs

 Teachers, The lottery for the school year 2016-2017  is OPEN until our programs are full. You can download the lottery form information from this site . We offer programs November-June. Join us for what has been called the "Best field trip ever!":  birds, fish, bay scientist, low tide, marine mammals, and sailing programs. Teachers rarely share information about these high quality trips so they don't have any competition! Hands on emersion. 2-5 ratio.If you prefer the form to be mailed to you, contact us to be put  on our mailing list. You can also subscribe to this website for an alert when it is available.   

Shorebird Nature Center &  Classroom

Shorebird Nature Center 
Open to visitors Tuesday - Saturday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Unless we are teaching in the classroom on Wed- Friday 9-1, then we are open 1-5 p.m.
 If you would like to visit these unique buildings, you may take a self guided tour. 

Here is an informational brochure about the Shorebird Park classroom which is a green portable. The 200 gallon tanks have Native Bay and lake fish and invertebrates. The microscope lab offers an inside look at Bay invertebrates and plankton for classes, teachers and students who participate in our programs.

 STRAW BALE BUILDING.Inside our Straw bale building, we have a small Bay aquarium, a  tropical fresh water tank, a fish and bird exhibit and exhibits about how trash is affecting the wildlife in and around the Bay and ocean.  This environmentally sensitive building is our  office and visitors center. Check this link for information and pictures. The full photo documentary and green items are available to see inside the  building, or see our new Wind turbine generator working outside.
For a guided  tour of our straw bale building and the "green" components and to see the DVD of how it was made, Please call 510 981-6720, let us know how we can design the talk to meet your needs.$62. for an hour program and tour.


 Shoreline Clean-ups

 The  International clean-up event will be Sept 16th, 2017. It is the largest research project in the world. The data collected will help change the law about marine dumping. 80% of the debris we clean-up comes from off our streets. We need you and your groups to help pick it up. Plastic is impacting the oceans globally. Learn how you can help the marine mammals, birds and turtles who are affected by this. Come help us with this international event. For more info see the web site here! 

If you or your group is interested, you can email us at  or Call  510 981-6720 to let us know how many are in your party. We will send you information on how to prep your group.
 We meet at the Nature Center 160 University Ave. Berkeley Marina. between 9 &10 a.m.  We will provide you or your group with a viewing of our plastics education presentation and have a brief discussion about plastic impact on the environment. This will meet your group's service learning project requirements. We will also have you sign a waiver, give you a safety talk and lead you to the clean-up site. We encourage you to bring your own bags and reusable buckets, but if you don't have them we can supply bags and gloves. Bring your own personal non-disposable water bottle.  

The third Saturday of each month  is another time  you can clean. All of us (animals) need your help!
Email us to register at


BayInterpretive training program

   Volunteer Bay Interpretive Training Program Do you enjoy exploring with children in the out of doors? Helping them to discover and appreciate their natural environment? Come help us do that! Sign ups can happen anytime but we begin our training Oct 13. Click on this link to find answers to the most asked questions, see the program description for the 2016 -2017 trainings, and download an application. We instruct you on how to help us as we teach the classes. Your minimum commitment is 14 hrs a month- including the trainings.Call 510-981-6720 for information or to have a form and brochure mailed to you.


Adventure Playground

 Adventure Playground - Closed when raining. 

Open Weekends only, starting August 27th

11-5pm Saturday and Sunday

11-4p.m. Sat. and Sun.  Starting Nov.6th for daylight savings

Summer schedule only June 19, 2017 – August 18, 2017
Monday – Friday from 9am – 5pm*
Saturdays and Sundays from 11 am-5pm

Drop off's must be picked up by 4:30pm 
Adults have fun too! Please leave your cell phone( and work) in your pocket and come and play with your child. Your job is to encourage, be a gofer and make safety suggestions if they forget. Please help reread the safety rule on the zipline with them. Do not help them on and off, if they cannot do it themselves, they are NOT ready yet.  Ask staff to demonstrate how to ride, if they want to land with style.

Groups of 5 or more need to make reservations at least a month in advance. Weekend dates available. Come join the fun!  

Want to drop your child and his friend off weekends during the school year? Fill out the registration form for children 7 yrs and older who "drop in" the Adventure Playground for three hours only without a parent- For $10.00. Pick up is at 4:30p.m. Want friends to come? Have their parents fill out the form and sign the waiver which you need to bring when you come- No waiver, no drop off. If you signed one in the summer, we require a new one filled for the 2016-17 school year. "Playment" cards are available in the Nature Center Tues.- Sat. for drop-ins for 5 visits each card. No expiration date. Card is needed on Sundays because the Nature Center  office where you pay for the drop in is closed on Sundays..

Who We Are

The Marina Experience Programs are under the City of Berkeley's' Recreation Division of the Parks, Recreation and Waterfront Department. The programs are run by Patty Donald, Coordinator,  and  Sharon Peterson, Assistant Coordinator, Loren Rasmussen  Naturalist/ RAL 
Patty Donald, Naturalist Coordinator and creator of these programs was awarded the 2008 Jefferson Award and the Coastal Hero Award in 2009. 
Sharon Peterson is our  Assistant Coordinator, coming to us with wonderful experience from the City of San Ramon, E.B. R. P. D. and more! . Stop by and say Hi!.   

*(pdf) This is a pdf format, if you do not have the Adobe Acrobat Reader, please download from City's download site. If you are unable to access this information online, please participate by contacting us via email, telephone (510) 981-5150, or TDD (510) 981-6903.) [more...]

Marine Environmental Education Programs- Our innovative hands-on programs have been developing since 1979.  The unique locations of rocky shore, docks, pier, and the open Bay found at the Marina are used to provide Marine Environmental Education to school children and classes from all over the Bay Area. Each program instills a conservation message empowering the students to help the environment.  - Classes taught by experience naturalists and strong, experienced Docent volunteers. Our quality verses quanity programs, promote the highest quality experience you can get for your fieldtrip experience. Our ration of adult teachers to children is almost 1:3.
We run our programs in our "green" building, which has the microscope lab and two 200 Gallon aquariums. These are used in our fish, Bay Scientist , and low tide programs

If you are interested down load this application  /lottery form or subscribe to this web site to be sent information about the dates and a form for this year.  Groups are also welcome to sign up for our Adopt a shoreline clean-up program and to tour our building to l
earn more about our  demonstration "green" office  and our  green portable.  To learn more, please go to Straw Bale Building page.

The Marina Experience Environmental Education Program:  [more...]

Special Events and Activities - [more...]

Marina Directions -  Visiting Us - Berkeley Marina Experience Program/ Shorebird Park Nature Center is located at 160 University Avenue of the City of Berkeley, on the south side of the Berkeley Marina area.  The office phone number is (510) 981-6720. [more...]

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Berkeley Waterfront, 201 University Ave, Berkeley, CA 94710
Questions or comments? Email: Phone: (510) 981-6740
(510) 981-CITY/2489 or 311 from any landline in Berkeley
TTY: (510) 981-6903