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Adopt-a-Flat Program

Two girls carefully plant a small milkweed at Putah Creek.Adopt-a-Flat teaches students about plant and wildlife interactions through an ownership project, in-class lessons, and a field trip to Putah Creek or a local habitat area.

Students seed and raise flats of native plants in the classroom while learning about how these plants grow, affect their environment, and provide resources for wildlife. After watching their plants grow from seed to sprout, students carefully install them on their field trip while learning about the other plants and animals at the creek, and how we can take care of the natural world. Their plants continue to grow and thrive at the creek - and it's up to the students to ensure their own actions make the creek a good place for their plants and the animals who depend on them. 

This program is grant-supported and we work with schools to offer scholarships where possible.

Students examine a case of preserved insects while on a field trip to Putah Creek.Adopt-a-Flat is intended for 4th grade classrooms but can be modified to fit other grades. Curriculum, timelines, and field trip sites vary each year and can be tailored to fit classrooms and teacher interests. 

Example Adopt-a-Flat Schedule:
Mid-January, Lesson 1: Seeding flats & learning about environmental stewardship
Late January, Lesson 2: Depending on the specific focus, this may be exploring plant & wildlife interactions, erosion, watersheds, or other topics
February: Tending plants
March / April: Half-day field trip to Putah Creek or other habitat area to install plants. Students rotate through multiple stations, which can include planting, a nature walk, ephemeral art, wildlife explorations, etc.

Interested in bringing Adopt-a-Flat to your classroom?
Contact Nina L., Putah Creek Council Education Program Manager, at