Berkeley Marina Experience Programs


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The City of Berkeley Marina Experience and Adventure Playground Programs  delight over 80,000 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 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 

*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. 

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?  

 Volunteer Bay Interpretive Training Program Continues- sign up anytime.. Click on this link to find out the most asked questions and download an application. We instruct you how to help us, as we teach the classes. Or specialize and help with the burrowing owls. Your minimum commitment is 14 hrs a month- including the trainings. with the program description for the 2015 -2016 trainings Or Call 510-981-6720 and a form and brochure will be mailed to you.


School Year Programs

 Teachers, The lottery for the school year 2015-2016  is closed now. Next year  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, 9am-4:30pm. Unless we are teaching in the classroom on Wed- Friday 9-1, then we are open 1-4:30 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

Each third Saturday of each Month we offer a shoreline clean-up. Call first, 510 981-6720 to let us know how many are in your party. We will send you information on how to prep your group.
  Meet at the Nature Center 160 University Ave. Berkeley Marina. between 9 &10 a.m. for a safety talk . 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.

We offer an educational program for your group's service learning project. We will provide you or your group with a viewing of Synthetic Sea's DVD, and a discussion about plastic impact on the environment. For your clean-up. The Third Saturday of each month. All of us ( animals) need your help!    April 23 will be the next Earth day clean-up. email us to register at

 The next International clean-up event will be Sept 16th, 2016. 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! 


Berkeley Bay Festival 

  BAY FESTIVAL will be  APRIL16th, 2016. Let us know if you have a band who would like to play, a food vending service. Or if your organization is interested in tabling here. Must be either an Environmental  organization or a green building business. Contact 510 981-6720

Adventure Playground -

 Adventure Playground - Closed weekdays. Closed when raining.  

The playground is open 11-4 pm on Saturdays and Sundays .

 Drop off's must be picked up by 3:30pm. 
 Adults have fun too! Please leave your cell phone in your pocket and come and play with your child.  Groups of 5 or more need to make reservations at least a month in advance. Weekend dates available. Come join the fun!

Weekday group reservations ( 10+ children) available now if we have staff available on the date you choose.

Want to drop your child and his friend off? 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 3:30p.m. 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 school year, we require a new one filled every summer. "Playment" cards are available in the Nature Center Tues.- Sat. for drop-ins for 5 visits each card. Helpful for  Sundays when the Nature Center is closed. 

Jobs.- We are  looking for subs and staff for weekends during the school year.
Adventure Playground Recreation Leader Part-time  $12.17-17.33/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 18 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.

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, Naturalist/ RAL Loren Rasmussen 
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 new 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.)