Just For Kids

Visitors enjoy searching for Osprey on the Sweetwater Marsh

One of the top priorities of the San Diego Bay NWR is educating the local children of Imperial Beach, San Diego, Chula Vista, and National City, about the amazing wildlife in their backyard. The unique plants, animals, and the habitats that support them provide important learning opportunities for kids who do not usually have the privilege to go on field trips.  To connect these children with nature, two environmental education programs are in place to support outdoor learning experiences and satisfy the innate sense of wonder children have.  

Sweetwater Marsh Unit –  

Sweetwater Marsh is a great place to start connecting with the nature of San Diego Bay.  The USFWS has had a wonderful partnership with the Living Coast Discovery Center (formerly known as the Chula Vista Nature Center) to provide environmental education programs to students near and far to the refuge.  The Discovery Center is a 501(c)3 organization dedicated to providing environmental education on coastal resource conservation, and instilling a respect for nature and wildlife in people of all ages. They host thousands of school children every year for field trips, science classes, scout events and other kid-friendly opportunities.
Please visit their website for more information, or to book a trip.



South San Diego Bay Unit – “Habitat Heroes” 

Habitat Heroes is a new education/restoration program that targets invasive plant species and pollution at the South Bay refuge. The Habitat Heroes Education Project, sponsored by the Friends of the San Diego Wildlife Refuges, brings together young students and volunteer groups to understand and address the growing threat of invasive species to the South San Diego Bay National Wildlife Refuge. Students work with U.S. Fish and Wildlife staff and environmental educators to remove non-native species and cultivate and plant native species. The Habitat Heroes restoration site is located on an upland portion of the refuge, at the north end of 13th Street in Imperial Beach.  Also here, is a newly-constructed outdoor space for people to stop and enjoy the wildlife surrounding the south bay, called the Charlie Keever and Jonathan Sellers Outdoor Education Center.  There is a viewing scope, benches, and climbing rocks for kids to play on, while enjoying the newly restored Habitat Heroes site.

For more information, please contact our Environmental Education Specialist, Chantel Jimenez at chantel_jimenez@fws.gov