Friends of the Rio Grande Nature Center is a non-profit 50l(c)3 organization that supports the Nature Center's mission to preserve and protect the Rio Grande Bosque, to educate the public about Rio Grande ecosystems, and to foster positive human interactions with those systems. The Friends fund classes for over 12,000 schoolchildren each year, manage the Nature Shop and support a number of ecological research projects. Led by a force of 170 trained naturalists, the Friends serve a total of 130,000 Nature Center visitors with classes, guided walks, and other educational activities.

CONTACT >

T: 505-344-7240

F: 505-344-3405

E: friends@rgnc.org 

ABOUT US >

Parent Information
See Forms for a nice printable copy of this.

We have an exciting program planned and are pleased that your child will be joining us.

Please be prompt.  Classes meet as written below and disperse throughout the area.  If you are too late you may not find your class.

Week-long classes and Friday night classes both meet at the group shelter in front of the Education Building, south of the parking lot. After class, we will return the children to the group shelter for pick up. Please pick up your children on time – we greatly appreciate it!

 

Please read the refund policy carefully. It is designed to be fair to everyone.

The number of students registered affects the kids on the waiting list, lesson plans, purchase of supplies and materials, bookkeeping, payments to the teachers and to the Friends of RGNC, whether a class is canceled or expanded, and more.

 

Refund Policy:

1. Refunds and Transfers: Must be requested no later than five (5) days before class begins (by 4:00pm the Wednesday before Mon-Thurs class and by 4:00 pm the Monday before Friday class). Call Visitors Center 344-7240 to make a request.

2. Last Minute Cancellations by Parents: You may substitute another child if you must cancel past the refund deadline. However, the parent/guardian of the new child must fill out a registration form and sign a waiver. (You may bring completed forms to first class if necessary. Download forms or pick up from a volunteer at the desk of Visitors Center from 10:00 to 4:00 each day.)

3. Class Cancellations by Instructors: Classes will be canceled if they have an enrollment of fewer than ten students by the Wednesday before a Monday-Thursday class or the Monday before a Friday class. Parents will be notified and will have the option of a refund or a transfer to another class, if available. PLEASE NOTE: If you fax or mail in registration and do NOT receive a receipt and copy of your registration form by mail before the class is to begin, please check with the Visitors Center (344-7240) to be sure the class has not been canceled and that your child is registered before attending class.

4. FRGNC administration makes the final decisions on refunds. Refunds are given only by check. Please allow at least two weeks after the scheduled date of the class. No refunds can be given after the five-day deadline as noted above. For questions on your specific refund call: 343-1373.

Parking Fees:

NM State Parks requires a $ 3-day use fee (exact change or check) per vehicle entering the RGNCSP grounds, except for Friends of the RGNC permit holders and State Parks annual permit holders with a valid permit displayed. Please consider carpooling, or join the Friends of the RGNC for $30 and get an RGNC day use permit for a year and 10% lower cost per class.

Recommendations:

1.  We’ll be hiking through the bosque where there may be scratchy bushes and rough paths, so wear shoes good for walking (no flip-flops!) and comfortable clothes that protect and can get dirty.

2.  We’ll be outside! Apply sunscreen and/or insect repellent before class, and you may want a hat.

3.  You may bring water in a non-breakable, easy to carry container. (Children carry their own!)

Remember:

1.  Classes will be held regardless of weather.

2.  Parents cannot attend class due to limited space and supplies.

Basic program:

Sessions often begin with a factual overview of the topic. This might be in the form of discussion, game, pictures, slides, short video, and study of models or real animals. Exploration and observation are exciting and so our daily nature hikes are a favorite of many students. Frequently there are trail activities and games, such as scavenger hunts, collecting and viewing insects, or collecting data. Some classes collect and observe specimens (which are then returned to nature) and some classes have projects.

Classes spend time at the beautiful observation room in the Visitor’s Center, the education building, the outdoor classroom and/or other Nature Center volunteer-maintained gardens as well as areas not normally accessible to the public. Our classes often end with discussion and review of what was learned.

Important !!:

Children must stay with the group at all times.

Please don't bring electronic games, toys or other distractions. Check with teachers for permission before bringing specimens to show.

It is imperative that children behave and obey instructors.  Potential safety hazards will be discussed.  Those who conduct or influence creates safety or discipline problems will be asked to leave.  They will not receive a refund.

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