About Us

Community OutreachSan Francisco Nature Education's interactive environmental education programs develop leadership and stewardship in youth and adults in underserved communities.

Brief History

Nancy DeStefanis, lawyer and community organizer, discovered the great blue herons nesting in Golden Gate Park in 1993 and began monitoring the colony. By 1998, teachers would ask her to come into their classrooms and lead their students on field trips.

In 2000, she founded San Francisco Nature Education to share her passion for these majestic birds with school children and the community.

By 2003, our school programs served over 500 students annually.

In the 2007-2008 school year, we served over 1,100 students.


School Program - Since 2000, we have provided over 12,000 students hands-on and place-based experiences of nature.

Birding for Everyone - The first Saturday of every month (except July and August), SFNE naturalists lead guided walks through the San Francisco Botanical Garden in Golden Gate Park.

Birding for Kids and their Families - First Saturdays in June, July, August and September.

Heron’s Head Park - 2nd Saturdays in January, February and March.

Heron Watch - Our spring Heron Watch Program (six Saturdays in April and May) provides an in-depth experience of the charismatic great blue heron colony that nests yearly at Stow Lake in Golden Gate Park.

Youth Naturalist Intern Program - We train middle and high school volunteers to serve as interpreters and naturalists for our Birding for Everyone and Heron Watch programs.