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Berkeley Marina Experience Programs


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The City of Berkeley Marina Experience and Adventure Playground Programs  delight over 80,500 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 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. 

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   

 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?  

Shorebird Park Nature Center & Adventure Playground Summer Programs

For more information about Nature Center summer programs and Adventure Playground summer activities click here.

Adventure Playground is OPEN:

Summer hours are in effect through August 19, 2018 

Mon-Fri 9:00am-5pm
Sat-Sun 11:00am-5pm

Tools are collected one half hour before closing.
 Zip line is taken down fifteen minutes before closing.

Weekday reservations are available during the school year for large groups (5-40) depending on weather and staff availability.

 Apply now for Jobs at Adventure Playground!  - Do you love working outdoors with kids? Like to build, paint and get really dirty? Come work at the Adventure Playground. We have opportunities for volunteers age 16 and over. Download volunteer application

We are accepting applications for weekends during the school year and for summer postions. Adventure Playground Recreation Leader Part-time  $12.93- $27.57/hour (depending on experience). Application  and Questionnaire   

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 17 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.

School Year Programs

 Teachers, applications for the school year 2017-2018 are available now! 

You can download application 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.

Shorebird Nature Center &  Classroom

Shorebird Nature Center 
Open to visitors Tuesday - Saturday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Unless we are teaching in the classroom on Wed- Friday 9-1, then we are open 1-5 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 Cleanups

 The  International Clean-up event will be Sept 16th, 2017. It is the largest research project in the world. Come help us with this international event.

Third Saturday Cleanup

Join us the third Saturday of each month. We will provide you or your group with a viewing of our plastics education presentation and have a brief discussion about plastic impact on the environment. (This will meet your group's service learning project requirements.) We will also have you sign a waiver, give you a safety talk and lead you to the clean-up site.

As you clean you will collect data that 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.  For more info see the web site here! 

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 meet at the Nature Center 160 University Ave. Berkeley Marina. between 9 &10 a.m. All of us (animals) need your help! Email us to register at 

Bay Interpretive Training Program

   Volunteer Bay Interpretive Training Program Do you enjoy exploring with children in the out of doors? Helping them to discover and appreciate their natural environment? Come help us do that! Sign ups can happen anytime. 
Click on this link to find answers to the most asked questions, see the program description for the 2016 -2017 trainings, and download an application. We instruct you on how to help us as we teach the classes. Your minimum commitment is 14 hrs a month- including the trainings. Call 510-981-6720 for information or to have a form and brochure mailed to you.


Adventure Playground

 Adventure Playground - Closed when raining. 

School year hours 
11am-5pm Sat & Sunday ----- Aug 20-Nov 4 and Mar 11-June 17
11am-4pm Sat & Sunday ---- Nov 5-March 10
 Tools are collected one half hour before closing
  Zip line is taken down fifteen minutes before closing
  Drop ins must be picked up one half hour before closing

Weekday reservations are available for summer and  during the school year for large groups (5-40) depending on weather and staff availability.

Adults have fun too! Please leave your cell phone( and work) in your pocket and come and play with your child. Your job is to encourage, be a gofer and make safety suggestions if they forget. Please help reread the safety rule on the zipline with them. Do not help them on and off, if they cannot do it themselves, they are NOT ready yet.  Ask staff to demonstrate how to ride, if they want to land with style.

Groups Groups of 5 or more need to make reservations at least a month in advance. Weekend dates available. Come join the fun! 

Drop-in option Want to drop your child and a friend off weekends during the school year? Children 7 yrs and older may be dropped off in the Adventure Playground for up to three hours without a parent for $10.00. Pick up is at 4:30p.m. (3:30p.m. when closing time is 4:00p.m.) To register fill out the registration form and waiver. Want friends to come? Have their parents fill out the form and sign the waiver which you need to bring when you come- No waiver, no drop-in. If you signed one in the summer, we require a new one filled for the 2017-18 school year. "Playment" cards are available in the Nature Center Tues.- Sat. for drop-offs for 5 visits each card. No expiration date. Card is needed on Sundays because the Nature Center office where you pay for the drop-ins is closed on Sundays.

Who We Are

The Marina Experience Programs are part of the City of Berkeley's Recreation Division of the Parks, Recreation and Waterfront Department.

*(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) 981-6720, or TDD (510) 981-6903.)


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Berkeley Waterfront, 201 University Ave, Berkeley, CA 94710
Questions or comments? Email: Phone: (510) 981-6740
(510) 981-CITY/2489 or 311 from any landline in Berkeley
TTY: (510) 981-6903