Field Trip Programs
RiverX Boat Trips (4th-6th Grade)
St. Johns Riverkeeper’s River Exploration (RiverX) boat trips immerse students in the natural world of the St. Johns River through an educational, on-the-water experience. Our education team utilizes the river as a resource for furthering student understanding of the science of our river dynamics as well as an opportunity to explore the interconnectedness of our economy, community interaction, and river health. Boat trips are awarded to schools who participate in our River Friendly Challenge, a competitive student-driven project proposal for making your school more river friendly.
Students view native plants and animals living in or near the river; discuss adaptations to
the local habitat, endangered species and their importance, and then examine the many
connections between these organisms.
Standards: SC.4.L.16.4 SC.4.L.17.2 SC.4.L.17.4 SC.5.L.15.1 SC.5.L.17.1
“This is educational, fun, and beautiful. It teaches our students about our local science, as well as, teaches our students about our river community.”
Students learn how to use a Salinity Refractometer to measure the concentration of salt in river water. Students will test several samples collected from various locations along the
river to understand how different salinity levels affect the type of aquatic life found in
those areas. Natural phenomena, such as tides and the water cycle, are also discussed.
Standards: SC.5.E.7.2, SC.5.N.1.1, SC.5.N.1.3, SC.5.P.9.1, SC.5.P.10.1
“This is the best of all STEAM trips. It has everything. Fun, exciting, new experience for kids, engaging on hands stations, learning, local info and impact.”
Students identify and record the number of river organisms they see. Students will also
observe human activity along the river by recording the number of boats they see, and the amount of trash collected.
Standards: SC.4.L.17.4, SC.4.N.1.1, SC.5.N.1.2, SC.5.N.1.6
“Observations of dolphins was very exciting for the students. The classroom without walls!! This allowed students to not have limits on education.”
What is RiverX? The RiverX program emphasizes experiential learning to provide students of all learning abilities an opportunity to personally engage with and observe the dynamics of the St. Johns River. Boat trips include educational stations that highlight science, the river as a resource, and human impacts (positive and negative). Additional components of the program include educational videos and activities that enhance classroom learning, improve scientific literacy, and promote environmental advocacy.
Program design may differ depending on your school district, based on the layout of the boat, but the activities will be similar.
RiverX boat trips and bus transportation are free for Title I-designated schools. However, schools are responsible for coordinating and scheduling the buses. Funding for this program has been made possible by a generous grant from the Jim & Tabitha Furyk Foundation.
For schools NOT designated as Title I, costs vary and funding for bus transportation is not currently available.
The program is designed for 4th-6th grade students in Duval, Putnam, and Volusia County Public Schools. Please contact Jamie De Nisco, Education Specialist, for information about boat capacity, available dates, and possible costs.
River & Roots (Middle and High School)
River & Roots is a program in collaboration with Clara White Mission and Eatha’s Farm and Market to give students hands-on experiences with the land and water that make up Jacksonville’s ecosystem. Middle- and high-school students will travel to Eartha’s Farm to tour their property, test the soil and water quality on Moncrief Creek, and participate in an Enviroscape workshop to learn about how human impacts affect our environment. By collaborating with Eartha’s Farm, students will learn about regenerative and sustainable agricultural processes and how they help our St. Johns River Watershed.
If you’re interested in participating in this program, please contact our education director, Jamie, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Go Take A Hike! (All grades)
Let’s head outside for a guided stroll, paddle, or bike along the banks of the St. Johns River or one of its tributaries. While we are enjoying the outdoors we will talk about the history, ecology, and issues facing our St. Johns River. Program discussion and hands-on activities are based on teacher interest, age of students, and partner availability. Program cost dependent on if a boat or presenter is requested.
Partners: Duval Audubon Society, Ixia Chapter of FL Native Plant Society, Bartram Trail Society of FL, Groundwork Jacksonville, FL Fish and Wildlife, All Wet Sports (paddle company), St. Johns River Water Taxi
Designed for 1st-12th grade.
Up to 30 participants, minimum 1.5 hour
EduCruise (7th through 12th grade)
If your group isn’t eligible for RiverX, they can still join a St. Johns Riverkeeper Educator on board the St. Johns River Water Taxi or Jacksonville University’s own Larkin! Thanks to the generous donation of the Edna Sproull Foundation, St. Johns Riverkeeper is able to offer discounted 50 minute educational boat trips to 7th through 12th graders. Content is focused on the history, ecology, and human impact on the St. Johns River, but our Education Department will be happy to discuss adding interactive elements such as salinity testing. Bus organization and transportation cost is not provided.
EduCruises are available for all educational groups, including public schools, private schools, scout groups, and homeschool co-ops, and are on a first come, first served basis. Smaller groups (minimum 15, maximum 25) will leave from Jacksonville University on the Larkin. Larger groups (25-50) will leave from the Friendship Fountain dock on the River Taxi. Program availability is limited to boat availability
Minimum 15 guests to register. Max boat capacity is 50 passengers. Rain or shine unless dangerous conditions arise.
Do some good in your neighborhood! There is no better way to have an immediate and direct positive impact on our St. Johns River than participating in a river clean up. We guide you through a safe and meaningful river clean up while also discussing current issues affecting the health of the St Johns. Students will work to understand their impact while also being out in their community making a difference. Riverkeeper Educators will provide an educational component prior to the cleanup, safety will be discussed, and materials (provided by Riverkeeper) will be distributed. This is a hands-on learning opportunity that engages our future advocates to learn about the St. Johns River and local issues. Cleanups are also a great opportunity for teens to earn community service hours, earn scout badges, and can serve as an after school program activity.
Designed for 3rd-12th grade (program will be adjusted based on age of participants)
Accommodates up to 50 students and 10 teachers/chaperones. Duration: 2 hours
Storm Drain Marking
Curbside storm drains are an open pipe that empties directly into nearby waterways. After heavy rains, storm water runs off our streets and parking lots into storm drains picking up leaves, debris, and litter and can clog the pipes causing streets to flood. Along with these items, excess pesticides, fertilizer, pet waste, and other substances which can be harmful to aquatic life. Help St. Johns Riverkeeper raise awareness about storm drains by having your students participate in one of our Service Learning Projects to mark the storm drains near your school and brainstorm ways to inform the neighboring residents about how they can be ‘River Friendly’.
Designed for 3rd-12th grade (program will be adjusted based on age of participants)
Up to 50 students and 10 teachers/chaperones, 2 hours
Come to Us!
St. Johns Riverkeeper’s office is located right on the St. Johns River in Jacksonville University’s Marine Science Research Institute (MSRI). Take your students out on the river, discover what it takes to be a marine science college student, utilize a college lab to study microscopic organisms, or learn about research going on in the St. Johns River from one of the world-renowned professors. Let us design a program for your group. Rates and participation number vary based on the chosen program.
Up to 40 students and 10 teachers/chaperones, 2 hours
St. Johns RIVERKEEPER is a privately-funded, independent and trusted voice for the St. Johns River and the public to whom it belongs. We are a 501(c)(3) organization and rely on the support of our members, donors, and volunteers to accomplish our mission. Please consider making a donation to support our educational programming.
Suggested donation, $5 per person