Sunday, July 25, 10am-3:30pm
Journey through distinct Western Washington ecosystems with eco-educators to enhance your overall understanding of underlying ecological processes and plant-identification skills. For our final Excursion of this summer, we’re visiting natural areas in Gray’s Harbor County to explore the unique plants and natural processes of outer coastal dunes, beaches, and saltmarshes. Join this fun day of collaborative learning in the salty breezes!
Just a few more spots open!
*Scholarships available upon request

Register and see full details at

Sun. 7/25: Full Day Summer Beach Trip! — Grays Harbor County, outer coastal dunes, beach, and saltmarsh ecology—so many unique plants to explore!
*10am-3:30pm (option to stay later & explore other sites with group leaders)


COVID-19 protocols?

To account for the COVID-19 pandemic and physical-distancing, we have made a handful of changes to the format of Native Plant Excursion events. You can read our COVID-19 Safety Protocols for the field here! Participants must review these protocols before the event.

We have highlighted the main points as they affect Native Plant Excursion events below:

  • The maximum number of participants permitted at an event will be determined based on the phase of Washington’s “Roadmap to Recovery” guidelines, as well as any other local or state requirements or guidance.

  • No one may participate without masks that fully cover mouth and nose. We will update masking requirements at the time of the events, but at least one mask will still be required in summer 2021.

  • Learning will be separated into “COVID-quarantine Units” (CQU) so physical distancing is always maintained. A “Covid-quarantine unit” means those with whom you have been sharing contact during this time of social isolation, such that you are already safe to be in proximity to each other, including those in your household as well as friends in your close circle.

CQUs must plan to distance each other by CDC recommendations by the time of these events. Instructors will teach from that distance (and provide groups with their own laminated/illustrated instructional materials).

In addition to maintaining Covid-safety, we also require all participants to review and sign our liability waiver prior to the event.

Who can participate?

For ages 10+. Guardians should consider length and difficulty of hike AND child’s ability to honor group learning for all participants. Guardians are welcome to participate with infants strapped to their person. Excursions are not suitable for strollers of any type.

How challenging is the hiking during Plant Excursions?

We plan to spend either full or half days on the sites. For 2021, both Excursions are on relatively flat terrain, and only a few miles will be covered over a long period of time (doing the famous “botany crawl”!). In addition, we’ll be able to spread out—as long as we aren’t trampling plants!—in both ecosystems. The outer coastal and saltmarsh Excursion takes place on mostly sandy substrates and uneven ground, so participants with limited mobility may want to bring a hiking pole for stability.

Where do Plant Excursions happen & what will I need?

Plant Excursions formally start and stop at the trailhead or meet-up location. Each site is located within 2 hours of Olympia. You must have your own transportation to and from the sites—we are unable to offer carpooling, unfortunately. For the full-day event, you will also need to plan to pack your own backpack with food, water and everything else you will need for many hours away from your vehicle. We will send out detailed itineraries in advance to all registered participants with all our recommendations for what you should pack and how to prepare!

How are these different than Plant ID Walks?

Plant ID Walks:

  • Riparian ecosystem.

  • Focus on seasonal plant displays and identification techniques.

  • ADA & stroller accessible.

  • Shorter timeframe, limited instruction.

  • Not being offered in 2021 due to challenge of narrow trails disallowing appropriate distancing to prevent Covid-19.

Plant Excursions:

  • New ecosystem each session.

  • Focus on plant diversity, ecosystem processes and function, and overall nature appreciation.

  • Trails not maintained to be ADA or stroller accessible.

  • Longer immersion and more in-depth instruction and opportunities for individual discoveries using laminated and other learning materials provided by NPSF. Group learning to uncover more unique flora & fauna in each ecosystem! Resource list for you to explore more on your own!

  • We provide a detailed (paper) plant list for each site that is yours to keep for your future explorations. During the event, we’ll add on as needed and subsequently send everyone a revised, final list (electronic) of any new discoveries from the day!

  • Plant Excursions are being offered in 2021 due to capacity for participants to safely distance themselves to prevent Covid-19 and still have a wonderful learning opportunity!